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Brunei
Friday, September 30, 2022
31.7 C
Brunei
Friday, September 30, 2022
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    Striking balance between conservation, growth

    Azlan Othman

    Brunei Darussalam has been able to maintain a high forest cover of 72 per cent of its total land area, which can be attributed to strong conservation and protection efforts as well as reforestation initiatives.

    However, the limited production forest area is a major challenge for the forestry sector as the Sultanate strives to achieve economic diversification through incremental increase in gross domestic product (GDP).

    This was said by Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) Hajah Tutiaty binti Haji Abdul Wahab at a webinar yesterday to mark International Day of Forests on March 21.

    “We understand that forest is an important element that can directly contribute to the country’s initiative on economic diversification and GDP growth.

    “Hence, the MPRT through its Forestry Department is committed to implementing a sustainable forest management (SFM) system to ensure continuous resources for the timber industry as well as the benefits of our future generations,” she said.

    Permanent Secretary at the MPRT Hajah Tutiaty binti Haji Abdul Wahab with other webinar participants. PHOTO: AZLAN OTHMAN

    The permanent secretary continued, “We need to revisit our logging and sawmilling industries, and encourage companies to increase their production efficiencies and promote timber product diversification.”

    Hajah Tutiaty believed that there is a need to upgrade the processes and increase investment in advanced machineries and technologies, while developing the human resources and employing skilled workers.

    She also vouched that the government will continue to supply timber to meet local demand through tree plantations and enrichment programmes for logged-over forests.

    The permanent secretary said, “Tree planting has always been a popular initiative around the world. Apart from supporting the forestry industry, it is also an important component in carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation.”

    At the national level, she said, the government has launched Brunei Darussalam National Climate Change Policy (BNCCP) with the MPRT being the lead agency for the second strategy – forest cover – by increasing the Sultanate’s carbon sink through afforestation and reforestation programme with the target of planting half a million new trees by 2035.

    Earlier, Forestry Department Director Hajah Noralinda binti Ibrahim said International Day of Forests aims to raise awareness on the importance of all types of forests and encourages countries to undertake local, national and international efforts to organise activities on forests and trees.

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