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KUCHING, Aug 2: Forest Department Sarawak (FDS) researchers and officers need to emphasise the mechanism of carbon storage and trade as another area of study, says Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Urban Development Datu Len Talif Salleh.
He said with more than 50 per cent of Heart of Borneo (HoB) land areas still covered with forests, they will become areas of critical importance for carbon storage.
“Hence, the HoB Initiative will be benefiting from the recent amendment to State Land Code and Forests Ordinance in the recent State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting in monitoring the activities of carbon in the State,” he said when officiating the HoB Scientific Expedition to Gunung Pueh Forest Reserve Seminar held at UCSI Hotel here today.
Len Talif further said that a broader definition of forest products by including forest carbon in the amendments of the Forest Ordinance would strengthen the forest management in the State apart from increasing the State revenue through the green economy.
“With the new development on carbon in the State, logging activities in the natural forests will gradually be minimised, and reforestation and restoration activities will be encouraged,” he added.
The HoB is a conservation agreement between Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia which covers 240,000 km2 of ecologically interconnected rainforest on the island of Borneo.
For Sarawak, the State government has identified approximately 2.7 million hectares for HoB, which covers approximately 26,000 km2 stretching from Tanjung Datu National Park at the far western point of Sarawak to Lawas, Limbang in the northern region. This made up almost 21 per cent of Sarawak’s total land mass.
On the Gunung Pueh Forest Reserve Scientific Expedition, Len Talif said the seminar would gather valuable scientific data and information from the research and be used to plan a strategy for conservation efforts in the area.
“The information can lead us in the utilisation of the species for economic and social development growth of the area,” he emphasised.
He also urged all FDS researchers and officers to utilise the findings and records of data and information as a basis for identifying research activities or programmes that need to be prioritised in the conservation effort of Gunung Pueh Forest Reserve.
Also present were FDS director Datu Hamden Mohammad and Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) chief executive officer Zolkipli Mohamad Aton. — DayakDaily