DID you know that Sarawak is actually the biggest contributor to the Heart of Borneo initiative?
The Heart of Borneo region consists of 220,000km2 of rainforest – almost 1/3 of the entire island (roughly the size of the United Kingdom) — in Sarawak, Sabah, Brunei and Kalimantan, Indonesia.
The area is described as “one of the most biodiverse places on the planet with 52 new species discovered over the past five years alone and the area is still largely unexplored”.
Second Minister of Resource Planning and Environment Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said in terms of the conservation of flora and fauna in this Heart of Borneo initiative, the State is the largest contributor.
He pointed out that 80 per cent of the State is currently still under forest cover.
Datuk Amar Awang Tengah also stressed that the State Government has a clear policy and direction in forest management, with an aim for nearly six million hectares — half the State’s land mass — to be under permanent forest estate (PFE) and one million hectares to be totally protected areas (TPA) by 2020.
“Sarawak has been recognised by the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) as a role model for good forest management, and sourcing timber from PFEs will reduce our reliance on natural forests for timber,” he is quoted as saying.
The Minister also highlighted the State’s work to rehabilitate and conserve mangrove wetland parks, pointing out that the Kuching Wetland Park has received international recognition as a Ramsar site.
Work is also being conducted to rehabilitate the mangrove forests in Kuala Rejang.
Read more about Sarawak’s commitment to sustainable forest management here.
It is indeed reassuring that while we work to diversify Sarawak’s economy through the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), we are not forgetting our responsibility to conserve and protect the natural resources that our State has been blessed with.
The report from The Borneo Post:
Sarawak biggest contributor to Heart of Borneo
MIRI: As far as the ‘Heart of Borneo’, a collective green lung initiative, is concerned, Sarawak is its largest contributor in terms of the conservation of flora and fauna when compared to Sabah, Brunei and Indonesia.
The state has come a long way in forest management practices, beginning with the establishment of the State Forest Department in 1919.
Among others, the state government is eyeing one million hectares of totally protected areas (TPA) for national parks, wildlife sanctuaries
Second Minister of Resource Planning and Environment Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan said presently 80 per cent of the state, which spans 12.4 million hectares in total land mass, was still under forest cover.
He took foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to task for criticising the state’s forest policies without looking at the real picture on the ground.
He said allegations of Orang Utan destruction to make way for oil palm plantations were baseless.
“If one takes a London-Paris train, you can only see small islands of forest. Throughout the journey probably only about 10 per cent of the area are under forest cover,” he said here yesterday at a ceremony to present appointment letters to new Honorary WildLife Rangers.
Awang Tengah said Orang Utan habitats could only be
found in Semengok, Sebayau-Meludam, and Lanjak Entimau, and not throughout the state as wrongly painted by these NGOs.
He added that the state’s government had a clear policy and direction in forest management, and its aims were for nearly half of the state’s land mass (six million hectares) to be under permanent forest estate (PFE) and one million hectares under TPA by 2020.
“Sarawak has been recognised by the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) as a role model on good forest management, and sourcing timber from PFEs will reduce our reliance on natural forests for timber.”
The PFEs are expected to produce between 15 and 20 million cubic metres of timber for the state downstream industries and exports.
Awang Tengah said the state was also committed to conserving her rich flora and fauna.
As for mangrove wetland parks, their rehabilitation and conservation in Kuching division have been included as a Ramsar site – coveted conservation recognition.
There’s also a mangrove rehabilitation programme in Kuala Rejang.