By Geryl Ogilvy
KUCHING, March 7: The state government is embarking on a reforestation-based, integrated value chain commercial project in collaboration with Edge Global Norway AS.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Sarawak government and the Norwegian company, which outlined the broad terms of the cooperation to carry out activities such as ecosystem mapping, baseline emission studies, carbon stock assessments and soil condition analysis.
This to determine the optimum methodologies for the restoration, conservation or enhancement of areas agreed between both parties for the purpose of carbon trading that satisfies health, safety, environmental and financial requirements.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the state recognised that in an increasingly climate mitigation focused world, together with recent technology development, had enabled the creation of new business models.
This includes reforestation initiatives, sustainable management of forests and existing lands with increased value creation through conversion of biomass into higher value products.
“The proposed collaboration is in line with the state government’s land use policy and reforestation initiatives.
“The state had targeted six million hectares for sustainable timber production, including one million hectares of industrial forest plantation, one million hectares as totally protected areas and four million hectares for agriculture.
“The objective of the industrial forest plantation is to reduce pressure over the natural forest and to ensure a sustainable supply of raw material for the timber industry. With the collaboration, we can work out how to replant our forests,” he said at the MoU signing ceremony at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here today.
Ministry of Urban Development and Natural Resources’ Permanent Secretary Datu Dr Wan Lizozman Wan Omar signed on behalf of the state government, while Sarawak Forest director Hamden Mohammad acted as witnessed. Edge Global Norway AS partner Tom Einar Jensen signed while Datuk Torstein Dale Sjotveit witnessed.
In his speech earlier, Jensen said the proposed reforestation project would turn underutilised land into sustainable, regenerative “biomass feedstock engine” for a bioconversion production facility.
“The envisaged project will have a dual purpose of regenerating and reforesting land, and providing marketable products for downstream value-added conversion while creating carbon offsets for trading,” he said.
The core underlying principle of the project is to engage with forests and underutilised land in a sustainable way that would create environmental, economic and social benefits, he continued. — DayakDaily