Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali Apong was among those present.
At the wrap-up session, Senior Forestry Officer at the MPRT’s Forestry Department Zaedi bin Haji Berudin alluded to the minister’s keynote address stating the objective of the conference which, among other things, aimed to promote knowledge-sharing and increase business activities that would contribute to economic growth.
He added that the conference explored the economic potentials of the forests that would support the country’s effort towards economic growth and diversification, while at the same time not undermining the ecological value of forests.
Thirteen topics were delivered during the two-day event, which were divided into three thematic topics: biodiversity and economy; green economy for sustainable future and research opportunities; and economic diversification and protection.
The senior officer said, “Thematic 1 discussed the important link between forest biodiversity and how it contributes to the economy. It was pointed out that forests and the biodiversity within provide direct economic benefits, mainly timber products, as well as indirect economic benefits, such as climate change mitigation and ecological services”.
“It was pointed out that our forests are under threat of deforestation and forest degradation that would somehow attribute to 11 per cent of global carbon emissions.
“In combatting this, Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) is crucial for the conservation, protection and utilisation of our forest resources, including the biodiversity within. In implementing SFM, it is important to have legislations and policies in place to serve as guiding principles in line with the three pillars of sustainability: balancing between social, environmental and economic needs.
“To promote the implementation of SFM, Forest Certification has been widely used. Forest Certification ensures that timber and timber products came from an origin that strictly adheres to the principles of SFM. Other than that, for the case of Malaysia, Forest Certification has contributed significantly towards its socio-economic development.
“Forest Certification also ensures minimal negative impact to the environment and safeguards biodiversity.
"A programme to reduce deforestation and forest degradation by taking advantage of the value of carbon through its investment was also highlighted in this thematic topic, known as REDD+. REDD+ creates financial value for the carbon stored in the forest.
"Through the programme, rewards are given to the recipient countries for conserving and enhancing forest carbon storage." - Borneo Bulletin/ANN