By Neville Timothy Sanders
THE FOREST (Amendment) Bill (2022) seeks to empower the director of forest with approval of the minister to issue licences for forest carbon activities in state land, permanent forests and alienated land that will lead to reductions in the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan explained that under the bill, a licence for forest carbon activities would be issued upon payment of the necessary fees and charges.
“After the licence is granted, the licensee will be conferred with the legal title to the carbon stocks or GHG that was created and the carbon credit units issued by a carbon standard in respect of emission reduction achieved by forest carbon activities.
“Under this licensing system, the legitimate interests of the licensee and those investing in forest carbon activities are protected by law,” he said.
Awang Tengah explained that the bill made it mandatory for any person to obtain a licence before undertaking any forest carbon activities.
“By this amendment, the state government will promote activities in our forests that will reduce the adverse impacts on climate change.
“This will be achieved through carbon sequestration and carbon sink, with carbon stocks thereby created,” he added.
“The verified carbon units will be registered in accordance with carbon standard rules that can be traded globally.
“The rules will also empower the state government to collect royalties, levies or taxes for or in connection with the forest carbon activities,” said Awang Tengah.