Message from the Director
The year 2013 was a significant year for Forest Department Sarawak when the forestry sector continued to play a major role in the state’s socio-economic development. A total of RM593 million in forest revenue was collected in 2013.
The expectations on Sarawak to manage and conserve its forest and wildlife sustainably have expanded globally as issues on climate change and others have put Sarawak in the limelight over the years. The challenges ahead as we move towards being a developed state require expanding our networking, active involvement of stakeholders and forming new partners in forestry management and wildlife conservation. The involvement of other governmental agencies, private companies and local communities in forest management and wildlife conservation programs were also highly appreciated.
Despite claims by irresponsible parties that Sarawak forests are extensively deforested, 84% of our forests are still under forests cover. The State Government has set 6 million hectares under Permanent Forest Estates for sustainable timber production while another 1 million as Totally Protected Areas (TPAs). Presently, a total of 809,900.70 hectares of lands were successfully gazetted as TPAs in 2013. On the other hand, the establishment of 1.0 million hectares of planted forests as a long-term strategy of the State towards providing an alternative and reliable source of wood materials for wood-based industries in Sarawak is actively being pursued. An area of 471, 892 hectares has been planted with fast growing species throughout the State in 2013.
Forest Department has been entrusted by the State to ensure the successful implementation of the Sarawak Heart of Borneo (HoB) Intitiative. The HoB is a transboundary collaboration project between Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei to conserve and manage the tropical forests that traverse these three countries. We had the honour of hosting the working visit of the Chief Minister of Sarawak YAB Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud to the Orangutan High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF), Ulu Menyang, Batang, Lubok Antu on the 7 October. The visit reflected the State’s commitment towards Sustainable Development and Conservation within HoB Sarawak.
The year 2013 also saw many important events in the Department, namely the annual World Forestry Day 2013 on March 17th , with the theme ‘Forest for Community’, which was officially launched by the Chief Minister of Sarawak, YAB Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud at Belawai, Tanjung Manis. Other events included the World Wetland Day 2013 with the theme ‘Wetland- take care of water” at Sungai Lemidin, Kuching on February 19th , the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Seminar held at Kompleks Maritim Tun Abang Salahudin (KOMTAS), Kuching on October 30th and the National Training on Social Forestry Conflict Management and Local Engagement held in Kuching on December 6th.
Our research team has also been actively documenting the rich flora and fauna of the State. Botanical collections were done at various national parks and sites of high conservation values.
The Forest Department Website was rated 5-star for Malaysia Government Portal/Website Assessment (MGPWA) 2013 by Multimedia Development Corporation (MdeC), Malaysia.
The Department is currently preparing its Strategic Plan: 2013-2020 which will provides the platform for achieving our vision, mission statement and addressing the global expectations. I am confident that with the commitment and diligence shown by the our staff, we will achieved our vision and mission as an agency of excellence by playing its role in sustainably managing and developing tropical forest and resources in the State.
On a concluding note, I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to all the staff of the Forest Department Sarawak for their dedication and hard work in working together to achieve the results for this year.
TUAN HAJI SAPUAN AHMAD
DIRECTOR OF FORESTS