Sarawak aims to continue placing a high priority on conservation, with one million hectares of land to be gazetted as totally protected areas by 2020.
Deputy Chief Minister Awang Tengah Ali Hasan (above) said, to date, Sarawak has gazetted 0.82 million hectares of landmass as totally protected areas.
He said this includes national parks, nature reserves and wildlife sanctuaries for the purpose of conservation of flora and fauna and their habitat, recreational, educational, as well as for ecotourism activities.
“In addition, we have also gazetted 1.24 million hectares as a totally protected area covering water bodies or territorial waters.
“Under the State Land Use Policy, the forestry sector is also allocated six million hectares for the purpose of Permanent Forest Estates,” he said while speaking at the "Forest Talk - The Journey of 100 Years" in Kuching today.
Awang Tengah added, through sound sustainable forest management, 63 percent or 7.8 million hectares of Sarawak are still under forest cover.
“This contributes about 44 percent of Malaysia's total forest cover,” he said.