Federal govt pledges to initiating forest inventory programme in Sarawak

Xavier (left) speaking during a press conference held at Miri airport on Wednesday evening. Also present was Teo (centre) and Voon (right).

MIRI, Sept 27: The federal government is committed to starting a forest inventory programme in Sarawak.

Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister, Dr Xavier Jayakumar disclosed such a programme is crucial not only for sustainable forest management but also for economic prosperity and environmental sustainability.

Dr Xavier said this upon his arrival at Miri airport on Wednesday evening.

Thus, he hopes that the state government would collaborate with their federal counterparts in order to embark on the programme.

Dr Xavier is in Miri for the four-day 12th Heart of Borneo (HoB) Trilateral Meeting.

HoB involves three countries, namely Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.

The meeting will be launched on Thursday (Sept 27) morning at Miri Marriott Resort and Spa.

Also present at Miri Airport to receive Dr Xavier arrival was Miri MP, Dr Michael Teo and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) National Women vice-chief Voon Shiak Ni.

“…With the budget that we have, we are planning to support the forest inventory programme in Sarawak; it will start in zones, as this state is huge,” he said.

Xavier added that he understands that as three nations (Sabah, Sarawak and West Malaysia) founded Malaysia, each has its own laws or ordinances pertaining their own forest regulation.

“To go out as a nation we must have one ‘book’ (referring to the law or ordinance) to cover these three nations (Sabah, Sarawak and West Malaysia), and I hope Sarawak government agrees with me..I’m not trying to change up totally, as it up to the state how to manage sustainable forests,” he explained.

“I hope we can work together for sustainable forests and going into reforestation programmes.”

He added, through reforestation programmes, planting can take place and the Sarawak government can help the federal government by listing out state land that has been deforested for reforestation programmes.

Citing Indonesia’s success venturing into the green finance market, Xavier said, a forest inventory programme can offer value for money as it is a commodity.

“Indonesia has been hailed as the first ‘sovereign green sukuk’ in the world; the country (Indonesia) has been issuing a ‘green’ Islamic-compliant bond (sukuk),” he explained.

The green sukuk is a form of innovative financing to combat climate change. — DayakDaily