KUCHING: Sarawak companies involved in timber and palm oil are urged to go for sustainability certifications in order to be able to sell their products to wider market globally.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the market these days is very sensitive, especially when it comes to environment and carbon emission matters.
“It is the intention of the Sarawak government that we must comply with international standards, be it wood-based or other crops like oil palm.
“We are a trading country and we have to export our products, so we have to comply (with the certification). In in this case, you (the companies) have to invest in order to get that certification, so that you can sell (your products) in any part of the world,” he said on Friday night at a leading hotel here when officiating t a dinner organised by Ta Ann Group to commemorate the achievement of MTCS-PEFC Certification by its Kapit forest management unit (FMU).
Abang Johari added there is demand now for certification whereby buyers will only buy if you follow the process that has been agreed internationally based on the Rio De Janeiro Earth Summit.
“People will only buy from sources that are certified and acknowledged by the world. If you don’t comply, the market will boycott you. Unless you can show to them, this is my certificate, and in compliance with international standard.
“Otherwise if you don’t comply, they cannot re-sell to the market. Who wants to import things that cannot be sold. That fellow will be stupid fool if he were to import but cannot re-sell,” he said.
Abang Johari also spoke about industrial forest concept, which provides feed stock for the companies while at the same time sustaining the forests.
“The perception of planted forest is that it mainly involved replanting of trees. That is why I tend to use the word ‘industrial forest’, meaning you plant and it become sustainable feed stock.
“Once it is feed stock then it is sustainable because you keep on replenishing the feed stock, then the whole industrial chain will be sustainable,” he explained.
Also present that night were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Assistant Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh, Ta Ann Group executive chairman Datuk Amar Abdul Hamed Sepawi and Ta Ann Group managing director/ chief executive officer Dato Wong Kuo Hea.