SARAWAK has been practising selective logging method recognised by international bodies, in which the quota of log production from Permanent Forest Reserves cannot exceed 9.2 million cubic metres per year.
Second Resource Planning and Environment Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan (BN-Bukit Sari) revealed this in the August House yesterday, saying timber licence holders were required to comply with the limit of annual coupe and annual production quota.
“The maximum limit for felling is seven to nine trees per hectare with tree measurement of not less than 45cm in diameter for non Dipterocap species and 60cm for Dipterocap species,” he explained in addressing concerns raised by Baru Bian (PKR-Ba Kelalan).
“Every licence holder is required to comply with the Pre-Felling Plan, Forest Engineering Plan, sustainable forest management and Environment Impact Analysis (EIA) aimed at reducing the negative impact on surrounding environment including wildlife.”
He said the state government had targeted six million hectares of land to be gazetted as Permanent Forest Reserves comprising natural forests (five million hectares) and forest plantations (one million hectare).
On Sustainable Forest Management, he said all trees under the felling limit must be maintained for natural regeneration and wildlife protection while preservation efforts will be enhanced with planting of more local species through the planting enrichment programme.
In addressing concerns raised by Dr Wong Hua Seh (DAP-Repok), Awang Tengah said that the government encouraged licence holders to apply for forest management certificate.
“If they successfully obtain the certificate, basically the government has agreed to extend their licence to 60 years,” he said.
In addition, Awang Tengah said the government also issued licence for commercial forest plantation in order to reduce dependency on natural forests and ensure adequate supply for timber industry.
“The government will continue to carry out more research and development activities to encourage forest plantation development to use local species.