RM7bil forest revenue seen via industrial tree plantations
Published on: Monday, January 24, 2022
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The GRS State Government, through Sabah Forestry, is initiating Industrial Tree Plantations (ITPs) which will not only be an economic game-changer but is crucial for conservation and sustainability.  Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Hajiji Haji Noor said planting trees in areas degraded by logging activities, would go a long way in achieving a carbon-neutral nation as early as 2050. 

“This effort is in line with the Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is indeed an innovative initiative on the part of the private sector in the timber industry and I wish to congratulate them for taking the lead in making this bold investment,” he said.

Hajiji said ITPs are an innovative public-private partnership between the State Government and the timber industry to reduce and relieve pressure on tropical timber and forest.

“The ITP initiative has higher yield and shorter gestation period, which will be a game-changer to reviving Sabah’s timber industry to its former peak production of 12 million cubic metres in the 1980s. The private sector in Sabah will plant 80 million trees in 10 to 12 years with an investment of RM4 billion. Based on industry input, the establishment of 400,000ha of forest plantation can create potential employment of 40,000 skilled and semi-skilled employees in the upstream sector. 

“Another 40,000 in the downstream forest industries will be created when planted timber starts to flow,” he said. 

Hajiji said the ITP is projected to earn RM7 billion per year from the export of the timber products. In line with this, he said they must ensure that the timber industry is sustainable for future generations and for the industry. 

The Sabah Forestry Department, as the conservator of the forest, is tasked with monitoring the implementation of the ITP to ensure environmental sustainability and governance of the forest, he said.

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