Don’t take Sabah’s forests for granted

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Published on: Friday, March 22, 2024

‘Forests are the green lungs of the world with a myriad of flora and fauna living in harmony.’ (Pic: FMT)


KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Conservator of Forests Datuk Frederick Kugan (pic) said there is need to raise awareness on the significance of forests.

Speaking on the occasion of International Day of Forests (March 21), he said:“Forests are the green lungs of the world with a myriad of flora and fauna living in harmony. Hence, it is of utmost importance for us to protect and conserve the forests, not only for ourselves but also for our future generations.

“As highlighted by UN Food and Agriculture Organization, innovation can help to restore, protect, manage and use forests sustainably.

“Technological, social, policy, institutional and financial innovations are key to ensure the sustainable supply and use of forest ecosystem services,” he said. The theme for IDF 2024 is “Forests and Innovation: New Solutions for a Better World.

He also said this year marked the 110th anniversary of the Sabah Forestry Department. He said the Sabah Forestry Department strives to excel in Sustainable Forest Management (SFM), and believes that innovation can indeed play a crucial role in creating a better way of life for both humans and forests.

“The forests are an important natural asset to the state, not only for their significant contribution to the socio-economic development but also for their essential role in the maintenance of the quality of the environment, biodiversity and forest recreation.

“Hence, sustainable use of natural resources from the forests and biodiversity conservation with innovative approaches are significant in ensuring a better tomorrow for our future generation.”  

He cited Reduced Impact Logging (RIL) is among the earlier innovative features in SFM. 

“Today, innovative technologies, such as drones, satellite imaging and mapping can be used to monitor forests, identify areas for restoration, combat deforestation and illegal logging,” Kugan said. 

“Among some of the up-to-date applications in forestry operation include IForSabah and GeoForest while in forestry research, we have the Conservation Area Information and Monitoring System (CAIMS) and the Sabah Ecosystem Hub,” according to him.

“Apart from technologies, innovative strategies are adopted in mainstreaming forest and biodiversity conservation into other sectors and financing conservation efforts through approaches like Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation & Forest Degradation (REDD+),” he said.

“We can promote sustainable development while also protecting valuable ecosystems and biodiversity for future generations.”  

“In this new era of forestry with innovation, we can create a more sustainable and resilient way of life that benefits both present and future generations.

“It is crucial to continue investing in research, technology, and collaboration to unlock the full potential of forests and ensure their conservation for the well-being of our planet, towards a greener and better world,” he said.

Source: Daily Express

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