KUCHING: The Sarawak Forestry Corporation and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) will collaborate on research and development (R&D) towards the development of planted forests and the sustainable management of forest resources in the state.
Both parties recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the collaboration, which will last for a period of five years.
The MoU covers R&D activities on forest genomics, biotechnology and tree improvement geared towards enhancing planted forests as well as conservation.
Sarawak Forestry managing director Datuk Cheong Ek Choon, who signed on behalf of the corporation, said the research would benefit the forest industry.
We hope to strengthen our scientific resources and contribute towards sustainable forest management, he added.
Deputy general manager of applied forest science and industry development Nigel Lim said the R&D would focus on two fast-growing indigenous tree species, kelampayan and sawih, for the states planted forests.
In addition, researchers will also study the commercial species of kapur bukit and meranti sarang punai to ensure their sustainability.
Unimas acting vice-chancellor Dr Khairuddin Abdul Hamid said researchers from the resource science and technology faculty would be directly involved in the joint R&D programme.
It brings us closer to the industry and gives opportunities for our researchers to conduct applied R&D that is relevant to the needs of the industry, he said.