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MoU on 'IJM Secret Garden' project

Beluran: The Sabah Forestry Department (SFD) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IJM Plantations Berhad.

The MoU was signed by SFD's Chief Conservator of Forest, Datuk Sam Mannan, on behalf of the State Government, while IJM Plantations Berhad was represented by its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD), Joseph Tek. It was held during the launch of Sugut Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Station, here, Thursday.

The MoU is a five-year collaboration between both parties for the enhancement of forest landscapes and establishment of a forest corridor linking Trusan Sugut Forest Reserve with the project area within the IJM Plantation Berhad's area, named "IJM Secret Garden."

In a statement issued by SFD, both also agreed to do research and survey on flora and fauna and to determine the way forward for the management of the "IJM Secret Garden" as well as the best management strategies that can be implemented between Trusan Sugut Forest Reserve and the project area.

The project area – "IJM secret Garden" - was named due to its locality and being the last remaining forest in the area that is still dominated by emergent trees and some dipterocarp tree species.

This forest remnant measures approximately 170.66ha, is a logged over secondary forest that was set aside for conservation site and thus the collaborative efforts between the parties are timely to determine the way forward for management of the project area. This effort is also in line with the State's policy to support conservation efforts and SFM in the State, with the support of the palm oil industry.