KOTA KINABALU: With two additional reserves meeting international standards for well-managed forests, Sabah now leads in certified forest coverage in the South-East Asian region.
The two areas – Trusan Sugut and Ulu Kalumpang-Mt Wulldersdorf – were added by the Sabah Forestry Department recently after being certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
Its director Datuk Sam Mannan said with these additions, Sabah now has a total of 746,564.91ha in fully certified forest reserves, with 675,691.68ha under natural forest management and 70,873.23ha in tree plantations.
Trusan Sugut is a Class 1 Forest Reserve covering a total of 8,680ha and is located in Beluran district, he said.
It consists of several unique areas such as lowland mixed dipterocarp forests, freshwater swamps, mangroves and beach forest, providing a haven for rare, threatened and endangered mammals and birds.
The Ulu Kalumpang-Mt Wullersdorf reserve is in Kunak district and covers an area of 64,953.74 ha.
It is an important water resource for Tawau and Kunak districts, Mannan said, adding that this reserve is mainly lowland dipterocarp forests, last logged in 1986.
He said both reserves successfully met the FSC’s requirements and have now been certified as well-managed forests for a five-year period from May 16 this year until May 15, 2022.
The department is now in the process of getting several other managed forests certified under the FSC within the next three years.