SANDAKAN: Sabah is embarking on an independent monitoring effort of its forest logging operations as part of a full implementation of sustainable forest management in the state.
The state government through the Sabah Forestry Department yesterday signed a deal with Global Forestry Services (M) Sdn Bhd to conduct an independent third party auditing and monitoring in all Natural Forest Management harvesting areas under the Reduced Impact Logging (RIL) approach.
The statewide independent auditing, arguably, is the largest such undertaking in the country, if not South-East Asia, on logging monitoring, which Sabah is proud of,” department director Datuk Sam Mannan said after the signing of the agreement.
He said the agreement was in line with the mandatory directive to all long-term licensees to be certified under any credible internationally recognised certification system by 2014.
Mannan said the RIL compliance would be implemented on a progressive scale. It is planned for 90% of the compliance in 2010 and 100% compliance from 2011 onwards with training and on-the-spot improvement.
The agreement, which covers a period of five years (2010-2014), is financed by the state government and Yayasan Sabah Group, being the biggest forest licensee in the state, with approximately one million hectares under its management.
It is also an extension of the auditing and monitoring programme of the Malua Forest Reserve. Mannan was the signatory for the State Forestry Department while Global Forestry Services was represented by its director Dr Kevin Grace.
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