| Danial Norjidi |
THE Heart of Borneo (HoB) Initiative is relevant and important to Brunei Darussalam as it plays a significant role in forest and biodiversity conservation efforts, promoting tourism development and providing socioeconomic benefits.
This was stated by Haji Muhammad Safwan bin Abdullah Bibi, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Brunei Darussalam HoB Centre, Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism.
Haji Muhammad Safwan delivered a presentation on the HoB initiative during the first session of the International Tourism Conference and Exhibition 2018 at the Pengiran Anak Puteri Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah Institute of Health Sciences (PAPRSB IHS), Universiti Brunei Darussalam yesterday.
“The Heart of Borneo Initiative is very relevant and important to Brunei Darussalam, as it plays a critical role in further strengthening the country’s continuous effort in the conservation of forest and biodiversity,” he said.
“It also plays an important role in supporting our current efforts in promoting tourism development in the country,” he said. “Using the Heart of Borneo as a marketing brand of strategic marketing positioning, it is hoped that it can attract more tourists, especially nature lovers to come to Brunei in particular, as well as to the Heart of Borneo area in general, to enjoy the beauty of our pristine nature and richness of our biodiversity.”
The Acting CEO of the HoB Centre added, “The Heart of Borneo, through ecotourism activities will also provide socioeconomic benefits to the local communities by providing job opportunities.”
He also underlined that potential socioeconomic benefits derived from ecotourism will encourage more local community participation and support towards the conservation effort of the HoB Initiative.
The HoB is a forest and biodiversity conservation initiative involving Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia. The declaration of the initiative was signed by the three nations on February 12, 2007. Through the declaration, all three nations voluntarily agreed to work together in ensuring the management of forestry resources and conservation of protected forest network and produce.