Sarawak's Amended Bill paves way for capital generation from forests, says WWF-Malaysia

Published date28 May 2022
Publication titleMalay Mail Online

The Worldwide Fund For Nature Malaysia (WWF-Malaysia) has hailed the just-passed Forests (Amendment) Bill 2022 as one that will facilitate and enable Sarawak to participate in carbon trading and markets.

WFF-Malaysia head of conservation for Sarawak, Dr Jason Hon, views such a move as a proactive step by the state government towards maximising capital generation from existing forests, and at the same time, incentivising more forest areas to be kept.

'It is good to see that forest carbon activities will be regulated in the state.

'They follow the Carbon Standards, and should be part of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) reporting,' he said in a statement yesterday.

In this respect, Hon said WWF-Malaysia had called upon the Forest Department, as the authoritative body over forest carbon activities, to ensure that it would have adequate manpower and capacity to handle them.

'Among other things, the mechanisms for accounting, registration, verification and accreditation, as well as periodic monitoring need to be in place to ensure that there'd be no 'double counting',' he pointed out.

Hon said more details would need to be fine-tuned such as the definition of amenity forests and how it could diverge from or converge on the current land use categories.

According to him, the Bill states that amenity forests meant for education, research and recreational purposes may be constituted from state land, permanent forests, forest reserves and communal forests.

'This may have implications on TPA (totally protected area) gazettement in Sarawak; therefore, we may need a new definition for protected areas if amenity forests are a part of them.

'Even the international carbon trading has loopholes such as lax...

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