By: PETER MARAJIN
REFER to news paper report on Ten companies which are partners of the state administration of 13 forest management units (FMUs) were presented with certificate of compliance by Chief Minister on Saturday.
That the FMU policies are now vindicated and proven to be correct. FMU's SFMLA (sustainable Forest Management Licence Agreements) have always been intended to be long term and reforest our forest reserves that have been over logged (wealth extraction) for decades. Continuous logging in very large volumes for many years has put a strain on this resources, and if not properly and immediately addressed, Sabah's natural heritage will soon be irrecoverably wiped out. Now we can see some of the results of the long term policy implemented.
ln t997, the state government announced its new policy on sustainable forest management and the adoption of Forest Management Units as the working blocks for the management of its forest, a bold step for a workable definition of SFM and action strategy to achieving it. A strong and continue political commitment at the highest level is indispensable for sustainable forest management to succeed.
Besides economic needs, the role of maintaining the ecological balance and bio-diversity are the biggest compulsion for the government's total commitment to and focus on conservation and reforestation. Saving Sabah's natural forest and ensuring the wellbeing of its people. The longterm policy of FMU is a wealth creation program forthe future generation.
FMU policy under Datuk Seri Panglima Yong Teck Lee's cabinet has taken into consideration all aspects of development in FMU areas including the interest of NCR, the community development, employment and training for local people and basic infrastructure and social development are incorporated in the Sustainable Forest Management Licence Agreements (SFMLA).
Previously and even now there are some people and politicians are trying to mislead the concept of FMU, and manipulate some unfounded stories that the system and concept of FMU benefited nobody but FMU companies. lf FMU policy is no good and does harm to the people I thinkthe present government surely should have revoked and abolised the existing FMU policy.
The presentation of certificate of compliance by Chief Minister last Saturday is the manifestation that the government recognize the good performance of the FMUs under their charge in various parts of the state. As such the FMU initiated by former Chief Miniter Datuk Seri Datuk Panglima Yong Teck Lee is indeed a good policy.
It is our hope that the certificate of compliance not only covers the policy implementation and operational practices but also to fulfill the obligation of the SFMLA on native communities. By doing so the interest of the natives in FMU areas are protected.