NREB, STA and member companies sign MoU on environmental compliance audit

Len (seventh left) witnessing the exchanging of MoU documents between Lau (ninth left) and Peter Sawal (sixth left) to implement the pilot project on environmental compliance audit at a leading hotel here.

KUCHING: A memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the ‘Pilot Projects on Environmental Compliance Audit’ was signed between the Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB), Sarawak Timber Association (STA) and eight of their member companies this morning.

The MoU is to carry out a strategic collaboration to conduct a pilot project on environmental compliance audit in their areas and to submit the audit findings report to the NREB.

“This bilateral agreement between the NREB and eight private firms hereby demonstrate the readiness of the industry to face the challenges that lies ahead of them,” said Assistant Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh, who represented the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at the signing of the MoU held at a leading hotel here today.

Reading from a text prepared for Abang Johari, Len said that the pilot project will mark another milestone in the area of environmental conservation and protection in Sarawak.

He added that the initiative undertaken by the NREB is implementing the environmental audit will bring a new dimension to the forestry and timber industry, migrating from the conventional regulatory requirement towards self-regulation.

Prior to the signing of the MoU, STA honorary secretary Dato Henry Lau Lee Kong said the pilot project will prepare the forestry and timber industry players for the full implementation of the NRE (Audit) Rules 2008, which will be carried out in phases.

“Members of STA are not new to such endeavors as their active involvement in ensuring sustainability of harvest, legality compliances and certifications over the past years, in tandem with increased enforcement and sustainability commitments, have been made known to all and are acknowledged by the authorities as well as buyers, both locally and globally,” Lau said.

He added that most of the companies who are participating in the pilot project have already invested in capacity building by having their own environmental officers who have completed the Environment Audit Training Course conducted by NREB.

STA member companies who signed the MoU were Daiken Sarawak Sdn Bhd (forest plantation); GP Pusaka Sdn Bhd (forest plantation); Interglobe Empire Sdn Bhd (natural forest); Jaya Tiasa Holdings Berhad (natural forest); Ravencourt Sdn Bhd (natura forest); Shin Yang Forestry Sdn Bhd (forest plantation); Subur Tiasa Holdings Berhad (natural forest); and Tanjong Manis Holdings Sdn Bhd (natural forest).

Signing on behalf of NREB was controller Peter Sawal while STA was represented by Lau.

Witnessing the MoU signing were Len, Deputy Minister for Energy, Green Technology and Water Dato James Dawos Mamit along with Kuching North City Commission Datuk Bandar Datuk Abang Wahap Abang Julai.

Also held was a seminar on ‘Environmental Management in the Forestry Sector’ that was attended by some 300 delegates.

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