Forest harvesting plays a major role in Sarawak's economy. It provides jobs,
alleviates poverty in rural areas and helps to reduce the spread of shifting cultivation.
The mangrove forest was the first to be commercially harvested - for poles and charcoal - before work began in the other types of forests. Systematic harvesting in peat swamp forest started only in the '50s followed by hill mixed dipterocarp forests in the '70s.
Forest harvesting is presently carried out in the permanent forest estate and state land forests. In the permanent forest estate, prescriptions in the forest management plan are implemented and followed. The control of yield of harvest on an annual basis is carried out using the annual coupe system.
As for the harvesting of hill forests in the remote and difficult terrain regions of Sarawak, the Forest Department encourages the timber operators to adopt helicopter harvesting in their operations.
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