Forest (Amendment) Bill 2022 a boon to Sarawakians

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THE Forest (Amendment) Bill 2022 will be a boon to Sarawakians through participation in carbon trading.

Azizul Adenan (GPS-Tanjung Datu) said the passing of the proposed amendment would also project Sarawak towards a more sustainable environment in the future.

“The bill provides an option to entities or landowners and the state where they could maintain the forest as a carbon stock, which in turn, would increase their likelihood to plant or replant new trees in their land.

“Carbon storage or carbon credit could be monetised if needed and it would be a new revenue stream for our state and in this case, it could be beneficial to landowners too, as they are entitled to participate in carbon trading,” he explained during debate time at the august House here on Thursday (May 19).

In support of this, he said it was high time that the state government introduced the amendment where the new law would provide or present a new dynamic in Sarawak.

“Under the proposed amendment, under the new chapter 6, section 70A, ‘the director may, with the written approval of the Minister, grant a licence, for a specific term, to any person to carry out a Forest Carbon Activity in any permanent forest. State land or alienated land. Provided that in respect of alienated land, no licence shall be issued except to the registered proprietor of such land or with the written approval of the registered proprietor thereof or his authorised representative’.

“In addition, under bracket 3, ‘Subject to the rules made under section 113, the licence holder shall be entitled to participate in the carbon trading to which it has full legal and beneficial title pursuant to subsection 2 in accordance with the applicable Carbon Standard Rules’.”

Azizul added that it would also have an impact on certain entities and their current business model.

“They might have to adapt to a new business model where keeping the forest intact might be more beneficial to them financially rather than continue with their old ways of doing business.

“This will ultimately lead to us having a better environment as our forests are indeed a carbon stock and it is one of the ways to do our part in saving the environment and reducing the rate of climate change. I stress that this is an incentive for landowners, including our state, to do our part in reducing carbon emissions and achieve the net zero emissions target.”

Additionally, he noted that now was the time for the state to act and make a difference in conserving its environment to provide a better future for its people.

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