One million hectares of planted forests by 2025, says Awang Tengah

Awang Tengah (second right) presenting a certificate of excellence to a Pusaka staff, witnessed by Pusaka general manager Hashim Bojet (second left), Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Integrity and Ombudsman) Datuk Talip Zulpilip (right) and Assistant Minister of International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais.

KUCHING, Oct 16: The state government has set 2025 as the deadline to achieve its goal of one million hectares of planted forests.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said on top of that, they are also targeting one million hectares of totally protected area (TPA) forests by 2020 and remained committed to increasing the total area of Permanent Forest Estate (PFE) from the current 4.3 million hectares to six million hectares in Sarawak.

Speaking at the Pusaka Integrity Day 2019 event here today, Awang Tengah said Sarawak’s total export of logs and timber products has dropped to RM3.5 billion for Jan to Sept this year, compared to RM3.95 billion last year.

“The decreased of about 12 per cent is due to the global economic slowdown. However, Japan remains as the top export destination. Sarawak’s major export markets are Japan (RM1.7 billion), India (RM394 million), Middle East (RM327 million), Taiwan (RM239 million) and Korea (RM193 million).

“The main timber products exported out of Sarawak are plywood (RM1.8 billion), logs (RM547 million), sawn timber (RM451 million), fibreboard (RM264 million) and veneer (RM72 million),” he added.

Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan

Meanwhile, he urged industry players to be competitive in the global market by generating value-added products, upgrading their technologies and adopting innovation.

“These players need to upgrade their machinery and embrace technology in order to move forward. They cannot forever rely on natural forests. So, they have to make some adjustment if they want to continue to compete,” he added. — DayakDaily