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By Nancy Nais
KUCHING, Jan 27: All long-term timber licensees in Sarawak will be fully certified by 2025 to ensure strict adherence to forest management requirements.
Disclosing this, Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said the timber industry is an important economic sector in Sarawak and therefore it is crucial for the State to continue developing it in a sustainable manner.
“The development of planted forests must be enhanced to produce high yield and quality logs to accelerate growth for domestic timber downstream industry.
“The potential of fast-growing bamboo plant is to be capitalised as new material to support the industry. Biomass from agriculture plants especially rubber wood must also be utilised fully.
“Ultimately, the industry will grow into a sustainable industry without relying on natural forests for supply of raw materials,” Awang Tengah said at the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) 50th Golden Jubilee Celebration today.
The timber industry in Sarawak is expected to generate an annual export earning of about RM8 billion by 2030.
In order to achieve this, he asserts the industry must adapt to changes and be transformed from primary based industry into high value-added processing.
“The target industries are panel based, engineered wood, furniture and bamboo-based products. To enhance competitiveness, the technology used need to be upgraded, where appropriate IR4.0 should be applied.
“The industry must be efficient in processing plantation materials such as timber and bamboo to produce innovative products which are competitive in the global market,” he said.
Awang Tengah is also the Minister for International Trade, Industry and Investment (Mintred) and Second Minister for Natural Resources and Urban Development.
Since the timber industry has been identified as one of the important economic sectors to transform Sarawak into a developed State by 2030, he added that as a supplier of tropical timber to the global market, it is important to ensure Sarawak’s timber products meet the climate change mitigation agenda.
He reminded how consumers will continue to demand eco-friendly products which has lower carbon footprint, coming from sustainable and legal sources, strong local community participation, innovative and competitive in pricing.
“The industry has more potential to be further developed by capitalising and aligning itself with the global business environment.
“The Sarawak government has aligned itself through its development policies such as developing and using clean and renewable energy, hydrogen economy, carbon sequestration capture and trading, forest plantation, digital economy and Post Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030 (PCDS2030).
“The State has also amended the Land Code and Forest Ordinance to regulate and facilitate carbon capture, sequestration and trading in Sarawak,” he added. — DayakDaily