Following its establishment, the Group was allocated a concession area 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 most significant 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 incoherent with the Sabah Forestry Department directive on Forest Certification to ensure the economic, social and environmental obligations and values comply with applicable certification standards.
In preparation to acquire the forest certification, significant studies such as High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF), Social Impact Assessment (SIA), Environmental and Occupational Safety and Health and Forest Fire Management Plans (FFMP) were established and carried out.
RBJ is the first organisation in Sabah to have been awarded the Verification of Legal Compliance (VLC) statement for FMU 15 and 16 from Rainforest Alliance of New York under its Smartwood programme on May 26, 2010.
Acknowledging the importance of adopting a good working culture, RBJ has taken a step further by joining the Mentor-Mentee programme under the OSH Plan MP 15 established by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) in 2015. In this programme, DOSH has invited RBJ as the mentor, and the mentee was the timber harvesting contractors and their respective sub-contractors.
As the mentor, RBJ has implemented appropriate training and guidance on matters related to occupational safety and health based on the guidelines provided by DOSH. To-date, RBJ has mentored seven forestry and two non-forestry associated companies since 2009. The outcomes of the mentor-mentee programme have been very encouraging where the contractors are now able to mentor their sub-contractors on OSH as well as develop and conduct their OSH programmes.
Since 2006, RBJ won the National OSH trophies for ten consecutive years in recognition to their initiatives, dedication and contributions toward OSH implementation in Sabah. The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health of Malaysia presented the award.
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. To optimise the economics of the concession area while not compromising the forest environment, RIL is engaged to extract commercial timbers. The auditing on Timber Legality and Assurance (TLAS) were carried out simultaneously in 2010.
RBJ together with the Sabah Forestry Department manages the Ulu Segama and Malua Forest Reserves under the 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 indeed a priceless heritage.