KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem has proposed to set up a Wildlife Department to enhance the conservation of wildlife.
“I propose to create a wildlife department so that conservation of wildlife can be separated and not just a part of forest management; this is to increase efficiency,” he said when opening the International Day of Forests at Kuching Waterfront here today (March 26).
Adenan pointed out it would be irresponsible for his administration to introduce and implement drastic change in the timber industry.
He noted some quarters, including the opposition, had suggested that the state government must change the system currently practised in the timber industry.
“We must change the system, yes, but if we make sudden changes, the timber industry will be disrupted.
“Thousands will be jobless and they will go to the opposition for jobs while many families will also be affected,” he said.
He reiterated that the timber industry could not afford abrupt and drastic changes, but could accept gradual changes.
Adenan assured that all government policies on forests would be adhered to towards achieving the state’s targets of six million hectares of permanent forests and one million hectares of totally protected areas.
He admitted that the state government would have to do more to achieve sustainable development of the timber industry.
“When we ambush illegal logging, some quarters seem to have told them ‘police datang’ (police are on the way). I think there is some element of corruption. I am not saying all of them, but some,” he added.
Adenan also said that the state government would cooperate with non-governmental organisations and international bodies to ensure sustainable management of forests and resources.
“If they share and have a common agenda we shall work together. If you have some other agenda, you are not welcome.”