KUCHING: The Sarawak government will collaborate with credible private sector organisations to capitalise on carbon market potentials.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said the collaboration included payment for ecosystem services within the legal framework to ensure transparency and accountability.
“The average carbon sequestration of tropical forest, such as forests in Sarawak, is approximately 11 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per hectare.
“Based on one million hectares of high-yield and sustainable industrial forest plantation, the target for carbon trading potential is approximately RM140-RM230 million based on the current average price of carbon.
“This is an immediately implementable initiative which represents only 10 per cent of the forestry sector under the Green Economy initiatives in Sarawak,” he said when officiating at the launch of the Action and Implementation Plan (AIP) for the Post COVID-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030 at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) on Monday (Feb 7).
The chief minister added that in the forestry sector, the state was practising sustainable management and conservation that had achieved world recognition.
“The sector will provide inclusive growth by creating economic opportunities. We have set aside and maintained more than 50 per cent forest and tree cover, which includes national parks, nature reserves and wildlife sanctuaries.
“The focus of forest management practices and stewardship is anchored on balancing the rate of deforestation and productivity. As such, we target one million hectares of private-driven tree plantation initiative,” he said.
On another note, Abang Johari said that the state was establishing direct links with regional retailers to build direct supplier models.
“We encourage the private sector with capital, expertise and technology as well as off-takers to venture into upstream production of our premium fruits, vegetables, livestock and seafood to be developed from farm to table, especially for targeted high-income countries.
“We shall not limit ourselves to just producing fresh products which have limited shelf lives,” he said.
He stressed there were vast opportunities for the people to explore, especially in agriculture downstream manufacturing activities such as food processing, supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and bio-organic products.
“As such, I urge the agripreneurs to increase the capacity and quality of their agricultural produce through data-driven and innovative commercial farming models.
“They also need to explore as well as be open to collaboration with multinational companies that have a global market network,” he said.
He stressed that the pandemic had exposed weaknesses of global supply chains of which efficiency and resilience were important components of the supply chains industry.
“Hence, we shall position Sarawak as a key supplier to its regional neighbours and globally as the world looks to rebalance and diversify supply chains,” he said.
Abang Johari stressed that it was important for Sarawak to have an effective physical and digital infrastructure as well as connectivity to ensure seamless trading flow in the areas of production, manufacturing, financing, logistic and digital communication to prepare Sarawak as a key global supplier.
“We are confident the private sector with its capital would develop its capacity and capability to invest in various opportunities in Sarawak.
“We anticipate more Domestic Direct Investment (DDI) and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow to Sarawak, especially in technology and innovation as well as digital that will transform our economic structure, increase resources production in a more efficient way to capture scale and efficiency gains and move downstream for export market.
“This will ensure the growth of our services sector to support these industries to provide the much-needed high-income jobs for highly skilled Sarawakians,” he said.