Innovation vital for sustainable forestry

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KOTA KINABALU: Innovation can help to restore, protect, manage and use forests sustainably.

Technological, social, policy, institutional and financial innovations are crucial to ensure the sustainable supply and use of forest ecosystem services.

“The Sabah Forestry Department strives to excel in Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) and innovation can indeed play a crucial role in creating a better way of life for both humans and forests.

“It is very important to protect and conserve the forests not only for ourselves but also for our future generations, Chief Conservator of Forests, Datuk Frederick Kugan (pictured top) said in conjunction with the International Day of Forests (IDF) tomorrow (March 21) as proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly.

March 21 is the day to raise awareness on the significance of forests which are the green lungs of the world with a myriad of flora and fauna living in harmony.

The theme for IDF 2024 is “Forests and Innovation: New Solutions for a Better World”.

Frederick added that forests were an important natural asset to the state, not only for their significant contribution to the socio-economic development but also for their essential role in maintaining the quality of the environment, biodiversity and forest recreation.

“Hence, sustainable use of natural resources from the forests and biodiversity conservation with innovative approaches are significant in ensuring a better tomorrow for our future generation,” he said, adding that Reduced Impact Logging (RIL) was among the earlier innovative features in SFM.

Frederick also said that today, innovative technologies, such as drones, satellite imaging and mapping could be used to monitor forests, identify areas for restoration, combat deforestation and illegal logging.

Among some of the up-to-date applications in forestry operation include IForSabah and GeoForest while in forestry research,the Conservation Area Information and Monitoring System (CAIMS) and  Sabah Ecosystem Hub.

Meanwhile, he said that apart from technologies, innovative strategies were adopted in mainstreaming forest and biodiversity conservation into other sectors and financing conservation efforts through approaches like Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) as well as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation & Forest Degradation (REDD+).

“We can promote sustainable development while also protecting valuable ecosystems and biodiversity for future generations,” he added.

This year also marks the 110th anniversary of the Sabah Forestry Department.

Hence, in this new era of forestry with innovation, Frederick stressed that it was crucial to continue investing in research, technology, and collaboration to unlock the full potential of forests and ensure their conservation towards a greener and better world.

Danum Valley Conservation Area

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