Managing diversity

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Sarawak Forestry Corporation
Tuan Haji Ali Yusop, Managing Director and CEO of Sarawak Forestry

Sarawak Forestry is an institution entrusted to safeguard and sustainably manage the biodiversity in Sarawak’s forests, covering tens of thousands of species of animals and plants. It also manages the national parks and is responsible for permits and licenses. Inside Investors spoke to Tuan Haji Ali Yusop, Managing Director and CEO of Sarawak Forestry, about the current challenges of forestry management.

Q: When and how was Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) founded?  How many employees does it have?

A: SFC was founded by the enactment of the Sarawak Forestry Corporation Ordinance of 1995 that provided for certain operational or regulatory roles in forestry to be performed by a new government-owned corporate entity. However, this enacted concept actually became reality with the setting up and operationalisation of Sarawak Forestry Corporation Sdn Bhd in 2003. As of June 2012, we have approximately 770 employees posted throughout our area.

Q: Where is the largest amount of FDI coming into your sector from and what is a major project this investment is currently helping to fund?

A:  SFC is not directly involved in the promotion of FDI into Sarawak’s forestry sector. There is, however, a great deal of foreign interest in the utilisation of our forestry biomass and other derivatives. At the State level, FDI in forestry comes under the purview of the Sarawak Timber Industries Development Corporation (STIDC) and the State Planning Unit (SPU) under the Chief Minister’s Department.

Q: How does SFC help stave off illegal logging?

A: We have formulated a standard operating procedure wherein front-line SFC personnel are tasked to provide ‘field intelligence’ or investigative support as well as report illegal activities to the enforcement division of the forest department. We also take part in special enforcement operations in support of the forest department.

Q: What programmes does SFC have to ensure the protection of indigenous people and the primary forests they live in?

A: We have a number of programmes on local community engagement despite the fact that the protection of indigenous peoples is not a core function of SFC. These programmes include trial application of conflict-resolution mechanisms, forest landscape restoration and promotion of self-sustaining community enterprises.

Q: In what parts of your industry do you think investor capital would be the most beneficial? Why?

A: I am not a businessman. So I can only make a suggestion that there is good potential in forest plantations.  The reason is that the government, both state and federal, are strongly supportive and have provided various incentives to expedite such investments. Given the increasing trend towards conservation of our natural forests, I believe there will come a day when the planted forests will become the main source of raw materials to feed our timber mills and to generate export earnings.

Q: What is the largest challenge SFC faces and how do you plan to overcome it?

A: Our biggest challenge lies in overcoming our shortage of skilled and experienced manpower to carry out the demanding core functions assigned to SFC. In this regard, we have embarked on an ambitious strategic plan that includes recruitment and training of additional personnel for field work, review or re-engineering of key business processes and adoption of inter-agency collaboration to take on the bigger jobs.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Tuan Haji Ali Yusop, Managing Director and CEO of Sarawak Forestry

Sarawak Forestry is an institution entrusted to safeguard and sustainably manage the biodiversity in Sarawak’s forests, covering tens of thousands of species of animals and plants. It also manages the national parks and is responsible for permits and licenses. Inside Investors spoke to Tuan Haji Ali Yusop, Managing Director and CEO of Sarawak Forestry, about the current challenges of forestry management.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Sarawak Forestry Corporation
Tuan Haji Ali Yusop, Managing Director and CEO of Sarawak Forestry

Sarawak Forestry is an institution entrusted to safeguard and sustainably manage the biodiversity in Sarawak’s forests, covering tens of thousands of species of animals and plants. It also manages the national parks and is responsible for permits and licenses. Inside Investors spoke to Tuan Haji Ali Yusop, Managing Director and CEO of Sarawak Forestry, about the current challenges of forestry management.

Q: When and how was Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) founded?  How many employees does it have?

A: SFC was founded by the enactment of the Sarawak Forestry Corporation Ordinance of 1995 that provided for certain operational or regulatory roles in forestry to be performed by a new government-owned corporate entity. However, this enacted concept actually became reality with the setting up and operationalisation of Sarawak Forestry Corporation Sdn Bhd in 2003. As of June 2012, we have approximately 770 employees posted throughout our area.

Q: Where is the largest amount of FDI coming into your sector from and what is a major project this investment is currently helping to fund?

A:  SFC is not directly involved in the promotion of FDI into Sarawak’s forestry sector. There is, however, a great deal of foreign interest in the utilisation of our forestry biomass and other derivatives. At the State level, FDI in forestry comes under the purview of the Sarawak Timber Industries Development Corporation (STIDC) and the State Planning Unit (SPU) under the Chief Minister’s Department.

Q: How does SFC help stave off illegal logging?

A: We have formulated a standard operating procedure wherein front-line SFC personnel are tasked to provide ‘field intelligence’ or investigative support as well as report illegal activities to the enforcement division of the forest department. We also take part in special enforcement operations in support of the forest department.

Q: What programmes does SFC have to ensure the protection of indigenous people and the primary forests they live in?

A: We have a number of programmes on local community engagement despite the fact that the protection of indigenous peoples is not a core function of SFC. These programmes include trial application of conflict-resolution mechanisms, forest landscape restoration and promotion of self-sustaining community enterprises.

Q: In what parts of your industry do you think investor capital would be the most beneficial? Why?

A: I am not a businessman. So I can only make a suggestion that there is good potential in forest plantations.  The reason is that the government, both state and federal, are strongly supportive and have provided various incentives to expedite such investments. Given the increasing trend towards conservation of our natural forests, I believe there will come a day when the planted forests will become the main source of raw materials to feed our timber mills and to generate export earnings.

Q: What is the largest challenge SFC faces and how do you plan to overcome it?

A: Our biggest challenge lies in overcoming our shortage of skilled and experienced manpower to carry out the demanding core functions assigned to SFC. In this regard, we have embarked on an ambitious strategic plan that includes recruitment and training of additional personnel for field work, review or re-engineering of key business processes and adoption of inter-agency collaboration to take on the bigger jobs.

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