THE introduction of the Forests (Amendment) Bill 2022 is most timely because it will provide added incentive to speed up the reforestation policy to facilitate carbon trading.
Datuk Ding Kuong Hiing (GPS-Meradong) who spoke in support of the Forest (Amendment) Bill 2022 said that Sarawak relied heavily on timber harvesting for generating revenue in the last century.
“However, the Sarawak government has since embarked on industrial forest plantation since 1998. By issuing licences for planted forests covering 2.5 million hectares.
“Sarawak government has set the target of one million hectares to be planted by 2020 but unfortunately, we are still slightly behind the target.”
Ding also pointed out that the Sarawak government had a clear and well managed land use policy.
“Six million hectares were set aside for sustainable timber production and at the same time, geared towards creating a green and sustainable environment. Sarawak has the resources to make the Bills a success.”
He also said that as a signatory to the Paris Agreement 2015, Malaysia had committed to a reduction of greenhouse gas by 45 per cent by 2030.
“And I am glad that Sarawak is taking a positive step towards complementing our country’s effort by amending the Land Code (Amendment) Bill 2022 and Forest (Amendment) Bill 2022.”
Ding explained that with the carbon stock accumulated from our forest reserves, the state government stood to have a sustainable income for many years to come.
“With innovative financial manoeuvres through various taxes, dividends and revenue reengineering in the two-amendment Bills that were tabled, the Sarawak government is sure to achieve the target of becoming a high-income state by 2030.”