Saturday, October 23

Department eyes more smart partnerships on forest management with UPM Bintulu


(From front, fifth left) Hamden joins Bujang and Ong in a photo-call with the participants of the seminar.

BINTULU: The Sarawak government aims to integrate the latest technologies aimed at achieving the most effective forest management in the state.

According to Forest Department Sarawak director Datu Hamden Mohammad, the department has been
involved in smart collaborations with various organisations including Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).

“I hope UPM would continue our agreed collaborations, as well as to look into multiple aspects that we can improve on and develop the timber industry for the benefit of the people in Sarawak,” he said at the closing of a half-day scientific seminar on ‘Unlocking the Secrets of Bukit Kana National Park’ at UPM Bintulu Campus yesterday, where campus director Prof Bujang Kim Huat and event organising chairman Assoc Prof Dr Ong Kian Huat were also present.

Adding on, Hamden acknowledged the timber industry as playing a crucial part in Sarawak’s development, but he also stressed that the state could not depend on sourcing this commodity solely from natural resources.

“So I hope UPM could help Forest Department Sarawak enhance research and development (R&D) in planted forestry, to ensure that the timber supply is always sufficient for the timber industry in Sarawak, including for exports,” he said.

Being a research university, Hamden believed that UPM Bintulu would be able to come up with suitable methods and technology to develop and improve the forestry sector in Sarawak.

In other related development, he said to stay updated in today’s fast-paced world, the forest industry must be equipped with competent and high-quality workforce.

“Now that UPM Bintulu has brought back the Bachelor in Forestry Science programme, I hope that the campus could also provide suitable courses for supporting levels such as Forest Rangers and Forest Guards,” he added.

According to Hamden, Forest Department Sarawak has to send potential candidates for training at Forest Training Institute in Kepong, Kuala Lumpur for one year, before they are absorbed into the department as Forest Rangers.