Forest management certification compulsory for all logging areas in Sarawak from 2022

Hamden (second from right) and WWF-Malaysia's Sarawak conservation head Jason Hon (right) looking at a display of Penan handicraft at the Kuba'an-Puak project finale workshop in Kuching.

KUCHING: All long-term forest timber licence areas in Sarawak must obtain forest management certification by 2022, says state Forest Department director Hamden Mohammad.

He said this was part of the state government's commitment to ensure that forests and their resources are managed in a sustainable manner.

Hamden added that to date, four out of 21 forest management units (FMUs) in Sarawak had been certified, covering a total area of 423,917ha.

“Ten years ago, we only had one area in Bintulu, the Anap Muput FMU covering about 84,000ha, which was certified. Within the last two or three years we managed to have another three FMUs certified.

“We hope that in the next two or three years, we are going to have a lot more forest areas certified,” he told reporters after opening the Kuba'an-Puak FMU project finale workshop here on Tuesday (Dec 4).

Hamden said timber companies were responsive towards the certification policy and were working hard to get their areas certified.

He said the state was making progress towards achieving the target, with a decision to be made in 2022 whether to revoke or cancel the licences of those who did not obtain certification.

In his speech earlier, Hamden said the Borlin FMU in the Kuba'an-Puak area in Ulu Tutoh, Baram would undergo certification by 2020.

He said the Kuba'an-Puak project, a collaboration between the Forest Department, WWF-Malaysia and other stakeholders, started in 2014 as a pilot project for sustainable forest management.

“Through this project, local communities, especially the Penans, are being nurtured in managing the forests of Kuba'an-Puak in a sustainable manner,” he said.

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