In 1997, the government introduced the concept of FMU for Class 2 forest areas to limit excessive logging through the implementation of a long-term forest management plan or a Sustainable Forest Management Authorization Agreement (SFMLA) focused on the economy, social affairs and the environment. He said some FMU licensees felt engaged in forest management, but some companies have changed ownership up to four times. “In the context of sustainable forest management, harvesting is no longer the main activity. Licensees must find a balance between harvesting, restoring and replanting the forest. He stated that FMU licences should be awarded to firms engaged in the forestry sector and, ideally, solid capital, so that companies do not depend on the harvesting of trees before they can carry out restoration or replanting work. He stated that the department should be cautious about terminating FMU licences, as the existing agreement did not have an exit clause. He stated that the 33 current licensees for 30 to 100 years received FMUs for 1.8 million hectares of the Class 2 commercial forest reserve. He said about 48 percent of Sabah`s land mass was covered by Class 1 to 7 forests. As a public servant, Mashor stated that he was not familiar with the names of the licensees and did not know who they were related with. “Based on current policy, all new FMUs will be awarded only to Yayasan Sabah or a joint venture with Yayasan Sabah.” Since GE14, the government has not granted new FMU authorizations. He said the Sabah Forestry department had offered to end other FMU licenses.
“The last four licences were issued in the first quarter of 2018.” During the press conference, he also published the names of companies and the ownership of six FMU licensees, recently published in the media. Interviewed by reporters, Mashor said that 324,620 hectares have been replanted out of the 500,000 hectares earmarked for industrial tree planting (PTI). Of the 37 FMU licenses, four have been cancelled, said Sabah Chief Conservator of Forests Datuk Mashor Mohd Jaini. However, he said there were times when the implementation of the FMU could not be guaranteed. Prior to the introduction of the FMU, he stated that there was no long-term obligation to restore or replant registered areas. KOTA KINABALU: From 1997 to May 2018, before the 14th general election, the State government granted a total of 37 licences for the Forest Management Unit (FMU). In another sense, he stated that the Sabah Forestry Office was in the process of verifying the compliance level of other licensees.