KUCHING: The Sarawak government is focusing on a green economy by promoting forest plantations, carbon trading and environment-friendly products.
Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said such products produce a low carbon footprint and eco-friendly fuels such as hydrogen, hydro, pellets and more.
In line with this, he said forest plantations were developed in the state to ensure sustainable and renewable supply of raw materials for the timber industry.
“Being the supplier of tropical timber to the global markets, it is important to ensure that our products meet the global climate change mitigation agenda.
“This is in line with consumers’ demand for eco-friendly products with low carbon footprint from sustainable and legal sources and supported by sustainable certification, strong local community participation, innovative and competitive in pricing,” he said.
Abang Johari, who is also Minister of Natural Resources and Urban Development said this at the closing of the International Conference on Engineered Wood held at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK), Wednesday (May 17).
He said the industry also has the potential to be further developed by capitalising and aligning with the global business environment and that the state government has aligned itself through its developed policies.
“This is through developing and using clean and renewable energy, hydrogen economy, carbon sequestration, carbon capture and trading, forest plantations, digital economy and PCDS 2030.
“The state has also amended the Land Code and Forest Ordinance to regulate and facilitate carbon capture, sequestration and trading in Sarawak,” he added.
At the same time, he also called on industry players to embrace innovation and transformation by migrating from primary-based industry to a high value-added processing industry using timber from planted forests to produce value-added products such as engineered wood, panels, furniture and bamboo-based products for global markets.
He said the development of planted forests must be enhanced to produce high yield and good quality logs to accelerate growth for the domestic timber downstream industry.
“The potential of fast-growing bamboo plants is to be capitalised as new material to support and sustain the industry.
“Sarawak is rich in renewable biomass resources particularly rubber wood, bamboo, sago, oil palm trunk and Acacia mangium. These resources are good for the production of high value products particularly solid biofuels such as charcoal, pellets and activated carbon.”
On the building extension in BCKK, Abang Johari said wood will be used as the construction material.
However, he said the wood must be engineered to ensure its durability and must look into the geological aspect of the soil to ensure the strength of the building.
“I hope the extension to this centre will attract businesses to come to Sarawak and display wood (works of wood building) and at the same time, be the pride of Borneo as well as Sarawak,” he said.