KUALA LUMPUR: The International Timber Trade Organisation (ITTO) has agreed to provide US$1.26mil (RM4.79mil) to fund two projects on conservation and sustainable management of Malaysias forests.
The projects are the Transboundary Biodiversity Conservation programme at the Pulong Tau National Park in Sarawak and the Conservation of Biological Diversity Through Sustainable Forest Management Practices in Temenggor, Perak.
The funding of the projects was announced by ITTO executive director Dr Manoel Sobral Filho at the opening of a three-day international conference on Sustainable Management of Tropical Forests-Private Sector Experiences here yesterday.
He said that Malaysia was one of the biggest beneficiaries of ITTOs fund because of the countrys outstanding job of conserving and bringing tropical forest under sustainable management.
He told a press conference that US$700,000 (RM2.66mil) would be for the Sarawak project and US$560,000 (RM2.13mil) for the other one.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Adenan Satem, who opened the conference, said Malaysia had benefited from many ITTO projects, which to date amounted to US$24.9mil (RM94.6mil).
He said Malaysia was fully committed to the principle of sustainable forest management.
By pursuing a balanced policy, we can use the natural resources for development while conserving the environment for the present and future generations, he said, adding that almost 60% of local land mass of 32.8mil hectares was forested.
He also said the role, commitment and efforts of the private sector in sustainable forest management was often misunderstood and not appreciated.
There are exemplary private groups who have observed good forest practices and are involved in reforestation, he said.
About 175 delegates from Africa, Latin America and Asia Pacific, including producers and buyers of timber products, field experts and representatives of government agencies are attending the conference.