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Forever Sabah

About Us

Who we are

Forever Sabah is a 25 year programme to support Sabah's transition to a diversified, equitable, circular economy.

A civil society entity, Forever Sabah serves as a social collaborative movement rather than a bureaucracy or NGO. We are an initiative rooted in local aspirations, built by an enthusiastic team who believe we can make our state better by utilizing Sabahan knowledge and experience and working with others and across sectors.

We believe in international partnerships, but do not believe in relying on funding to drive change. Rather we value the sharing of experiences and new forms of currency – such as responsibility, participation, reciprocity and trust to achieve more effective, large scale and collaborative results.

Our mission

To support Sabah’s transition to a diversified, equitable, circular economy by:

  • Catalysing positive institutional change through a ground-up, project-based approach.
  • Building capacity to sustainably manage Sabah’s natural resources.
  • Further protecting and restoring Sabah’s natural habitats.
  • Enhancing social and ecological resilience in the face of changing climate and land use.

Our focal areas

Guided by the principles of equity, integrity, inclusiveness, custodianship and shared responsibility, Forever Sabah will be delivered through a ground-up, project-based approach organised around four focal areas:

  • Food, Agriculture & Fisheries
  • Energy, Infrastructure & Waste
  • Livelihood, Tourism & Enterprise
  • Forest, Water & Soil

Recognising the need to address the pressing issues of:

  • Habitat protection and restoration
  • The development of local communities
  • Critical knowledge and skills

Forever Sabah will maintain an over-arching focus on rainforests and marine & coastal habitats.

Our background

Forever Sabah will build a fair, prosperous and sustainable Sabah by pioneering the State’s transition to a diversified circular economy. It will change the development and economic trajectory of the State by rebalancing the economy from its historical over-reliance on and exploitation of natural habitats, particularly Sabah’s forests, rivers and seas.

The Malaysian state of Sabah has numerous advantages that together form a strong foundation for change:

  • Sabah is still endowed with a mega-rich diversity of intact terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
  • Sabah has a government that is openly looking for innovative approaches to enhance sustainability while developing a robust and competitive economy.
  • Sabah has an increasingly vocal civil society and active network of indigenous communities that is poised to engage in shaping the direction of the state’s future.

Our approach

Forever Sabah was initiated to answer the fundamental question: where will the state be in fifty years if it continues to progress along it’s current development trajectory? The vision, principles, and focal areas, have evolved through an enriching 2-year engagement process involving all sectors of society; local communities, industry, NGOs, scientists and government. This uniquely inclusive conversation has in itself catalysed change, creating new relationships while empowering and energising communities.

Our principles

Capacity building

Offers solutions that integrate knowledge and skills across the spectrum of indigenous wisdom and cutting edge science to build capacity for all sectors.


Grassroots and cross-sectoral projects act now to reduce and reverse biodiversity and habitat loss and improve Sabah’s resilience to climate change and environmental pressures.

Local - Regional - Global

Forever Sabah will generate local responses to issues of regional and global importance.​

Game changing

The 'Business as Usual' standard model of development and conservation funding is not sustainable, nor equitable.


A comprehensive multi-sector collaborative process has shaped the Forever Sabah vision since its inception.

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