SERIAN: Sarawak, which has previously depended on timber exports as a source of income till the term ‘timber politics’ was coined, has now stepped forward into a new era that prioritises forest restoration, says Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The Sarawak Premier said the state is now in a period when forest restoration would generate new income, especially in the global carbon market.

“Now we have changed. We don’t rely on timber. We rely on brainpower,” he said during his speech at the 2024 Sarawak-level International Forest Day celebrations at the Sabal Agro-Forestry Centre, about 60 kilometres from here on Saturday (June 8).

He added that the Sarawak state government had reduced the state’s logging rate by about two million cubic metres annually.


“I want the (timber) industry (players) to know why we reduce exports of logs, why we discourage the cutting of logs because now we have alternatives to (develop) our economy,” he said.

Abang Johari said policies implemented by the Sarawak state government enabled them to retain around 62% of the state’s forest cover. The state currently has 26 certified forest management units covering 2.38 million hectares and seven plantation forest management units covering 97,966 hectares.

The Sabal Agro-Forestry Centre is a multipurpose centre for forest research, recreational, and tourism activities. It was developed at an estimated cost of RM50mil. – Bernama