Brunei Fostering Sustainable Forestry Industry

Brunei fostering sustainable forestry industry
on: March 22, 2017

| James Kon |

IN LINE with the recently-launched strategic plan of the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT), the Forestry Department has launched a slew of initiatives to create a sustainable forestry industry in the country.

The department’s latest mission is focussed on the utilisation of modern technology to increase productivity and develop products for the export market while keeping up with the continuous conservation efforts to protect the nation’s rich forest resources, said Noralinda binti Haji Ibrahim, Acting Director of Forestry under the MPRT.

“We have been able keep the balance between socio-economic and environmental interests for the prosperity of the people and nation,” she noted while speaking at an event to mark the International Day of Forests 2017 held at the Berakas Forest Reserve Recreation Park.

According to Noralinda, the strategic plan will be beneficial to the forestry-related businesses in each district.

“Through hard work and dedicated involvement from all parties, we will be able to contribute towards the realisation of Brunei Vision 2035,” she said.

With the theme ‘Forests and Energy: Nature’s Powerhouse’, the International Day of Forests 2017 celebration aimed to raise awareness on the importance of preserving forests as well as to give a better understanding of the benefits they offer as a rich reservoir of raw energy. The theme underlines the role that forest plays in the energy ecosystem.

Brunei forests are rich in flora and fauna and have four important aspects. The provisioning aspect focuses on sources of food and medical benefits; the regulating aspect focuses on climate and water cycle; the supporting aspect highlights sustainability of the ecosystem through pollination agents and nutrient cycle; and the cultural aspect contributes to recreational value and spiritual prosperity, Noralinda said.

Brunei Darussalam has gained international acclaim for having bio-rich tropical rainforests, the majority of which are still in pristine condition and protected by effective legislation despite occupying just one per cent of the total forest in the island of Borneo.

Keeping up the spirit of the Heart of Borneo Declaration, Brunei has been effectively managing its forest resources through commendable conservation efforts over the past years.

The Sultanate recently garnered global recognition as one of the top 10 countries with most protected areas. The country took 7th place globally with 44.1 per cent of land designated as protected, according to the latest World Bank report.

In Brunei, there has been a strong political will at all levels of the society to manage and conserve its forest resources since 1934 when the Forest Act was formalised in the country.

The high appreciation for forest and the role of forestry in the Bruneian society have ensured active participation from a wider range of stakeholders in the protection and conservation of the Sultanate’s natural forests.

The celebration yesterday saw the presentation of certificates to the Forestry Department’s newly-established Natural Disaster Management Committee members who will be responsible for addressing natural disaster problems in forest areas in the country.

During the event Noralinda joined a choir to sing songs praising the forest.

The celebration was also attended by 24 sawmill companies, six permit holders under the Forestry Department, representatives of Tri Sun Sdn Bhd and Arang 88 company as well as 250 invited guests.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin


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