Putting S’wak on forest management world map
BINTULU: The opening of Sarawak Rainforest and SFM (Sustainable Forest Management) Discovery Centre at Bukit Kana and SFM certification for Anap-Muput FMU (Forest Management Unit) on Thursday will put Sarawak on the world map for tropical forest management.
Malaysian Timber Certification Council chairman Datuk Dr Freezailah Che Yeom said the centre would become a special reference project in the state to be followed by others especially in Malaysia.
“About 370 million hectares of forests in the world are reported to be under sustainable management and certified, out of which tropical forests account for only about five per cent.
“And most of these areas are in Malaysia. About 56 per cent of Malaysia’s land area is forested compared with the global forest cover of only 30 per cent. “Sarawak is therefore truly green with more than 60 per cent of its land under natural forests,” said Dr Freezailah during the official opening of the centre.
The centre is 20 kilometres from Sangan and accessible by road and river from Tatau. Travelling between Bintulu Airport and Sangan is approximately one hour.
The centre has a built up area of 1,025 square metres including an exhibition area to showcase the local natural history, tree and timber products, wildlife and its management interpretation, community life and craft with classroom, library, conference room, surau, landscaped play area and facilities for full board and lodging for up to 50 people in a modern permanent building equipped with electricity and running water.
According to Dr Freezailah, the protected forests are under serious stage of being sustainably managed.
“Two FMUs in Sarawak, Selaan Linau and Anap-Muput have been certified for sustainability under the MTCS (Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme),” he added.
He said the statistics are most exemplary and should make Malaysians proud though much work still remains to be done.
“In Anap-Muput we can see all the positive elements that contribute to success in the implementation of SFM.
“Good community relations and meaningful involvement of members of the local community have been nurtured and developed by Zedtee management,” he said.
He congratulated Zedtee management for being able to improve the local people’s lives and their livelihood through their special efforts and activities.
“As somebody once said, forestry is not really about trees. Forestry is about people and how forests may be sustainably managed, utilised and developed to contribute to human welfare and human well-being.
“Equally here in Anap-Muput, we can see efforts on the ground to ensure biodiversity conservation and protection with the support of local communities,” he said.
The centre in Bukit Kana is beautifully situated in the green wonderland and Dr Freezailah believed that it could offer so much and symbolise the aspirations and the future of forestry in the state through SFM and certification.
The centre was previously known as Bukit Kana Field Station and represents the realisation of the key strategy of the Development Plan of the ITTO Project of Model Forest management Area in Sarawak to provide a permanent facility for training programmes for planning least damaging harvesting operations and skill training of forest operators.