Malaysia has announced there will be no new licences issued for forest plantation projects.
Meanwhile, none of Malaysia’s states have been reported to have exceeded the annual felling quota set by the government or issued new licences for forest plantation projects, said the Federal Energy and Natural Resources Ministry which claimed that this was due to the government’s proactive action that focuses on protecting the country’s natural resources.
The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources homepage explained: “Under the Malaysian Constitution, forestry comes under the jurisdiction of the respective state governments. As such, each state is empowered to enact laws on forestry and to formulate forestry policy independently.
“The executive authority of the federal government only extends to the provision of advice and technical assistance to the states, training, the conduct of research and in the maintenance of experimental and demonstration stations.
“In order to facilitate the adoption of a coordinated and common approach to forestry, as well as reconcile cross-sectoral policies that interface with the forestry sector, a National Land Council was established.
“The aim of the council is to enable the federal and the state governments to discuss and resolve common problems and issues relating to forestry policy, administration and management, as well as to enhance cooperation between the federal and state governments, so as to ensure a coordinated approach in the implementation of policies and programmes related to forestry.”
In related news, the Sarawak government aims to establish one million hectares of forest plantation by 2025 to provide new sources of raw material for downstream industries. According to the state government, this will relieve pressure on natural forests and also to increase the state’s forest cover to reduce the greenhouse effect.
The change to utilise plantation logs is slow but steady as more plantations become ready for harvesting. An example can be seen with Ta Ann Holdings companies in Sarawak: The group raised its log production from planted forest by 63% to 50,319m3 in 2021.
Ta Ann’s forest plantation projects in Sarawak are mainly acacia mangium, but other species are planted including kelampayan, sawi, benuang and engkabang.