NRES emphasises EFT’s role in biodiversity conservation

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Sustainability (NRES) encouraged state governments to optimise the allocation of EFT funds for Biodiversity Conservation and outline several new approaches to enhance the impact of the EFT effectiveness.

EFT also known as Ecological Fiscal Transfer.

“These included implementing large-scale biodiversity and forest conservation projects with greater impact through blended finance approaches, strengthening EFT distribution criteria by emphasizing quality and success factors, and providing additional incentives under EFT to states amending their Forestry Enactments to align with the National Forestry Act (Amendment) 2022,” the minister mentioned in the statement.

In the statement, it mentioned that Natural Resources and Environment Sustainability Minster Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad. welcomed suggestions and views from the state governments to improve EFT implementation and hoped for strengthened cooperation between the federal government and state governments to enhance effectiveness in biodiversity and forest conservation efforts.

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

From 2019 to date, the federal government has allocated a total of RM550 million for EFT implementation, including RM200 million for that year.

According to the ministry, various high-impact projects were implemented by State Governments through the EFT incentive, including the conservation of protected areas and the addition of new protected areas, restoration programs, boundary demarcation, measurement, and maintenance, as well as enforcement operations.

“The implementation of EFT had shown success, with approximately 350,000 hectares of areas designated as new protected areas, covering nearly 90,000 hectares of terrestrial protected areas and over 250,000 hectares of marine protected areas,” said NRES in the same statement.

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