save malaysia!

Nik Nazmi: State govts urged to draw up new approaches to increase Ecological Fiscal Transfer impact

Publish date: Wed, 22 May 2024, 04:49 PM

PUTRAJAYA, May 22 — State governments should fully optimise provisions in the Ecological Fiscal Transfer (EFT) for Biodiversity Conservation and draw up new approaches to increase the impact of EFT implementation.

This was emphasised by Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad at the town hall session on the EFT implementation and presentation of the 2024 EFT Allocation Letter to state government representatives recently.

A statement issued by the ministry today stated that one of the new approaches is to implement large-scale and more impactful biodiversity and forest conservation projects through the “blended finance” approach, which is the mobilisation of additional funds from the state government and strategic partners in addition to the EFT allocation.

Another approach is to strengthen the EFT distribution criteria by emphasising quality and outcome and providing additional incentives under the EFT to states that amend their respective Forestry Enactments to align with the National Forestry (Amendment) Act 2022.

“The minister also welcomes the suggestions and views by the state governments to improving the implementation of EFT and hopes that the cooperation between the federal and state governments can further strengthen efforts to increase the effectiveness in biodiversity and forestry conservation,” read the statement.

EFT is an additional incentive introduced in 2019 to state governments to encourage them to protect, conserve and gazette protected areas that are important for ecosystem services including water catchment areas and wildlife protection.

According to the ministry, the federal government has allocated RM550 million since then to implement EFT. This year, it involved an allocation of RM200 million.

It said the state government, through the EFT incentives, had implemented various high-impact projects including the conservation of gazetting of protected areas, restoration programmes; demarcation, survey and maintenance of boundaries; and enforcement operations.

The implementation of EFT has been successful with 350,000 hectares being gazetted as new protected areas, said the ministry, adding that the area covers almost 90,000 hectares of terrestrial protected areas and more than 250,000 hectares of marine protected areas. — Bernama

Be the first to like this. Showing 0 of 0 comments

Post a Comment