S’wk Land and Survey Dept, Malaysian Space Agency ink MOU to produce land cover maps, survey continental shelf

Abang Johari (back row, third right) and others witness the MoU exchange between Abdullah (front row, left) and Azlikamil at LANDAS dinner at BCCK Kuching on Feb 3, 2023. Photo credit: Ukas livestream

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By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, Feb 4: Sarawak Land and Survey Department (LANDAS) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Malaysian Space Agency (MYSA) for sharing information including satellite image data with a resolution of 1.5 meters to produce the latest land cover maps.

Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg was present to witness the MoU signing and exchange ceremony during the LANDAS Summit 2023 dinner held at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here last night.

The collaboration signified that LANDAS is now embarking on a new role to conduct surveys on the State’s continental shelf, which is in line with the amendment of the Sarawak Land Code that seeks control over Sarawak’s airspace, the emission of carbon dioxide and possible monetisation of carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS).

“The Singaporean Minister of Trade and Industry (Gan Kim Yong) during my Singapore visit recently said the Malaysian government has not really studied in detail on CCUS.

“So I told the Malaysian Minister of International Trade and Industry Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz that Sarawak has done it and we went to London to know how to charge carbon that is stored through Verified Carbon Standard (Verra) agency which is sanctioned by the United Nations (UN).

“These are new resources which is related to land. That is why I think this cooperation between LANDAS and other agencies are important because LANDAS’ task must be in tandem with the new economy.

“Everything is on land. Even though we store (carbon) in the continental shelf, it is also land. The only difference is that this one is submerged and the other one is that you can see it on the surface,” he said in his speech.

Abang Johari who is also Minister of Urban Development and Natural Resources I, further said that surveying work on continental shelf would be done through remote sensing.

“I don’t know at what depth you can get the data but I am sure you can see the underneath or what is happening below our land surface,” he added.

Amongst those present were Deputy Premier-cum-Minister of Urban Development and Natural Resources II Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan; Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian; Deputy Minister of Urban Development and Natural Resources Datuk Len Talif Salleh; Deputy Sarawak Secretary (Administration) Datu Buckland Bangik; Ministry of Urban Development and Natural Resources (MUDENR) permanent secretary Datu Zaidi Mahdi; LANDAS director Datu Abdullah Julaihi; MYSA director-general Azlikamil Napiah and Sarawak Energy chief executive officer Datu Sharbini Suhaili. — DayakDaily