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By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Jan 2: The streamlining of duties of Sarawak Forestry Department (SFD) and Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) was to ensure the sustainability of Sarawak’s forest resources.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said this at the press conference after witnessing the signing of handover duties in conjunction with the restructuring of SFD and SFC.
He said following the restructuring, SFD would focus on forestry issues such as replanting, management of permanent forests and timber industry.
“We want to have focus. We want to develop our timber industry. And it is within the ambit of Forest Department (after the restructuring).
“Before this, it was managed by SFCSB (Sarawak Forestry Corporation Sdn Bhd). To me, it is not such an ideal management. It must be done, monitored and supervised by SFD, not SFCSB,” said Abang Johari.
He said after the restructuring, SFD will focus on development and management of forestry and timber industry in Sarawak to ensure sustainability.
“…our forests must be sustainable. We must have sustainable forests and we must manage it properly including replanting. That is what we called Industrial Forestry Policy.
“We must have our permanent forest, as well as our planted forest. This have to be done by the authority. The authority is Forest Department (SFD).
“Forest Department is the authority that can look after and engage with the international community because forestry is a global issue, so what happens now is there is a focus in terms of managing our forests,” said Abang Johari.
He believed that forestry industry and timber industry were closely related and when all are under SFD, the department will be in a much easier position to ensure sustainability of the forests as well as the supply of raw material for timber industry.
Meanwhile, he said the re-structuring would allow SFC to focus on managing the national parks, natural reserves and protection of wildlife and endangered species.
“Our national parks are attractions to our tourists, so the assets of our national parks must be managed properly to ensure sustainability.
“We don’t want to have mass tourists. We want to have selected tourists where they can enjoy the assets that we have – our national parks as well as our wildlife,” he said.
Following the restructuring, SFC would also be entrusted to protect Sarawak’s endangered species and other species that are only endemic to Borneo. —DayakDaily