Large-scale agriculture slows down
The industry employs over 103,000 workers in rural communities, while also supporting the growth of the logistics, administrative and banking sectors. This approach fits into the federal government’s Transformation Programme for a higher standard of living and developed nation status by 2020.
Oil palm cultivation in Sarawak closely adheres to standards and good agricultural practices set by the MPOB. Therefore, the palm oil is responsibly produced and traceable. Many estates are working to achieve the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil standard, while others are already certified by the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil.
The state government will continue to consolidate efforts to conserve forests. As Chief Minister, Tan Sri Adenan had stopped issuing timber licences and provisional leases for new plantations, and had been tougher on illegal logging activities.
Datuk Amar Abang Johari has reiterated the stance against new timber licences (The Borneo Post, March 2, 2017), saying that priority will be given to protecting and preserving forests and the environment.
The number of national parks is to be increased so that at least one-tenth of Sarawak’s land mass is totally protected. Such areas have been opened up for research activities, with international participants being invited under the Research for Intensified Management of Bio-rich Areas project launched in 2015 (The Star, Nov 4, 2016).
Meanwhile, WWF-Malaysia is working with the state government to promote a systematic way of identifying priority conservation areas.
The plan will be used to guide conservation and development planning, and will include better understanding of what happens outside protected areas. This is to ensure that the long-term existence and integrity of protected areas are not threatened (The Borneo Post, Aug 11, 2016).
Sarawak Oil Palm Plantation Owners Association