Sarawak On Track In Implementing Sustainable Forest Management

KUCHING: Sarawak is on track in implementing sustainable management of her forest while timber companies are getting their concessions certified.

Sarawak Forest Department director Hamden Mohammad said timber companies operating inside or near the Heart of Borneo (HoB) region have been responsive towards the government’s call to undertake forest management certification.

Yesterday, Hamden officiated at the Kuba’an-Puak Corridor Project Finale 2018 workshop, a project undertaken by Borlin Forest Management Unit (FMU), belonging to Ta Ann Group, and covering an area of about 360,000ha inside HoB between Mulu National Park, Pulong Tau National Park and Guning Buda National Park.

I am glad to announce that Borlin FMU, also known as Kuna’an-Puak FMU, in Ulu Tutoh, Baram will be certified, Hamden said.

The Kuba’an-Puak programme started in early 2015 when WWF approached the Forest Department on the idea of linking the two totally protected areas of Gunung Mulu and Pulong Tau National Park by creating a corridor. The project was also supported by WWF Germany.

The idea was later manifested by Forest Department with WWF into the HoB, to showcase the project as a model for sustainable forest management in a tropical forest landscape where major elements of environment, friendly, economically successful and social are being translated on the ground.

Through the project, the Penans are being nurtured in managing the forest of Kuba’an-Puak in a sustainable manner.

Hamden said the project was conceived to create connectivity between protected areas within the HoB to ensure that certain wildlife populations can live across large areas and are not restricted.

He added that the Sarawak government had recently made a strong commitment to increase the HoB area from 2.1 million ha to 2.7 million ha, which further expands Malaysia’s HoB area into 6.8 million ha, which is equal to 30 per cent of HoB designated area.

It is important to form connectivity between protected areas in Sarawak and Sabah, and in Borneo as a whole.

While the government is working towards achieving its target of one million hectares of totally protected areas, production forests also have significant roles to play in conservation and to ensure the interest and needs of local communities are not neglected, he said.