@Green March/April 2022 | Page 27

March-April , 2022 | @ Forest



Pahang has largest forested areas

THE CELEBRATION of International Forest Day at the national level witnessed the handover of Forest Management Certificates ( MTCS ) to the Pahang State Government by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources ( KeTSA ). Until Feb 28 , 2022 , 1.5 million hectares of Pahang ’ s permanent forest reserves have been certified under MTCS .
KeTSA Minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan expressed his hope for the Pahang State Government , followed by other States , to continuously increase the number of certified forest areas , which are in line with sustainable forest management .
Pahang Menteri Besar Dato Sri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail said : “ At present , Pahang has 1.6 million hectares of permanent forest reserves ( HSK ). It has 2.04 million hectares of forested areas , representing 57 per cent of Pahang area , which is 3.6 million hectares .”
The size of this land has made Pahang the most significant contributor to the forest areas in Peninsular Malaysia . punishment as well as additional penalties for forest offence that threatens the environment “ The maximum fine for forest offence will be increased from RM500,000 to RM5,000,000 . The maximum jail sentence will be increased to seven to 20 years as a deterrent . I hope with the passing of this Bill in Parliament later , the National Forestry Act will be more effective ,” said Takiyuddin , urging all State governments to accept the amendments .
Sustainable forest management
He shared that Malaysia had implemented forest management certification under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme ( MTCS ) based on Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management ( MC & I SFM ) and Forest Stewardship Council ( FSC ).
Other than ensuring forest produce comes from good and established sources , implementing MC & I SFM certification will help protect water retention areas , water quality , and the environment . It also seeks to maintain the continuity of forest resources and increase the community ’ s economy .
“ To date , as many as seven Forest Management Units ( FMU ) in the Peninsula , namely the states of Kedah , Negeri Sembilan , Pahang , Perak , Selangor , Terengganu and Johor , involving an HSK area of 4.05 million hectares ; six FMUs in Sabah involving an HSK area of 0.20 million hectares ; and 17 FMUs in Sarawak involving an HSK area of 1.18 million hectares have been awarded Forest Management Certificates under the MTCS .
“ Meanwhile , the forest area certified under the FSC is 56,757 hectares involving one FMU in Terengganu and three FMUs in Sabah .
Greening Malaysia Programme
The 100 Million Tree-Planting Campaign , as part of the Greening Malaysia Agenda , was launched on Jan 5 , 2021 . With the support of the State governments , a total of 27.83 million trees have been successfully planted nationwide .
“ KeTSA urges all parties to continue to support and double their efforts to achieve the Malaysian Greening Agenda , which the government is actively implementing with the target of planting 100 million trees by 2025 ,” said Takiyuddin .
“ I also call for more community associations , non-governmental organisations and private sector to jointly engage and play a more active role in advancing this agenda .”
Financial incentives for State governments
Takiyuddin mentioned that the federal government had provided financial incentives , namely Ecological Fiscal Transfer ( EFT ) for Biodiversity Conservation , to help the State governments take more proactive actions to protect and conserve biodiversity and protected areas .
“ In addition , State governments are encouraged to apply for grants under the Natural Resource Conservation Trust Fund ( NCTF ) to further boost research and conservation activities in their respective States .”
Another form of incentive to the State government is through the REDD Plus Financial Framework ( REDD Plus Finance Framework-RFF ), which is being developed by KeTSA . The RFF will increase cooperation between the private sector and the State government in channelling funds to forest conservation and forest management activities .
Takiyuddin said : “ The implementation of the REDD Plus mechanism will be an additional financial incentive to the State government to conserve , protect and manage forest resources in a sustainable manner .” — @ Forest