Sarawak govt, Japanese institution forge partnership for sustainable forest management research

The exchanging of MoU between Hamden (second right) and Dr Kimoto (second left) witnessed by NIES Biodiversity Division director Dr Yamano Hiroya (left) and Sarawak Forests deputy director Semilan Ripot in Tsukuba, Japan on Dec 1, 2023.

KUCHING, Dec 2: The Sarawak government, represented by the Forest Department Sarawak (FDS), has formalised a significant partnership by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Japan’s National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) with aim to advance research activities related to Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) in Sarawak.

According to a media release, the MoU plays a crucial role in shaping effective methodologies for assessing and implementing essential functions and services of forest ecosystems.

This strategic move aligns with the global biodiversity frameworks outlined in the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).


Preceding the official signing in Tsukuba, Japan yesterday (Dec 1), the involved parties engaged in a symposium organised by NIES Japan, titled ‘Bilateral Collaboration Research Towards SFM in Sarawak’.

During his keynote address, Forest Department Sarawak director Datu Hamden Mohammad emphasised the government’s commitment to establishing a robust research foundation.

“This commitment involves adopting innovative approaches and leveraging cutting-edge technology to enhance and support the sustainable management of Sarawak’s forests,” he said.

NIES Japan president Dr Kimoto Masahide expressed that the shared goal of Japan and Sarawak in creating a sustainable society aligns perfectly with their joint research efforts focused on sustainable forest management in Sarawak’s tropical forests.

“The commitment we make today will undoubtedly strengthen the connection between both parties, paving the way for valuable teamwork, innovation, and mutual development,” he added.

The areas of cooperation encompass various aspects, including research activities for Sustainable Forest Management, forest ecosystem and biodiversity conservation, establishment of standard research methodology for Permanent Sample Plot network, documentation and handling of research data and other information, joint data analysis, enhancement of scientific writing skills, joint publication of findings, improvement of research competencies and more.

The symposium featured a keynote lecture by Emeritus Professor Kanehiro Kitayama of Kyoto University, along with presentations of six papers by researchers highlighting the importance of scientific data and scientific-based information in supporting the Sarawak government in decision-making and policy formulation. — DayakDaily