Smaller districts are encouraged to develop their own green initiatives in line with the state government's goal towards achieving a greener, clean and liveable surrounding. -- NSTP Archive

KOTA KINABALU: Smaller districts are encouraged to develop their own green initiatives in line with the state government's goal towards achieving a greener, clean and liveable surrounding.

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said each district local authority should emulate efforts by Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) to achieve a sustainable and resilient city.

He said the state capital is on track towards reaching a greener and liveable city guided by the Kota Kinabalu Green City Action Plan (KKGCAP), which was initiated in January last year with the objective of mitigating climate change and global warming.

"I hope our smaller districts will start to emulate us and develop their own green way of governance and managing development in their districts too.

"I also hope DBKK will be able to share these good practices with the 26 districts in Sabah. We require a stakeholder response, so we need to have all the districts contributing to a green growth strategy and lifestyle," he said.

Shafie's speech was delivered by Deputy Chief Minister cum state Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Jaujan Sembakong at the opening of the Borneo Green City International Convention, here.

Commending DBKK for embarking on a greener and liveable city journey, the Chief Minister looked forward to the implementation of many projects listed in KKGCAP and for Kota Kinabalu to become a role model for best practices in this region.

"Looking after the environment is the state's priority. This includes managing our waste, lowering our carbon emission, protecting our water resources, conserving our pristine forest, habitat, and building a modern and smart city for the people.

"A successful environment will provide the state with a sustainable economy that can generate growth and stability for all. This is our new green growth strategy," noted Shafie.

Meanwhile, Mayor Datuk Nordin Siman said the 2010 census recorded an urban population of over 580,000, noting the figure is expected to double in 10 years.

With population growth, he said Kota Kinabalu city's utilities and amenities have not been upgraded to keep pace with the growing number of urban folks.

"A key challenge that we face, particularly in areas outside the city, is the need to continue to develop basic urban infrastructure such as utility lines, drains, and sewers.

"Given that the population is spread over a large area, the cost of building this infrastructure is understandably high. This is why we are now promoting a more compact development plan," he said.

In a press conference later, Jaujan noted the state government is expected to launch a Local Authority Green initiative in Tongod and Nabawan districts, adding the move will look into promoting development in rural districts without harming the environment.