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S'wak timber output to reduce
Published on: Wednesday, November 04, 2015
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Kuching: Sarawak's timber production is expected to decrease this year following the state government's policy to reduce natural forest felling.Assistant Minister in Sarawak Chief Minister's Office (Promotion of Technical Education), Datuk Len Talif Salleh said last year Sarawak produced almost nine million cubic meters of timber.

"The Sarawak Forest Department is monitoring 425 timber licensees in the state including six major companies.

"If any of these companies are involved in illegal logging or not complying with their licence conditions, it (licences) could be revoked," said Len who represented Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Adenan Satem at the opening of the International Heart of Borneo Corridor Project Implementation Workshop here Tuesday.

Earlier, in his speech, Adenan said in recent years, the media, international organisations, civil societies, domestic and foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) had alleged massive destruction of forests, peat land and wetlands due to logging and large-scale expansion of oil palm cultivation in Sarawak. – Bernama

The text of his speech was read by Len on behalf of the chief minister.

"Ironically, these NGOs failed to report that Sarawak still has 84 per cent of its land mass under forest cover compared with 48 per cent in South America, 44 per cent in Europe, 33 per cent in North and Central America and 20 per cent in Africa," said Adenan. Under Sarawak's Land Use Policy, 56 per cent of Sarawak's land must remain under forest and one million hectares were reserved as Totally Protected Area for conservation of biodiversity and protection of ecosystem.

"We allocated six million hectares to generate revenue from the management of forest resources and have formulated new policies to improve forest management and conservation," he said.

Meanwhile, Sarawak Forest Department Director Sapuan Ahmad said all timber companies were cooperating well with the department.

"They have pledged and we are monitoring their activities," he said, adding that six major timber companies controlled about 65 per cent of the timber concession in Sarawak. – Bernama




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