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June 30, 2011

Sabah has the Finest Forests


KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has been certified as having the biggest and best-managed forests in the country.

The Ulu Segama-Malua Forest Reserves (241,098ha) and Tangkulap-Pinangah Forest Reserves (50,070ha) were recently certified as well-managed forests under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification scheme by the Scientific Certification Systems (SCS).

The Deramakot Forest Reserve (55,139ha) and the Sabah Softwoods Sdn Bhd forest plantation area (27,313ha) are the other two FSC certified forest reserves, certified in 1997 and 2007 respectively.

The Deramakot Forest Reserve is also the first lowland mixed-dipterocarp tropical forest in the world to be certified under the FSC gold standard certification scheme and also the longest certified tropical rainforest globally.

The certificates for the Ulu Segama-Malua and Tangkulap-Pinangah forest reserves were presented to Sabah Foresty Department (SFD) director, Datuk Sam Mannan by SCS senior vice-president Dr Robert J Hrubes at the FSC general assembly gala dinner here.

In commending Mannan and his department for their efforts, Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman said Sabah had came a long way in its forest management journey.

“Switching from conventional ways of logging to sustainably harvesting timber was perhaps one of the most difficult decisions that the state government had to make.

“We were hugely dependent on timber for revenue.

“Opting for Sustainable Forest Management meant making sacrifices such as losing short-term monetary gains,” he said in his speech delivered by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.

Mannan said the department hoped to see five other forest reserves, covering an area of 200,000ha, to get the FSC certification two years from now.

The forest reserves were located in Sabah's interior in Trusmadi, Pinsupu, Ulu Kalumpang, Timimbang and the northern Banggi Island, he said, adding Trusmadi and Banggi Island would be community-run forest reserves.



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