THE Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Research Institute of Tropical Forestry (RITF), Chinese Academy of Forestry (CAF) to establish and strengthen their cooperation in the field of tropical forestry and plantation research.
The MoU incorporates provisions for effective research, development and extension activities for tropical forestry and plantation establishment for selected valuable forest tree species; namely, Eurycoma longifolia (Tongkat Ali), Santalum album (Pokok Cendana) and Eucalyptus species (kayu putih) including hybrids.
FRIM director-general Datuk Dr Abd Latif Mohmod signed the MOU on behalf of the Malaysian Forestry Research and Development Board while RITF-CAF was represented by its director Dr Xu Daping.
The signing ceremony was held in Guangzhou, China, in conjunction with the Sixth Asia Pacific Association of Forestry Research Institutions (Apafri) General Assembly and the Dr Y.S. Rao Forestry Research Award 2012 presentation ceremony.
According to Abd Latif, RITF-CAF is an institution with strong research capacity, undertaking national and international science and forestry studies especially cross-regional projects including development of forest plantations.
Founded in 1962, RITF is one of the branch institutes of CAF focusing on tropical forest cultivation, protection, utilisation and sustainable management.
The institute has contributed enormously to the development of Valuable Tree Species plantations in China.
Abd Latif also expressed hope that the FRIM-RITF collaboration will help to accelerate the development of forest plantations, species selection, and plantation productivities in Malaysia.
He was re-elected to the Chair of the Apafri Executive Committee for another term from 2012 to 2015.
Abd Latif was first elected as the chairman at the Fifth Apafri General Assembly held in Kuala Lumpur on Oct 4, 2009.