Credit: NRES Facebook

21/03/2024 02:23 PM

PUTRAJAYA, March 21 (Bernama) -- The use of latest technology and innovation in seeking new solutions to conserve and preserve the country’s forest heritage should be continuously intensified to maintain the environmental sustainability.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said this is because the government remains committed to maintaining at least 50 per cent of the country's land mass under forest and tree cover in line with the country’s commitment at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992.

“Innovation in the forestry sector is a crucial element in addressing global environmental challenges and the need to preserve forests for future generations through the combination of science and technology and community involvement,” he said in his message in conjunction with the International Day of Forests today.

So far, he said various innovative efforts have been taken by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (NRES) through the Forestry Department of Peninsular Malaysia (JPSM), as well as of Sabah and Sarawak, and the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) to ensure that the forestry sector develops and remains relevant with time.

Nik Nazmi said innovation and the use of technology such as satellites, drones and Geographical Information Systems can improve the effectiveness of national forest resource monitoring activities.

“In this regard, JPSM has established a war room which serves as a one-stop centre and utilises systems such as e-Geospatial Forestry (e-GP), Forest Monitoring Using Remote Sensing (FMRS Plus), and Forest Fire Big Data Analytics (BDA) to monitor forested areas in Peninsular Malaysia,” said Nik Nazmi.

He said the Sabah Forestry Department, in collaboration with the Malaysian Space Agency (MYSA), has developed the iForSabah system, while the Forest Department Sarawak has developed the Continuous Monitoring of Surveillance (COMOS) system, both for the same purpose.

In a continuous effort to ensure that the country's forests are preserved, he said NRES has set aside an Ecological Fiscal Transfer for Biodiversity Conservation (EFT) allocation, which has also been increased to RM200 million this year, to empower state governments in conserving and gazetting protected areas.

“This EFT allocation can be used to implement various programmes and activities for the preservation and conservation of forests and biological diversity,” he said.

International Day of Forests is celebrated on March 21 every year to raise public awareness of the importance of forests, their preservation and conservation for the well-being of society and the environment.