Sarawak Forestry presents latest findings on kelampayan to STA

Posted on September 20, 2011. Filed under: Forestry/Wetlands |

-The Star-

KUCHING: Forestry is being driven towards major technological change to accommodate the need to increase forest productivity in meeting global rising demands for forest products.

Sarawak Forestry CEO and managing director Datuk Len Talif Saleh said according to the FAO World Bank Development report, the global demand for wood products was projected to increase from 3.5 billion m3 in 1990 to 6.4 billion m3 in 2020.

He forecasted that the demand on environmental services of forest was also projected to be increased whereby more natural forests would be excluded from wood production.

The increasing wood demand was also highly driven by the recent advancement in converting biomass (wood chips and pellets) to bioenergy, he said in the text of his speech read out by Sarawak Forestry Applied Forest Science and Industry Development (AFSID) acting deputy general manager Lucy Chong at the Kelampayan Tree Improvement Programme Workshop at Wisma STA here yesterday.

Some 50 participants from the timber industry, licensed planted forest operators as well as staff of Sarawak Forestry and Sarawak Timber Association (STA) attended the workshop organised by SFC in collaboration with STA.

Len said Sarawak was embarking on planted forest establishment through smart partnership with the private sector in realising the state’s aspiration to plant one million hectares of planted forests by 2020.

“This is to ensure sustainable supply of raw materials for local processing as well as to mitigate over dependency on raw materials from natural forests,” he said, adding that tree improvement was the cornerstone of forestry.

“Without access to good genetic stock, there is no possibility to optimise timber production, regardless of the quality of subsequent silvicultural management. This is evident in the case of improved Acacia mangium superbulk, which is a successful example in Sarawak.

“The difference between tree improvement and many other forestry sectors is that the consequences of failure to invest are not always immediately obvious.”

He said poor quality growing stocks could be attributed to many causes, saying the attribution of blames could fall at the feet of forest management, silviculture practices, pest and disease management, the genetic make-up of the tree itself, or the combination of the mentioned attributes.

STA Forest Plantation category chairman Peter Ling urged all members of STA Forest Plantation to work closely with Sarawak Forestry as the 1.3 million hectares of forest plantations were expected to provide about 10 to 15 million m3 of wood for the timber industry by the year 2020.

Sarawak Forestry has embarked on R&D on planted forest species since 2003, including R&D in priority species and kelampayan.

The tree improvement programme covers most of the R&D aspects of tree improvement, from silviculture management to pest and disease management, from provenance trials to forest biotechnological approaches for a more accurate means of tree selection, with the ultimate aim to produce kelampayan that are adapted to our local conditions with optimum growth and wood quality so that the economic benefits will be achieved.

At the intensive one-day workshop, the participants were introduced to the importance of tree improvement, the current status or achievement in terms of R&D on kelampayan from different aspects, the problems of planting kelampayan in the field.

The workshop will also enable Sarawak Forestry to formulate their future tree improvement R&D direction, in responding to the current needs as well as the problems facing by the planted forests.

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