Minister: Federal govt keen to cooperate with Sarawak govt on reforestation programme

Dr Xavier Jayakumar says effective sustainable forest management will add more value in promoting the country's oil palm industry in the global markets. ― Picture by Razak Ghazali
Dr Xavier Jayakumar says effective sustainable forest management will add more value in promoting the country's oil palm industry in the global markets. ― Picture by Razak Ghazali

MIRI, Sept 26 ― The federal government will discuss with the Sarawak state government on the implementation of the reforestation programme in the state as part of efforts to further improve sustainable forest management in the country.

Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar said effective sustainable forest management would add more value in promoting the country's oil palm industry in the global markets due to the misconception of deforestation caused by the oil palm plantations.

“Sustainable forest is the way we go forward, we are now embarking on a reforestation programme,”he said in a media conference held at Miri Airport, here today.

Dr Xavier arrived here to open the 12th Heart of Borneo (HoB) Trilateral Meeting involving officials related to forest management from Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei at a local hotel here tomorrow.

Hoping that the Sarawak government was positive with federal government initiated reforestation programme, he said, under the programme the state government could lease out deforested land for reforestation.

In a related development, he said, the federal government was planning to come up with forest inventory that covered the Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak to ensure more systematic sustainable forest management in the country.

He said the proposed inventory would provide comprehensive information on forest in the country by providing the exact figure of forest usage in the country in line with 1992 Rio Convention.

For the record, Malaysia is a signatory of the 1992 Rio Convention with the country pledging to maintain 50 per cent of land under permanent forest and tree cover. 

“Sarawak has started the inventory with small parcel of lands and based on zone,”he said adding that once the inventory completed Malaysia would have its own book of information on forest management.

He said, forest management was now a high value commodity since many environment-conscious investors were keen to invest in a country that protects and preserves its forest. ― Bernama

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