KUCHING: In re-engineering forests revenues, the Sarawak government is looking at making carbon credit as a new source of revenue for the state.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said there is a lot of potential in the forests from a wider perspective and it does not even require the cutting of trees.
He explained that a carbon offset credit is equivalent to reduction of one metric ton of carbon dioxide or equivalent greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.
“The carbon offset credit immensely aids in promoting renewable energy options like solar energy, wind energy and in funding projects on nature conservation and reforestation,” he said during the Forest Department Sarawak’s 100th year anniversary gala dinner on Friday night.
As such, he said the state government recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Shell International on a carbon credit project as a new of source of revenue from the state’s forests.
“New carbon partners are needed in order to harness this new source of revenue and fund our Forest Landscape Restoration programmes,” he pointed out.
He said the state’s forests are an overlooked and undervalued asset, where in the future the Forest Department must spread its revenue base to a wider spectrum apart from the traditional and conventional royalties and taxes collected from logging operations.
“I am also pleased to note that the Forest Department is making improvement of the Chain of Custody process of timber by enhancing the verification and monitoring process.
“Royalty on standing tress will also be a new source of revenue which we are in the progress of consultation with various relevant industry players,” he pointed out.
The Sarawak Forestry Figure Award (Anugerah Tokoh Perhutanan Sarawak) was given to two recipients — Professor Emeritus Dr Eberhard F Bruenig and Datuk Dr Freezailah Che Yeom.
Dr Bruenig from Germany was a World Forester serving on Her Majesty Overseas Civil Service (HMOCS) as assistant conservator of forest in Sarawak Forest Department from 1954 till 1963. To date, he has written a total of 300 publications about the forests in the state.
Freezailah was awarded for his tireless efforts and dedication in contributing to the conservation and sustainable management of Malaysia’s forest heritage.
Also present were the Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and his wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Raghad Kurdi Taib.