On 23 May, Holly Shrumm (Natural Justice) attended a day-long meeting on spatial planning for conservation and sustainable development in Sabah, Malaysia, which was organised by Hutan and the Malaysian branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Malaysia). With an overall emphasis on establishing the technical information-base for a holistic landscape approach to planning, participants highlighted the following points, among others:
- The need for a multi-stakeholder integrated approach with a common vision and concerted strategy that focuses on connectivity, viability, complementarity, target-setting, and cost-efficiency (known as ‘systematic conservation planning’),
- The need to fill knowledge gaps in the spatial data such as location of ‘good quality’ forests, social-cultural values, and distribution of biodiversity and threats to it,
- The importance of providing technical inputs into the draft 20-year Sabah Structure Plan, including social safeguards in line with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and
- The importance of also planning for governance, management, implementation, and enforcement.