Sarawak Government as represented by Forest Department Sarawak (FDS) in early December 2023 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Japan to facilitate the intention and collaboration mainly in research activities for Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) in Sarawak. This MoU is imperative to develop effective methodology for the evaluation and implementation of essential forest ecosystem functions and services to promote SFM and conservation, as outline in the global biodiversity frameworks under CBD COP15.
The areas of co-operation covers under the MoU are collaboration in research activities for Sustainable Forest Management, forest ecosystem and biodiversity conservation, establishment of standard research methodology for Permanent Sample Plot network, standard documentation and handling of research data and other information, joint data analysis and enhancement of scientific writing skill, joint publication of findings, enhancement of research competencies, co-organising workshop, conference, training and any other areas of collaboration mutually agreed by the Parties.
“As emphasized in the symposium, our common goal of creating a sustainable society perfectly complements the joint research effort concentrating on sustainable forest management in Sarawakian Tropical Forests. The commitment we make today will undoubtedly strengthen the connection between both parties, paving the way for valuable teamwork, innovation, and mutual development,” said Dr. Kimoto Masahide, the President of NIES, Japan during the signing ceremony.
Prior to the signing ceremony, the parties in this endeavour have participated in a symposium organised by NIES, Japan entitled Bilateral Collaboration Research Towards SFM in Sarawak. The symposium emphasized on the importance of scientific data and scientific based information in decision making pertaining SFM.
“The Government also emphasizes the importance of a strong research foundation which involves adopting new and innovative approaches, as well as leveraging cutting-edge technology to improve, enhance and support the sustainable management of forests in Sarawak,” said Datu Haji Hamden bin Haji Mohammad, the Director of Forests in his keynote address.
Six (6) papers were presented by researchers after a keynote address is delivered by the Director of Forests Sarawak followed by a keynote lecture by Emeritus Professor Kanehiro Kitayama of Kyoto University. All papers highlighted the importance of scientific data and scientific based information to support Sarawak Government in decision and policy making.