Awang Tengah: Sarawak to reduce log production

Awang Tengah (centre) at the launch of the 'Wood Utilization in Construction Structure 2018' seminar.

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KUCHING, July 3: Sarawak is striving to produce less logs in order to better conserve its forests, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan today.

To ensure that the timber industry remains sustainable, Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) will use trees from planted forests and focus on non-timber based materials, such as bamboo.

“STIDC is planning a large-scale bamboo plantation, and they will collaborate with the industry players. They will conduct training on bamboo upstream and processing activities in preparation for the establishment of bamboo utilisation in the future timber industry.

“The state government has identified 89 hectares at Sabal that will be used by STIDC for the pilot bamboo plantation,” he said at the ‘Wood Utilization in Construction Structure 2018’ seminar held here.

STIDC would also be promoting bamboo for structural uses in the local construction industry.

Awang Tengah told those present that bamboo could replace wood for many products, such as flooring, furniture, charcoal and building materials.

While the state government is committed in ensuring that the wood-based industry remains vibrant, Awang Tengah said the government was aware of issues such as the perception of depleting raw materials.

“This issue warrants our serious attention in charting the future direction of this industry in the next 20 to 30 years. Rest assured we will continue to find ways to boost income from this sector in other ways to contribute further to the state.”

Meanwhile, STIDC has implemented its Timber Industry Transformation Plan, which will change the current structure of primary and secondary timber products to high value timber products by 2030.

“STIDC’s vision and mission is to be able to achieve its targeted export earnings of RM10 billion by 2030. Their blueprint includes STIDC’s aspiration to establish at least six anchor companies through partnership,” said Awang Tengah.

In addition, STIDC is working with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) to develop the ‘Pool of Young Designers (POYOD)’ programme to train and groom young graduates in furniture design. — DayakDaily