Unimas, Takasago tie-up to establish 10ha `educational forest’ in the campus

Awang Tengah planting the first tree for the Takasago-Unimas Educational Forest as Tabuchi (fourth right) looks on.

KOTA SAMARAHAN, Oct 6: Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) has allocated 10 hectares within its campus for the setting up of an educational forest of about 600 trees for research and training purposes.

This is made possible with the corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative of Japanese engineering company Takasago Thermal Engineering Co Ltd (Takasago) and the Japan-Malaysia Association, who have been actively conducting reforestation programmes with the state Forest Department since 1995.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said their efforts were greatly appreciated by the state government because it had always been the state’s aspiration to promote the importance of forest conservation through education.

“I was informed that since February this year, Takasago and Unimas had agreed to establish an educational forest with the aim of establishing an exemplary model forest for teaching, researching and training of young generations towards promoting efforts in conserving the tropical forest of Sarawak,” he said at Unimas this morning.

Awang Tengah told those present that Sarawak was committed to ensuring that its forest resources would be sustainably managed to meet the demands of the present and future generations.

Awang Tengah speaking during the Takasago-Unimas Educational Forest opening ceremony at Unimas

This, he added, would be translated as ensuring the perpetuity of the forest resources for environmental protection and also for the socio-economic benefit of the community.

“To ensure that happens, the state government has set up a policy for long-term forest concessions to obtain forest management certification.

“Forest management certification is an important tool for us to promote and communicate our commitment to sustainable forest management to the global, national and local communities,” he pointed out.

Tabuchi speaking during the Takasago-Unimas Educational Forest opening ceremony at Unimas

Meanwhile, Takasago’s International Business Headquarters chief executive officer Jun Tabuchi said the company was committed to the CSR programme for at least the next five years.

“All these trees would be a reminder for us of our commitment towards sustainability and to protect the beautiful nature of Sarawak and the planet,” he said. — DayakDaily