Forest director: Reduced Impact Logging guidelines in S’wak on par with global standards

Hamden (centre, not facing the camera) and others during a Zoom session with Cammeart. – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (Oct 30): The current Reduced Impact Logging (RIL) guidelines for Sarawak are on a par with the global standards certified by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), said Datu Hamden Mohammad today.

The state Forest Department director said the RIL guidelines for Sarawak were formulated way back in 1999, based on two global collaboration projects.

The two projects were the Model Forest Management Area (MFMA) with the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) from 1993 to 1996 and Forest Management Information System (FOMISS) with the Malaysian-German Technical Cooperation from 1995 to 2001.

“With these two projects, we have come up with very comprehensive guidelines for RIL in Sarawak. We ask all licensees in Sarawak to use these guidelines,” he told a press conference after launching a sharing session on ‘Revised RIL Guidelines for Sarawak’ at a hotel here.

Hamden said the department, in ensuring that the state’s RIL guidelines were on a par with the global standards, had approached the FAO for assistance.

“We ask FAO to support us in terms of funding and technical aspects. We want to ensure that the existing guidelines that we have now are of world standards.

“There are gaps here and there that we need to rectify, we need to do more studies. Overall, our standards that we have now are acceptable by the global community,” he said.

Earlier, Bruno Cammeart, a representative from the FAO-European Union Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (EU FLEGT) Programme, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, through the Zoom platform, said the revised RIL guidelines for Sarawak had complied with the international practices.

“I believe the implementation of the revised RIL guidelines will have a significant impact on the forest management in Sarawak and contribute to climate change mitigation,” said Cammeart, who is based in Bangkok, Thailand.

To this, Hamden said: “FAO officer Bruno Cammeart received our revised guidelines and they sent it to the headquarters in Rome. He said, yes, if these are the guidelines that Sarawak implements, our forest management in Sarawak is on a par with the standards used at the international level.”

It is understood that the scope of RIL will cover all pre-harvesting activities, felling of trees, extraction of the logs to the log landing inside the logging block and the loading of the logs to the logging trucks for transportation to the Collection and Distribution Centre (CDC).

RIL is defined as an intensively planned and carefully controlled implementation of timber harvesting operations that support the goal of sustainable forest management.

It is aimed at minimising forest damage and adverse environmental and social aspects while promoting operational efficiency and economic viability.

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