Sadu is set to curb illegal logging – Hamden

Datu Hamden Mohammad

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By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Jan 4: The Sarawak Forest Department (SFD) is confident that it will be able to curb illegal logging in Sarawak with the operation of the Sarawak Aerial Detection Unit (Sadu), said SFD director Datu Hamden Mohammad.

He said Sadu is now fully operational after overcoming a few technical glitches.

“We have acquired the team to operate Sadu into an effective monitoring unit. So with this unit up and running, we hoped that we could curb illegal logging totally or at least putting it to a very minimal level

“Based on 2019 and 2020 records, the illegal logging rate is very much down now because of the usage of technology, which boosts our efforts to monitor and prevent illegal logging.

“Overall, illegal logging is under control. We will continue to strengthen our operations against illegal logging,” Hamden told DayakDaily here today.

He added that Sadu is manned by a team of experts which not only use the special plane but also drones.

The main asset of Sadu is the specially aircraft imported from Austria in collaboration with two other countries, namely Finland, as a supplier of hyperspectral sensors and Canada as the supplier of air monitoring sensors.

“This involves the development of a customised airborne system equipped with mission equipment based on mission requirements such as monitoring and mapping of natural resource areas,” said Hamden.

He added that the modular design applied in the system allows it to be adapted to multiple sensor payload (multiple sensor payload configuration) and has the flexibility to be combined with the components of the information delivery system (telemetry and tactical information delivery system) in various operating environments.

Hamden said, his department had trained its manpower from 2016 to 2019 and established a special technical work team that could handle hyperspectral technology for the air mission in terms of operations as well as production of final information to end-users.

“Apart from being used in air enforcement missions and management of the country’s natural resources, Sadu provides assistance in terms of geospatial information in the event of natural disasters such as floods, forest fires, national border monitoring and other missions to other government agencies in Sarawak, Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia,” said Hamden. — DayakDaily