Programme FAO-UE FLEGT

The Forest Department of Sarawak and FAO to promote Reduced Impact Logging in support of Sustainable Forest Management


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has resumed its longstanding cooperation with the Forest Department of Sarawak (FDS), Malaysia, through a project supported by the FAO-EU Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Programme. The project, launched on 27 March 2019 and spanning 12 months, aims to carry out a gap assessment of the recently Harmonized Reduced Impact Logging (RIL) Guidelines for the State of Sarawak.

“The harmonized Reduced Impact Logging Guidelines represent a vital step towards the standardisation of timber harvesting and the better regulation of the timber industry in Sarawak,” said FAO forestry officer Bruno Cammaert. “We are pleased to support the local authorities in furthering their work towards Sustainable Forest Management (SFM), and are confident that the guidelines will play an important role in promoting legal timber production and trade in Sarawak.” During the launch, the Director of Forests, Mr Hamden Hj. Mohammad, reiterated FDS’s commitment to Forest Policy Reform in Sarawak and the need for the Harmonised RIL Guidelines for Sarawak to be benchmarked against international best practices.

About 6.5 million hectares of Sarawak’s land area is covered by licensed timber concessions within the Permanent Forest Estate. In line in Sarawak’s Forest Policy reforms, the state government will make SFM certification mandatory for all long-term forest timber licence areas by 2022. The state has also set a target for all timber and timber products destined for export to be verified through the Sarawak Timber Legality Verification System (STLVS) by 2020.

The RIL Guidelines for Sarawak, first developed and tested in 1998, will be incorporated into Sarawak’s Forest Ordinance, the National Forest Certification Scheme for Malaysia and the Sarawak Timber Legality Verification Standards (STLVS), thus ensuring its widespread uptake by forest managers, forest certification auditors and the broader timber sector in Sarawak.

The FAO-EU FLEGT Programme of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations is a global demand-driven initiative that provides technical support and resources for activities that further the goals of the FLEGT Action Plan. The Programme is funded by the European Union, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom. The Forest Department of Sarawak is responsible for managing and conserving the forest resources of the state of Sarawak. For more information, visit the FAO-EU FLEGT Programme and Forest Department Sarawak websites.