STA committee on week-long study tour to Southern China

Ling (eighth right) presenting a souvenir to Zhou during the courtesy visit to Hainan Forest Department. Among others are Yang (second left) and STA general manager Dr Peter Kho (fifth right).

HAIKOU, China: Sarawak Timber Association (STA) Forest Plantation Committee has embarked on a week-long study tour to Southern China to learn  forest plantation establishment and management practices, including research and development (R&D).

In addition, it is also to study the harvesting, processing and utilisation of plantation logs.

The 11-member delegation is led by Committee chairman Peter Ling.

The study tour will cover Haikou, Zhanjiang and Guangzhou.

They arrived in Haikou, the capital and most populous city of Hainan province, late Sunday.

On Monday, the delegation paid a courtesy call on Hainan Forest Department where they had a meeting with its head of engineering Zhou Yadong and Asia Pulp Paper (APP) company deputy general manager Yang Fuwang.

Both parties had a fruitful meeting discussing practices and policies as well as sharing experience and knowledge in development and sustainability management of forest plantations in their respective countries.

At the meeting, Ling thanked Zhou for taking precious time to meet the delegation.

“We want to take this wonderful opportunity to explore and learn from our Chinese counterparts their best practices to enhance efforts and initiatives on reforestation in Sarawak,” he said in his address at the meeting.

Noting China’s excellent achievement in the forest plantation industry including R&D, he pointed out that this collaboration will only result in a win-win situation for all stakeholders.

“Through establishment of industrial forests in Sarawak, our aim is to enhance the protection of our forest environment. It is our responsibility to protect the forests as we realise the benefits of biodiversity and ecosystem,” he said.

“Success is only a matter of how we pave the way towards achieving our ultimate goal, which is to increase forest cover and ensure sustainability of our forests and at the same time achieving economic growth and improving the livelihood of our people,” he emphasised.

They also visited APP Ling Gao-Cheng Ling Forest Farm where they were introduced to approaches in utilisation of land, planting techniques, soil composition and species of trees, among others.

Ling also thanked the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Kuching, Guangdong Forestry, Foreign Affairs Office of People’s Government of Guangdong Province and Foreign Affairs Office of Hainan Province as well as relevant agencies, private companies and institutes for their assistance and support in various aspects that have contributed to the success of this trip.

The delegation proceeded to Zhanjiang, a prefecture-level city at the south-western end of Guangdong province yesterday and is expected to visit Zhanjiang Eucalyptus Centre.

Today, they are scheduled to visit and meet officials of Leizhou Forestry’s Eucalyptus Forests Farm and Processing Mill, Chenming Paper and South China Experimentary Nursery.

In the last leg at Guangzhou, they will visit the Guangdong Yuzhu International Wood Timber Market as well as Guangdong Forestry and Research Institute of Tropical Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry.

The committee hopes that the appropriate practices and policies from China can be considered for adoption in Sarawak forest plantation industry and thus assist in the sustainable development of this industry in the state.

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