Forest Landscape Restoration part of state govt’s arsenal for sustainable forest devt

Hamden (front, centre) with AEON management team members at the tree planting restoration programme at Sabal Forest Reserve.

By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, Nov 10: Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) is widely promoted in Sarawak as a solution for reducing the global loss and degradation of forests.

Forest Department Sarawak director Datu Hamden Mohammad opined that the restoration programme will contribute to sustainable forest development in the state as it restores ecological, social and economic values, and the function of degraded landscapes.

“The Sarawak government has already planted 647 million trees within 541,404 hectares of land since 1995 and up until now.

“By restoring our forests, it will not only make the forest here vibrant but its ecosystem function naturally,” he added.

He said this during the ‘Tree Planting under Forest Landscape Restoration Adoption Programme’ with AEON Group and its associates at Sabal Forest Reserve, today.

Under this restoration programme, a target of 3,500 trees of Engkabang and other local species are to be planted under FLR tree planting. The trees will be planted in stages within 5 hectares of land at the Sabal Forest Reserve.

Hamden revealed that FLR is supported by the Sarawak government since 2017 and the chief minister also announced that in March this year that Sarawak is committed to forest restoration and he made it part of the state government’s agenda.

Today’s event also saw the launching of FLR at Sabal Agroforestry Centre.

Hamden explained that after the launching, Sarawak will plant the logged-over areas with high-value timber species, especially in degraded areas within permanent forest estates.

He also revealed his department is engaging with all stakeholders especially timber and planted forest licensees, national and international corporate partners and the public to participate in FLR in Sarawak.

Hamden disclosed that he has also issued a directive for restoration programmes to be established within all timber licence areas in January 2019 and for the licensees to comply with Forest Management Unit (FMU) Certification by 2022.

“As part of Forest Department Sarawak’s 100th anniversary, we want to ensure that our state has all the greenery and our forests are managed sustainably for the betterment of our future generations,” he added.

Head of the Special Taskforce Team for Combating Illegal Logging, Ministry of Urban Development and Natural Resources, Lt. General (retired) Datuk Stephen Mundaw, and Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd (ACSB)’s Chief Business Officer Ajith Jayaram, General Manager (Public Relations) Faizal Hamzah, and Regional Manager for East Malaysia Region, Tang Yuk Wan were among those present. — DayakDaily