Sarawak fears its timber industry may be adversely affected by a proposal to list three genera of Dipterocarp trees as threatened, reports The Star.
A study published last month by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) indicated that three important timber species — keruing, meranti and kapur — may be threatened with extinction due to decades of logging. The species are not presently listed and would need to undergo a “lengthy verification process”, according to an update from the International Tropical Timber Organization, before they could appear on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Nevertheless Sarawak Timber Association chairman Datuk Wong Kie Yik said any listing would impact Sarawak’s timber trade. The three genera account for up to 62 percent of total log and 24 percent of sawnwood exports from Sarawak through the first eight months of 2010. Last year Sarawak’s exports of the potentially affected tree species reached 3.78 million cubic meters and generated 1.79 billion ringgit ($580 million) in revenue.
The Star reports the three genera include 166 species, of which 113 species are on the Red List. 267 species of Dipterocarpus trees are found in Sabah and Sarawak — Malaysian Borneo — while there are roughly a total of 500 species across 17 genera worldwide.
CITATION: JACK WONG. Red listed of tree species may hurt Sarawak timber trade. The Star September 24, 2010