Tuesday, August 9

STA hopes for efficiency in SFD, SFC restructuring

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KUCHING: Sarawak Timber Association (STA) is looking forward to more robust and efficient operational and administrative procedures as a result of the latest exercise by the Sarawak government in restructuring Sarawak Forest Department (SFD) and Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC), which saw the removal of redundancies and duplication of functions.

The association in a statement yesterday said while it is aware that the functions of both agencies have been streamlined for the intended purpose of stronger focus, it understands that SFD will now handle all operational matters pertaining to forest management, research and development, forest engineering, forest compliance, revenue collection and compliance as well as forest plantations.

“As the forestry industry will be greatly impacted, it is important to ensure that the re-assignments of these functions and relevant personnel from SFC to SFD, especially at the regional offices and One-Stop Compliance Centres, are performed in a timely manner.

“All these factors need to be prudently considered to avoid or at most minimise any delays or disruptions to the forest operations on the ground,” it said.

In this regard, STA urged the Sarawak government to bridge the communication gap between the agencies and the industry players on this restructuring and transformation exercise, so that the industry players will have a clear understanding on the new roles and responsibilities of officers in both agencies.

The association also said that having a better grasp of the changes will also ensure that issues relating to legality compliance and certification are promptly responded to and proactively resolved.

“We (STA) hope that all documentations related to statutory requirements under the state forestry laws have already been put in place for a smooth transition. We will also continue to collaborate and work closely with both agencies to support their objectives in managing the forest resources and in conserving Sarawak’s biodiversity.”

The restructuring of SFD and SFC took effect on Jan 2 this year.