Director: Forest Dept-FRIM MoU can stimulate research exchange

Hamden (2nd from right) accompanies Abang Johari visiting exhibition booth at the seminar.

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MIRI, Nov 4:  State Forest Department director Datu Hamden Mohammad asserts that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed today, with Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) will help to strengthen the State government and the department’s initiative towards engendering collaborative research.

Hamden expressed his gratitude to his counterpart in FRIM for the collaboration especially in providing the framework towards creating and intensifying cooperation between FRIM and the Forest Department in the control and management of pest and disease. This will ensure the vitality and optimum yield production from Sarawak’s timber forests.

We hope that this collaboration with FRIM will expand to other disciplines and areas such as tree breeding, sustainable forest management (SFM), and many more, and definitely, this collaboration will bring a very positive outcome to the Sarawak Industrial Forest Plantation,” he said.

Another MOU was also signed between Forest Department Sarawak and 13 Licence For Planted Forests (LPF) license holders to enhance the previous collaboration that I have mentioned earlier, he disclosed during the opening ceremony on Industrial Forest plantation seminar in Miri.

Hamden is hoping that the MOU also will help to address the gaps in R & D and knowledge sharing among the industries.

The State Government understands that R&D needs continuous funding and always willing to support research and innovation that can contribute to improving the performance of our industrial forests, he said.

Under 11th Malaysia Plan, a project entitled “Establishment of Centre of Excellence for Planted Forest R&D in Sarawak” has been approved with the aims to fast track R&D and to establish a Centre of Excellence for planted forest R&D in the State so as to provide support to the LPFs.

Under this project, the MOU for Planted Forests R & D collaboration with LPF holders was signed by the State Government through Sarawak Forestry Corporation in 2016,” he said.

The collaborative research was formed as a principal platform of a joint-collaboration which 11 companies were participating namely Ta Ann, Samling, Shin Yang, Jaya Tiasa, Polima, Limba Jaya, Zedtee, Billion Venture, Subur Tiasa, WTK, and Tanjong Manis Resources.

This collaborative research programme was previously referred to and dubbed as the Planted Forest Research Programme (PFRP).

The goals for the research collaboration were, firstly, and in the medium term, identify species and seed sources which are suited to the wide range of site types in Sarawak as well as demonstrate the gains through improved silviculture, and secondly, and in the longer term, support a tree breeding (or tree improvement) programme to develop improved planting materials that are best suited to local conditions.

This project is going to be continued in the 12th Malaysia Plan and the project scopes will be expanded to cover the gaps in the PFRP programme.

The department has put up a continuation project proposal for fund bidding under Sarawak Economic Action Council (SEAC).

The State Government understand that R&D needs continuous funding and always willing to support research and innovation that can contribute to improving the performance of our industrial forests.

Also present at the launching of the seminar were Second Minister of Urban Development and Natural Resources (II) Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, Minister for Transport Sarawak Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Assistant Minister of Urban Development and Resources Datu Len Talif Salleh, Assistant Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Sebastian Ting, Telang Usan Assemblyman Dennis Ngau and Lambir Assemblyman Ripin Lamat. – DayakDaily