KUCHING (Dec 1): Sarawak’s first regulated forest carbon project will commence in the first quarter of next year, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.
Abang Johari, who is also State Finance and Economic Planning Minister, said the initiative demonstrated the state government’s commitment to practise sustainable management and conservation in the forestry sector while creating economic opportunities.
“I am happy to inform this august House that the first regulated forest carbon project will commence in Sarawak in the first quarter 2023.
“This initiative will be driven by the private sector entities with the technological know-how and financial resources to ensure the success and sustainability of these projects,” he said in his winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here today.
Abang Johari said the state cabinet will outline the rules and regulation to ensure the production of the carbon capture, utilisation, and storage, along with the carbon credits that generated for trading in the carbon market will be in line with the state’s effort in mitigating climate change.
“Rules will soon be made by the state Cabinet pursuant to these amendments to regulate forest carbon activities, including afforestation and reforestation, and the storage of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHG) in both the offshore and onshore areas of Sarawak.
“These activities, which would be undertaken in accordance with protocols and the Clean Development Mechanism formulated under the Kyoto and Paris Agreements on Climate Change, will yield tradable carbon credits and provide a new source of revenue for Sarawak,” he said.
He pointed to the amendments of the state’s Forests Ordinance and Land Code last May that would function as a foundation to leveraging the market mechanisms and stakeholders’ collaboration environmental sustainability.
“This august House had, in May this year, passed the amendments to Forests Ordinance and Land Code to enable Sarawak to initiate activities which will reduce emission of GHG to mitigate the effects of global warming.
“Under the forest carbon activities concept, after decades of logging for merchantable timbers, Sarawak will pursue new direction in forestry management of preserving our trees, planting more trees, restoring and rejuvenating our logged over areas or degraded forests,” he said.
He also said that the state government will closely monitor its forest ecosystem and carbon trading market.
“Licences for forest carbon projects, which contribute towards reduction in carbon emissions will be issued to regulate the establishment of such projects.
“This will be validated and verified by internationally accredited bodies for the issuance of carbon credits which will be traded under the voluntary carbon market mechanisms or in recognised international carbon credit exchanges,” he added.