Sandakan: Two more Forest Reserves in Sabah are now certified under the internationally recognised Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
In a statement Monday, the Sabah Forestry Department (SFD) said Trusan Sugut Forest Reserve and Ulu Kalumpang-Mt Wulldersdorf Forest Reserve have successfully complied with FSC's requirements and have obtained certificates as well-managed forests for a period of five years from May 16, 2017 to May 15, 2022.
Trusan Sugut is a Class 1 Forest Reserve covering 8,680 hectares and is located in Sabah's east coast district of Beluran.
"This reserve consists of several unique forests as lowland mixed dipterocarps, fresh water swamps, mangroves and beach forest. It provides a safe haven for rare, threatened and endangered mammals, birds and dipterocarp trees and species," the statement said.
Meanwhile, the mainly lowland dipterocarp Ulu Kalumpang-Mt Wullersdorf FR, with a total area of 64,953.74 hectares and last logged in 1986, serves as an important water resource for the whole of Tawau and Kunak districts.
With these additions, Sabah now has 746,564.91 hectares of fully certified forests with 675,691.68 hectares under natural forest management (NFM) and 70,873.23 hectares under tree plantations.
The FSC certificates were presented by Dr Yap Son Kheong of SCS Global Services, United States to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, witnessed by Datuk Sam Mannan, the Chief Conservator of Forests, and Fidelis Edwin Bajau, the Deputy Chief Conservator of Forests (Development), at the department's recent Innovation Night.
The department is now in the process of getting several other managed forests certified under FSC within the next three years.
These include Sook Lake FR, FMU 17B and D (Gunung Tinkar FR, Sg. Radapan FR, Sungai Pinangah FR and Tawai FR), Pensiangan FR (FMU 12), and Sungai Lumaku FR with a total area of 129,422.26 hectares.
SFD said proportionate to the total size of land area, Sabah now leads in certified forest coverage in South East Asia.