Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia — The Sabah and Sarawak governments hope that big plantation companies across Borneo will stop open burning while clearing their land to prevent the haze from occurring.
Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman said it was important for the companies to heed the advice in view of the problem becoming a regional concern.
We in Sabah have always advised and even acted on those involved in burning activities. Today, the situation is better, he told reporters after opening the 4th Sabah-Sarawak Environmental Convention 2006 here on Tuesday.
He was asked what initiatives the two state governments were taking to stop open-burning activities in Kalimantan, Indonesia, which caused severe haze in Sarawak and parts of Sabah last month.
Musa said although the problem was being tackled on a government-to-government level, it is necessary for all big plantation companies in Borneo to take the initiative to nip the problem in the bud.
I believe that there is a need to educate people involved about the hazards of open burning, he said.
The three-day convention is aimed at highlighting issues and problems related to managing the environment.
It also provides the opportunity for participants from the two states to share their experiences in maintaining environmentally sound development.