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The Heart of Borneo (HoB) Initiative is a voluntary trans-boundary cooperation aiming at conserving and managing the transboundary highlands of Borneo and parts of the adjacent foothills and lowlands, which straddle the borders of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia. The HoB approximately covers 200,000 km2 of ecologically inter-connected rainforest in the island of Borneo.

The State Government of Sabah and Sarawak has identified approximate areas of 3.9 million hectares and 2.1 million hectares respectively for HoB, which approximately covers 60,000 km²


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The Heart of Borneo (HoB) Initiative is a voluntary transboundary cooperation of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia, combining the stakeholder's interests, based on local wisdom, acknowledgement of and respect for laws, regulations and policies in the respective countries and taking into consideration relevant multilateral environmental agreements, as well as existing regional and bilateral agreements/arrangements.  The Declaration of the HoB Initiative was signed in Bali, Indonesia on the 12th February 2007.


This Institutional Arrangement & Modalities (IA&M) is established as a mechanism to coordinate, implement and monitor the joint HoB programmes/projects/activities as provided for by the “Strategic Plan of Action" towards realizing the vision of the HoB Initiative. It consists of two important parts, namely:

    Part I:  The institutional arrangement and modalities; and
    Part II:  Joint programmes/projects/activities.

Part I: Institutional Arrangement and Modalities

HoB Trilateral Meeting

A HoB Trilateral Meeting (The Meeting) is established by member countries. The Meeting should be participated by government official and led by Senior Official level.


Purpose and Functions

The Meeting should serve as the governing body of the HoB and should be the forum for the following:

(i) Deliberation on possible areas of cooperation on policy and programme;
(ii) Presentation of report on the progress of  implementation of HoB projects/activities;
(iii) Discussion on common position and the future collaboration;
(iv) Consideration on the recommendations of the Technical Committee;
(v) May call for a Special High-level Ministerial Meeting to discuss contentious issues which require political commitment, as and when necessary; and
(vi) Review, amendment, or suspension of this institutional arrangements and modalities, if necessary.


Organization of Meeting

Chairmanship and Vice-Chairmanship

The Chairmanship of the Meeting should be elected with tenure of one (1) year after which, subsequent Chairs would be designated on a rotation basis in alphabetical order.

The Chairman and Vice Chairman should preside the Meeting.

The Vice-Chairman should be from the next Host Country.

The Chairman and/or the Vice-Chairman, with consent of member, should present common positions and progress of work of HoB for information to relevant international and regional fora, in particular ASEAN.

Agenda of the Meeting

The Provisional Agenda of the Meeting should be proposed by the host country in consultation with the Chairman and Members.  The provisional agenda for the Meeting should include among others:

(a) Matters arising from the previous Meeting;
(b) National Report on the progress of the implementation of HoB projects.
(c) Consideration and decision on joint activities recommended by the Technical Committee; and
(d) Any other matters with prior consultation from other Members.

 The items proposed in the Provisional Agenda should be supported by necessary background information and should be provided to Members within two (2) weeks before the Meeting.

Frequency of Meetings

The Meeting should meet at least once a year.  Additional meetings may be held when deemed necessary by the Members.

Date and Venue of Meeting

The next Host Country should propose the date and venue of the next meeting.

National Focal Agency
Each Member should identify National Focal Agency (NFA) and National Focal Point (NFP) to maintain communication and consultation among Members as wells as to coordinate the implementation of HoB at national level.


The Chair will provide the Secretariat services for the Meeting, including the preparation of the Meeting report

The report should be adopted and distributed at the end of the Meeting.  Unless otherwise decided by the Meeting, the reports of meetings should be treated as restricted documents.

Technical Committee

The Technical Committee should be established by the Meeting.

The Technical Committee should be responsible to evaluate and consider any proposed joint programmes/projects/activities from the Members and other stakeholders for the consideration and approval of the Meeting.

The Technical Committee should be composed of representatives nominated by the Members and presided over by the current Chair.

The Technical Committee should meet as and when necessary and may invite external experts for specific issues and concerns.

Stakeholder Participation

The Meeting may invite, if deemed necessary, representative from non-member countries, non-government organizations (NGO's), and other organisations to the meeting as observer).


Members, individually or in cooperation with third party may propose a joint programme/project/activity for the implementation of HoB initiative at the Meeting.

Upon approval by the Members, the Meeting could endorse the commencement of projects. The implementation of such project should be guided by the respective national project document and specific guidelines.

External funding should be channelled through the respective Members.


The Heart of Borneo Organisation Structure


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