Following its establishment, the Group was allocated a concession area to be managed on a sustainable yield basis.
In managing this area, the Group is acutely aware of its obligations to carry out social programmes and also environmental responsibilities for future generations.
Towards this effort, the Group strives to manage its forest lands in an integrated and sustainable manner, for the greatest long-term benefits of the people. Hence, it will continue to adopt sound forest management practices, which are consistent with the State and National forestry development policies and legislations put in place over the years.
Its wholly-owned subsidiary, Rakyat Berjaya Sdn. Bhd. (RBJ)
manages its forest concession area. In coherent with the Sabah Forestry Department directive on Forest Certification by 2016, RBJ has targeted two integrated Mosaic Forest Restoration and Enrichment Planting within FMUs 15 and 16 as the initial area for certification. The certification scheme to be applied is the Malaysia Timber Certification Council (MTCC) employing the Malaysia Criteria & Indicators (MC&I) standards.
The Group is the first organisation in Sabah to have been awarded the Verification of Legal Compliance (VLC) statement for FMU's 15 and 16 from Rainforest Alliance of New York under its Smartwood Programme on May 26, 2010.
Acknowledging the importance of adapting good working culture, the Group has taken a step further by joining the Mentor-Mentee Programme under the OSH Plan MP 15 established by Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH). RBJ is the mentor and the mentee are the timber harvesting contractors and their respective subcontractors.
As the mentor, RBJ has implemented appropriate trainings and guidance on matters relating to occupational safety and health based on the guidelines from DOSH. To date, RBJ have mentored seven forestry related and two non-forestry related companies since year 2009. The outcomes of the mentor-mentee programme have been very encouraging where the contractors are now able to mentor for their own subcontractors on OSH and also able to develop and conduct their own OSH programmes.
RBJ has been awarded the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) certification from the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health under the Forestry Sector for ten consecutive years since 2006.
Further to that, RBJ together with the Sabah Forestry Department, has embarked on a five-year commitment to have a third party Independent Auditing on its Reduced Impact Logging (RIL)/Comprehensive Harvesting Plan operations. In order to optimise the economics of the concession area while not compromising the forest environment, RIL is engaged to extract commercial timbers.
RBJ together with the Sabah Forestry Department manages the Ulu Segama and Malua Forest Reserves under Sustainable Forest Management area comprising 241,098 hectares of forest land.
The area represents one of the largest expanses of forest in the southeastern part of Sabah and arguably has the largest concentration of flora and fauna, making it truly a priceless heritage.
Another key project within the Malua Forest Reserve is the establishment of the Malua Wildlife Habitat Conservation Bank with the primary objective to support the conservation of forests for the purpose of creating a wildlife habitat conservation bank that can operate as a commercial business.
Innovision (PNG) Ltd.
is involved in timber operations in Papua New Guinea. Most of the timbers harvested are exported as logs, while a limited volume is processed into sawn timber. The company is desirous in developing a medium to long term integrated forest industry in Papua New Guinea.
FOREST REHABILITATION AND PLANTATION
The Group is also carrying out rehabilitation project through mosaic planting where degraded forests are identified.
Two main activities of forest rehabilitation and plantation are rubber forest plantation and industrial tree plantation at Luasong Forestry Centre, Tawau.
Industrial Tree Plantation
The Industrial Tree Plantation is located in Kalabakan Forest Reserve and Gunung Rara Forest Reserve which falls under the Forest Management Unit 26. The objective of planting the Industrial Tree Plantation is to enhance the productivity of the area by planting fast growing tree species, especially Acacia mangium
. The allocated area earmarked for the Industrial Tree Plantation is 4,046 hectares, however only 37% were developed according to the land suitability. As at December 2015, approximately 1,500 ha have been planted with Acacia mangium
, Acacia hybrid
, Tectona grandis (Teak)
and Eucalyptus deglupta
Rubber Forest Plantation
Rubber Forest Plantation is carried out in Forest Management Unit 26, in the Kalabakan Forest Reserve at Luasong, Tawau, primarily for timber and latex.
As of December 2015, approximately 2,000 hectares have been planted with rubber clones and 25% of the area is now tappable.
The Luasong Rubber nursery have been producing rubber seedlings from selected Timber Latex Clone (TLC) for own use. The nursery has 18 clones verified and endorsed by the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB)