Public Summary of Plantation Development Plan

 

 

Name of Forest Management Unit: FMU No. 11

License holder: Bornion Timber Sdn Bhd

Gross area size: 58,512.77 ha (Part of FMU No. 11)

Geographical location: 116° 15' E to 116° 50' E longitude to 4° 40' N and 5° 30' N latitude

Contact details of license holder:

Bornion Timber Sdn Bhd

3rd Floor, Lot 16-18, Block K

Jalan Ikan Juara Satu, Sadong Jaya

Karamunsing

88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah / Malaysia

Tel. +60-88-240111   Fax: +60-88-240112

Contact person:

Timothy Pan

Position: Operations Manager HQ

Email:  tim@bornion.com

 

General Locality Map of FMU 11

 

A. MANAGEMENT HISTORY

 

In September 1997, Bornion Timber Sdn Bhd (BTSB) and the State Government of Sabah signed the Sustainable Forest Management License Agreement 03/97 (SFMLA 03/97). The licenced area initially comprised an area of approximately 108,993 ha, consisting of the Ulu Sg. Milian Forest Reserve (Block A) and part of the Sapulut Forest Reserve (Block B). The area is also referred to as Forest Management Unit No. 11, according to administrative regulations of the Sabah Forestry Department.

 

During the period of the first 10-year Forest Management Plan (2002 – 2011) the whole Licenced Area had been managed by BTSB. In the 2nd Forest Management Plan (2012 – 2021) the Licenced Area was reduced to a total gross area of approximately 98,985 ha, due to the excision of 10,008 ha by the State Government for the purpose of development by a different management entity. During the recent area analysis using Geographic Information Systems it was found that the geographically correct area contained within the license boundaries amounts to 99,158.27 ha.

 

B. SCOPE OF FOREST MANAGEMENT PLAN

 

FMU No. 11 has been split into two separate Sub-Management Units, for the purpose of forest certification assessment and management as separate entities under Natural Forest and Forest Plantation regime respectively. The Forest Plantation Management Unit covers a gross area of 58,512.77 ha or about 59% of the FMU area, whereas the Natural Forest Management Unit comprises a gross area of 40,645.5 ha or about 41%. A summary of the subdivision of the FMU is given in the Table below.

 

 

Management Type / Function

Gross Area (ha)

Sub-Unit (%)

FMU area (%)

Forest Plantation
Sub Management Unit

 

 

 

Production

54,662.52

93.42

 

Conservation

1,973.65

3.37

 

Community Forestry

1.876.60

3.21

 

Total Sub-Unit:

58,512.77

100.00

59.01

Natural Forest Sub
Management Unit

 

 

 

Production

30,998.00

76.26

 

Conservation

9,647.50

23.74

 

Total Sub-Unit:

40,645.50

100.00

40.99

Total FMU:

99,158.27

 

100.00

 

FMU No. 11 has been split into two separate Sub-Management Units, for the purpose of forest certification assessment and management as separate entities under Natural Forest and Forest Plantation regime respectively. The Forest Plantation Management Unit covers a gross area of 58,512.77 ha or about 59% of the FMU area, whereas the Natural Forest Management Unit comprises a gross area of 40,645.5 ha or about 41%. A summary of the subdivision of the FMU is given in the Table below.

 

Due to the design of the FMU boundaries both natural and plantation forest areas are further subdivided into:

 

PART A in the Northern part of the Licenced Area, within Milian Forest Reserve,
and PART B in the Southern part of the Licenced Area, within parts of Sapulut Forest Reserve

This Plantation Development Plan (PSP) only covers the Forest Plantation or Industrial Tree Plantation (ITP) area, whereas the
Natural Forest Management area is regulated by a separate plan.

 

The Figure below illustrates the location of the both Forest Sub Management Units with their area proportions in Part A and Part B
respectively.

 

 

 

C. COMPANY MISSION, POLICIES AND OBJECTIVES

 

Mission

Bornion Timber Sdn Bhd will ensure that the integrity, health, viability, and productivity of its forest plantation area within FMU No. 11 is properly developed, maintained and enhanced without jeopardizing the biological and social environment.

 

Management Policies and Objectives

In order to achieve the full range of multiple benefits that forests can provide, BTSB is bound by the following policies and commitments:

 

a) BTSB strives to maintain permanent forest resources that deliver the full range of benefits, that is, sustained yield of high quality timber and other wood products that forests can provide, for reasonable returns to the stakeholders of the Company, now and in future.

 

b) Environmental safeguards shall be integrated into our normal operations so that biological diversity is assured throughout the Licenced Area. Therefore, BTSB will apply forest management practices based on the principles of sustainable forest management.

 

c) The local communities are important stakeholders. Therefore, BTSB is committed towards the social requirements of managing the Licenced Area, with care, safety, health, compassion and consideration of community needs forming part of the day to day operations.

 

d) BTSB will provide means of human resource development through training and enhancing technical skills for its staff and the young generation, by way of attachment to our operations. BTSB also opens its door to institutions of higher learning, enabling their students to participate in practical training or engage in research and development tasks linked to responsible forest management.

 

BTSB's overall forest management objective is to enhance and ensure the perpetuity of the natural resources of the Licenced Area, which is to be managed on a sustainable basis by seeking a balance between a variety of values, products, and services, in an environmentally appropriate and socially acceptable manner.

The resulting specific management objectives are briefly summarized in the following points:

a) protect Biodiversity

b) undertake Natural Forest Conservation and Restoration

c) maintain Economic Viability

d) contribute to Socioeconomic Development

e) develop Recreation Opportunities

f) promote Research and Development

 

D. CERTIFICATION COMMITMENT

 

In line with the forest certification policy of the Sabah Forest Department (SFD) the company is committed to have its management system and operations in FMU No. 11 certified under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) for both natural forests and plantations. The Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification of both Natural Forests (2012) and Forest Plantations (MC&I V2, 2015) have been accepted by the international Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), operated by PEFC International in Switzerland.

 

 

E. CURRENT SITUATION

 

1. Area description

 

The mean annual rainfall in the area amounts to 2,217 mm, with an average mean of 184.8 mm/month and a broad range of variation from 40.8 mm to 545.4 mm.

The atmospheric temperature ranges from 28°C to 35°C with temperatures at night rarely falling below 18°C. The range between the warmest and coolest month is less than 5°C.

The mean monthly relative humidity ranges from 70% to 90%, depending on location and month.

The dominant soil formations are the Crocker and Maliau Associations, which cover about 83.9% of the Licenced Area. Soil types include Orthic Acrisols of Tanjong Lipat and Kapilit families and Chromic Cambisols of the Luasong family. Their texture varies from sandy clay loam to clay loam and they have a very low reserve of plant nutrients.

The topography ranges from gentle to considerably rugged terrain that is categorized into two classes of slope: 0º to 25º and greater than 25º. Large portions of the southwestern parts of Ulu Sg. Milian FR (BLOCK A) and the western parts of Sapulut FR (BLOCK B) are hilly, with elevations of more than 1,000 m above sea level. The slope classification indicates that approximately 60 % of the total area are undulating hills having slopes ranging from 0º to 25º.

The Licenced Area (BLOCK A) forms part of the watershed of the Milian River, which is the tributary of the Kinabatangan River, draining to the east coast. Most of the tributaries of Milian River have their headwaters in the Licenced Area, which flow down from the western portion of the FMU. Sg. Pingas and Sg. Labau flow from Trus Madi FR through Ulu Sg. Milian FR and join Sg. Pinangah and Sg. Melikop. All these rivers drain into the Milian River to form part of the upper Kinabatangan River drainage system.

Prior to year 1997 the Licenced Area was classified into six different forest types, however, three of these forest types are of minor occurrence. These include Limestone Forest, Kerangas or Heath Forest, and Lowland Dipterocarp mixed with Heath Forest. The three dominant forest types were Upland Mixed Dipterocarp Forests (UMDF); Upland Mixed Dipterocarp Forest mixed with Kerangas Forest (UMDF & KF) and Lowland Mixed Dipterocarp Forest (LMDF).

 

 

2. Wildlife Survey

Seperately, there were four surveys on wildlife populations in the Licenced Area had been carried out in years 1998, 2011, 2014 and the latest in 2015, focused more in the Forest Plantation.

Pig-tailed Macaque (Macaca nemenstrina), Long-tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis), Red Leaf Monkey or Maroon Langur (Presbytis rubicunda) and Hose's Langur (Presbytis hosei) were recorded during the survey in the forest plantation area.

Images of the Pig-tailed Macaque (Macaca nemenstrina) were captured on camera traps, indicating their common presence in the forest plantation. The Long-tailed Macaque is believed to be common in the area. As well as red Leaf Monkey (Presbytis rubicunda) was also found in the riparian reserve of the forest plantation area.

The survey also found the presence of common ungulates through their footprints and on camera traps, mostly recorded adjacent to the natural forest management area. The species include Sambar Deer (Cervus unicolor), Bornean Yellow Muntjac (Muntiacus atherodes), Common Barking Deer (Muntiacus muntjac), Lesser Mouse-deer (Tragulus javanicus), Greater Mouse-deer (Tragulus napu) and Bearded Pig (Sus barbatus).

Other important species that were recorded during the survey include Storm's Stork (Ciconia stormi) and Oriental Darter (Anhinga melanogaster), in the pond of the forest plantation.

Most of the other recorded species can be found in abundance in the surveyed area and also in other disturbed forest habitats almost throughout Sabah.

Only four reptile species were encountered during the survey. Such secretive wildlife species are difficult to detect, given the limited period undertaken to survey the area in which efforts focused on surveying mammals and birds.

The survey also recorded the presence of 20 species of frogs in the surveyed areas.

Hunting pressure (poaching) from the surrounding villages and outsiders is a potential threat which has also been the main constraint of protecting the wildlife in the easily accessed forest plantation area. However, this situation has been mitigated to a certain extent by erecting forest gates and patrol & enforcement unit that are used to monitor and control the access into the FMU. There are also joint operation with Sabah Wildlife Department in setting up road block in strategic area.

 

3.    High Conservation Values

In forest plantation, it is still very important to preserve the forest values that are considered to be of outstanding significance or of critical importance, which are defined as High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF). The company has undertaken an assessment of HCVF present in the forest planttaion area, based on the WWF-Toolkit for Malaysia. A review and further refinement of HCVF was made during a study conducted in November 2015. The assessment revealed that the following HCV categories are present in the area:

HCV 1.1 (Protected areas),
HCV 1.4 (Critical Temporal Use),
HCV 2 (Landscape-level Forest),
HCV 4.1 (Watershed Protection),
HCV 4.2 (Erosion Control), and
HCV 6 (Cultural Identity of Local Communities).

 

4.    Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

A Special Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA) was undertaken in June 2002 for all the activities to be conducted in the Licenced Area. The SEIA report was submitted to the Environment Protection Department (EPD), Sabah in February 2003. The process of the SEIA involved two sessions of public hearing and submissions and was approved on 6th June, 2003.

Following the SEIA approval, an agreement or "Surat Akujanji" was signed between BTSB and EPD on 9th June, 2003 to adhere to the environmental management standards and mitigation measures recommended in the SEIA report.

 

In the agreement, various mitigation measures were recommended to manage the impact of the forestry activities to be undertaken. The implementation of agreed mitigation measures is monitored by EPD through an Environmental Monitoring Programme, with 3 Environmental Compliance Reports produced every year. The ECR amongst others include the following aspects:

a. soil erosion & sedimentation
b. water quality
c. harvesting activities
d. planting activities
e. scheduled waste management
f. solid waste disposal
g. forest fire prevention and control
h. protection of sensitive areas (conservation zones and steep areas)
i. safety and health


Following the identification of any non-compliance BTSP will undertake corrective action to achieve full compliance with the environmental management prescriptions of both the Department of Environment (DOE) and Environment Protection Department (EPD).

Details of the forest monitoring results are provided in the Public Summary of Forest Monitoring as published on the company website.

 

5.    Socio-economic situation

In year 2011, a Social Baseline Survey (SBS) was carried out by BTSB in villages within and adjacent to the Licenced Area, in full consultation and cooperation with the SFD staff from Sook District Forestry Office, and officers from SFD Headquarters Sandakan.

In 2015, a more comprehensive Social Impact Assessment has been started to produce an overall report of the whole licensed area, specifically looking into the impact of Forest Plantation activities.

The purpose is also to refine the previous objectives on how to identify the needs of local communities for the design of community forestry projects within designated community compartments, to formulate development projects with participation of local communities.

There are 9 villages found within 2 km distance from the boundary of the Licenced Area. Only a single village (Kg. Wawasan, Cpt 59 of Ulu Sg Milian FR) is located within FMU 11 - Forest Plantation Area.

The 9 villages are Kg. Kilo, Kg. Pinipi, Kg. Kuit, Kg. Lanas Station, Kg. Alab Lanas, Kg. Batu Lunguyan, Kg. Paginatan, Kg. Kagasa and Kg. Matiku. It is estimated that there are about 2,130 people from these 10 villages within and adjacent to forest plantation area.

The Dusun form the main local communities residing at the vicinity and within Ulu Sg. Milian FR while the Murut communities dominate the population adjacent to Sapulut FR. The dominant religion in both areas is Christian.

In general, all villages and sub-villages are well connected with the main road. However, the road conditions from the highway to their respective villages vary from graveled to earth road.

Tradition, socioeconomic conditions and sociocultural practices of communities living inand around FMU#11 area are largely related and dependent on forests, non-forests products. Traditional land utilization practices such as small scale farming, gardening and hunting wild animals are part of their traditional livelihood. They utilise lands on sustainable manner through fallow and rotation systems.

Traditionally, local communities practice hunting and gathering of non-forest product. Hunting normally done for family consumption but do sell extra catches to the nearby market especially Nabawan Town for cash. Random survey during Tamu on Wednesday and Saturday at Nabawan Town revealed that some do have licenced but on occasion there is unlicensed hunter. Children growing up especially in the Murut and Dusun community are thought with traditional skills ranging from trapping wild animals to catching fish in the nearby rivers. When they become adults, such skills are used for family survival and thereafter such skills passed down to their children.

Water supply is not a major problem since almost all villages have installed piped-gravity water, except for Kg. Wawasan which depends on rainwater and river water.

Electricity supplied by SESB has reached 90% of the 10 villages. The rest have to rely either on generator sets or kerosene pump-lamps.

Kindergartens and or primary schools are available in some established villages with higher population density. Churches or chapels are available in 6 villages.

The household monthly cash incomes earned by the families of the respondents varies widely among the community and by area, locality, and village. About 80% of the households earn less than RM 700 per month. The percentage of households earning higher income ranges between 10% and 20% by area and village.

About 20% of the respondents own titled land, whilst 80% stated that they do not own any land or they are in the process of application for Native Titles. About 75% of the respondents claimed to have NCR, also inside the Licenced Area. These communities claim that they have been cultivating the lands before the Ulu Sg. Milian FR was gazetted as a Commercial FR.

The local communities living within and adjacent to the Licenced Area use their land(s) or farmland plots exclusively for agriculture farming. The most common cash crops planted are rubber and oil palm, while padi is planted mainly for subsistence. Other crops that have been planted include various fruit tree species. Based on field observations, there is no land that remains idle.

The population is fast growing and as a consequence, new generations would have to cope with smaller pieces of inherited land or none at all. Furthermore, most of their so called 'land' now belongs to other people, or to commercial oil palm companies. So, many have to search for new land and opened up sub-villages. Others claim land inside the Licenced Area especially adjacent to Forest Plantation Area in Block A as their NCR land, which subsequently caused conflicts and frictions between the concerned communities, BTSB, and the Sabah Forestry Department.

The villagers recognize the importance of watershed conservation as a source of clean water supply. The only watershed areas available are located within the Licenced Area. As a consequence, the communities are opposed to logging activities carried out by BTSB within identified watershed areas.

The challenge for BTSB is to create more awareness on the importance of the forest reserve in the livelihood of the community. Also the presence of BTSB as a license holder in the FMU 11, to develop forest plantation that will bring prosperity towards nation building in a sustainability way, benefiting the local community.

 

6.    Resource description

The majority of the forest area was previously comprised of Upland Mixed Dipterocarp Forests. Lowland Mixed Dipterocarp Forests and Kerangas Forests have almost disappeared over the past decades as a result of intensive logging and unsustainable management practices.

Current timber stocks are sub-divided into the following categories:

 

a) areas established with rubber plantations,

b) areas established with Acacia crassicarpa, and

c) areas stocked with degraded residual natural forests, scheduled for clearing, site preparation and replanting under the ITP scheme

 

Rubber timber volumes from plantations established between years 2008 and 2015 amount to 16,193 ha gross and 9.710 ha net with an estimated total stem volume of 437,904 m³, out of which 266,378 m³ are estimated to have commercial value.

Areas established with Acacia crassicarpa total 928 ha gross (800 ha net) in year 2004 currently hold an estimated total volume of 110,139 m³ with a saw log/chip log ratio of 37% to 63%.

Remaining salvage logging areas scheduled for plantation development cover about 26,000 ha gross area with an estimated net harvestable area of 20,800 ha. The estimated residual commercial volume for the whole area amounts to 873,600 m³.

 

 

7.    Results of Forest Monitoring

Forest monitoring activities in the past were restricted to few elements, mainly covering licence boundaries and forest security, production volumes from timber harvesting, planting and maintenance operations, as well as social and environmental impacts of forest management activities.

Licence boundaries had been monitored throughout the previous and current plan period. Besides some limited encroachment into the FMU area by adjacent local communities no major violations of the company's management rights was documented.

Harvesting volumes were regularly monitored throughout the current plan period and documented on compartment basis.

Environmental Compliance Reporting (ECR) has been carried out by a licenced EIA Consultant, according to the regulations and intervals prescribed by the Environment Protection Department. Key parameters assessed through water samples taken from six different sample locations at 4-monthly intervals include Biological and Chemical Oxygen Demand, Total Suspended Solids, Oil and Grease, Turbidity and Coliform count. Except for BOD and COD partially exceeding threshold values the water quality requirements of the NWQSM Class IIb Standard are mostly within the permitted value scale.

Systematic records of recyclable waste disposal exist since year 2014 only. These include steel scrap and scheduled wastes.

During the period 2011 to 2015 a total of 514 compliance criteria were assessed by the EIA consultant. The overall compliance ranking is 87%. Most of the non-compliances identified were rectified until the date of the next surveillance audit.

In the past, monitoring of social impacts was not carried out in a structured and systematic manner. Future social impact monitoring needs to be improved.

No accidents have been reported and documented until year 2005, when a recording procedure was first established. No serious injuries were reported in ITP areas during this period.

A system for forest fire prevention, detection and suppression has been developed and is implemented according to the provisions of the Forest Fire Management Plan (FFMP).

The risk of forest fire occurrence in the plantation area has been relatively low due to regular patrolling and monitoring activities. Only during the dry spell of year 2016 forest fires have occurred in several ITP compartments, caused by land preparation of farmers in surrounding villages.

Details of the forest monitoring results are provided in the Public Summary of Forest Monitoring as published on the company website.

 

8.    High Conservation Values

Besides their economic value, forests also include environmental and social values, such as watershed and soil protection, habitats for wildlife, as well as areas important to the livelihood of local communities. Values of outstanding significance or critical importance are defined as High Conservation Values (HCV). In year 2011, the company has undertaken an assessment of High Conservation Values present in the Licenced Area, based on the WWF-Toolkit for Malaysia: A National Guide for Identifying, Managing and Monitoring High Conservation Value Forests, (WWF-Malaysia 2009). In year 2015 the HCVF concept was reviewed and further refined by a Consultant Team from Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS).  The study revealed that except for HCV 2 (Landscape level forest) all of the six HCV categories are present in FMU No. 11.  Management prescriptions for all identified HCV categories are described under the Future Forest Management Chapter.

 

 

F. FUTURE FOREST MANAGEMENT

 

1. Infrastructure Development

The ITP gross area of 58,512.77 ha has been subdivided into 140 compartments with an average size of 419.9 ha, based on delineations that mainly follow natural features like ridges, rivers and streams, permanent roads, etc. Individual sizes of production compartments range from 154 to 1,019 ha.

 

The current road network comprises a total of 1,697.8 km of main and sub-roads roads, resulting in a total density of about 50.02 m per ha, based on a current gross production area of 33,941.8 ha developed in Block a of the ITP area.

 

The company operates a Base Camp for its ITP operations in Block A (shared with NFM operations), located within Sg. Milian Forest Reserve, about 18 km to the west of the junction at Kg. Simpang Empat along the Sook – Tulid public road. The Pingas Camp is located in Compartment 144, about 24.5 km from the Base Camp. In addition, the recently established Pandiwan Base Camp in Block B is located 11.5 km to the east of the public road junction south of Nabawan, along the Sook-Sapulut road. At the same location, the company also operates a logyard for grading, sorting and storage of incoming logs from salvage logging operations. Temporary stumping areas for log tagging and scaling are identified near the planned harvesting areas.

 

2. Forest Zoning and Net Production Area

 

Within the ITP area, three main forest functions have been identified at individual compartment level:

 

- conservation and protection functions of various HCV categories

- production function for latex and timber,

- and community use function

 

The Forest Zoning Map below illustrates these identified forest functions at forest compartment level. In some cases, certain portions of a compartment function as water catchment areas for clean water supply.

 

itp zoning map

 

The gross production area totals 58,512.77 ha. Compartments comprising 1,973.65 ha (3.4% of the gross area) have been reserved for the purpose of conservation and protection. In addition, protection areas within production compartments add up to another 7,611.15 ha (13.0 %), while community compartments have a total of 1,876.60 ha (3.2%). Once fully developed, the road network including buffers will occupy a total of 4,230.6 ha (7.2%) of the ITP area. Areas of 103.8 ha (0.18%) have either been occupied by or are reserved for general infrastructure and research areas. The total size of non-productive areas amounts to 16,645.86 ha or 28.45% of the gross ITP area. The remaining net production area totals 41,866.91 ha 71.55% of the gross ITP area.

3.    Management of High Conservation Values and Protection Areas

The overall goal of conservation management is to ensure that all sites with identified High Conservation Values and other areas to be protected according to environmental rules and regulations of the responsible government authorities are effectively protected from encroachment and any other unauthorized activities. These areas have been described, mapped and marked in the field.

The management prescriptions for conservation and protection areas serve to

 

ensure the integrity of the identified areas

enable their undisturbed development maintain their associated attributes and values

enhance these areas to deliver the ecological services, where these had been affected by previous disturbance

 

Management standards for conservation and protection areas based on HCV categories have been developed, including indicators to be used to determine whether the standard has effectively supported the conservation objective. In addition, HCVF enhancement measures were defined for implementation where conservation areas were affected by disturbance.

Details of the HCVF management concept can be found in the Public Summary of HCVF Management by Bornion Timber Sdn. Bhd.

 

4.    Production objectives

In order to re-establish productive forests in the degraded forest areas assigned to ITP these need to be replanted using tree species with proven track record and attractive market value. The company's management objectives have been set as follows:

 

- to establish a net planted area of at least 25,000 ha in the degraded and burnt residual forest areas, using rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) as the prime species for both latex and timber production, and other fast growing timber species to be determined;

- to re-establish and optimize the productivity of the degraded forest areas by growing high quality saw logs as a compensation for the losses incurred by natural forest calamities and degradation;

- to manage the plantation area under the principle of sustained yield, and in accordance with the requirements of internationally acknowledged forest certification schemes.

 

5.    Plantation development stages and related activities

The Plantation Development Plan describes four stages of plantation development, together with the necessary activities to be carried out: Planning, Implementation, Rubber Tapping, Replanting.

Species choice

A detailed assessment of Hevea brasiliensis as a forest plantation species has been undertaken by BTSB, including a risk-benefit assessment. Based on the results of this study it can be concluded that Hevea brasiliensis is a multiple use tree species with predominantly positive to strongly positive ranking, making it suitable for large-scale planting at industrial level. The identified risks need to be closely monitored to avoid problems in growth and yield performance. In comparison with planting other native timber species in a forest plantation environment, Hevea brasiliensis offers substantial and higher benefits.

The establishment of forest plantations with Hevea brasiliensis uses a planting density of 450 to 550 trees per ha, with a spacing of about 25 feet x 8 feet. The genotypes cultivated include the PB 350, PB 260. Other than these, RRIM 2025, RRIM 2027 and RRIM 3001 are also planted to achieve a diversity of genotypes. All these genotypes were recommended by the Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia (RRIM) as a series that yield high latex and timber volume.

Seedling production

Since the establishment of Bornion Timber Sdn. Bhd. the rubber nursery plays a significant role, with its key task of developing superior planting material supplying healthy quality seedlings. At the same time, impacts of nursery activities on the environment should be minimized. The capacity of the nursery is designed to hold about 1 million rubber seedlings, catering for a maximum annual planting area of 2,000 ha.

Boundary Marking

This activity is essential to ensure clear ground identification and separation of activities between different parties or contractors. Boundary is carried out for compartments, planting blocks, riparian reserves, steep areas and areas containing High Conservation Values.

Salvage Logging and land clearing

BTSB carries out salvage logging operations as an initial site preparation measure, prior to the establishment of rubber forest plantations. Logging operations must be implemented in a controlled and efficient manner, through minimizing soil disturbance and wood wastage, and maximizing commercial wood recovery. Failure to observe environmental mitigation measures could result in a reduced growth performance of subsequent stands to be established.

Harvesting operations can only be implemented following the completion of activities prescribed for Compartment Boundary Demarcation, Survey of HCVF and Other Protected Areas, as well as Marking of steep areas and Riparian Reserves.

Following the extraction of the residual commercial trees BTSB carries out clear felling operations, i.e. felling of all trees above 2-inch diameter.

Road infrastructure development

A well planned and maintained road network is essential to ensure efficient forest access and operational activities. A well designed road system also plays an important role in controlling and suppressing forest fires. Overall target road density is 40 m per ha.

All road construction activities should ensure that soil movement is kept to a minimum and that preferably no roads are located in steep terrain.  Machine operators must be well trained to avoid disturbance of conservation and protection areas, e.g. by pushing soil into HCVF sites, river buffer zones, streams, lakes, swamps, grave yards or other protected/unique sites.

Land Preparation

Terracing and wood debris stacking needs to be done in areas of more than 15 degrees slope only. The operating teams must strictly comply with the conditions stated in the work specifications and regulations by the company and SFD.

Planting of Rubber and Cover Crops

The choice of planting material is based on known Timber Latex Clones which have desirable characteristics for timber production: straight boles without knots, self-pruning, and a high rate of diameter growth. The company has adopted a planting density of 450 to 550 trees per hectare. This requires a between tree distance of 2.4 m along the constructed planting path, and 7.6 to 9.1 meter between planting paths (terraces). This density will induce trees to compete with each other for sunlight, thereby growing taller and developing less branches.

 

6.    Plantation maintenance

Maintenance and upkeep works

In order to keep the trees growing rapidly adequate attention needs to be given to maintenance such as weeding and brushing operations, especially during the first 1-5 years after planting. Maintenance and upkeeping works are divided into two categories.

Manual Control: manual weeding does not consist of any chemical usage but employs circle weeding, pruning, cover crop control, and blanket slashing.

Chemical Control: chemicals weeding involves the use of approved chemicals based on SFD requirement, consisting of blanket spraying, strip spraying and manuring.

 

Fertilizing

Fertilizer application is divided into 3 categories: correct soil nutrient deficiency, provide an initial boost to rubber tree growth, and maximize the growth potential. Dosages are as follow:

CIRP + Ammonium Sulphate at 125 g per tree during first planting, NPK Yellow at a dosage of 250 g per tree every three (3) months before estimated start of latex production, and NPK Blue at a dosage of 800 g per tree once a year during the latex production phase.

Integrated Pest Management

Since the establishment of Bornion Timber Sdn. Bhd, pests and diseases unfortunately played a role especially regarding biotic pests (bark damage by Sambar Deer). In order to ensure the plantation continues to develop without major damages to its performance an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system has been developed by the company as the framework for prevention and minimising of impacts from pests, diseases, fire and invasive plant introduction.

Growth Monitoring

BTSB has established 26 Permanent Sample Plots (PSP) at its rubber area and carries out comprehensive research and development in order to improve the product quality and latex yield. PSPs allow regular re-assessment of the same trees in the field. The purpose of these repeated measurement is to monitor the performance of rubber tree clones, impacts of fertilizer dosage on tree diameter and volume growth, latex yield, as well as monitoring health status and occurrence of any diseases and other factors influencing growth and productivity. Additional PSPs will be established according to the progress of plantation development.

 

7.    Rehabilitation of residual natural forest

Where required enrichment planting of poorly stocked areas of residual natural forests will be carried out as identified during diagnostic field sampling. Only indigenous timber species are permitted for planting, with an emphasis on the use of RTE species. At the current stage the areas to be rehabilitated still need to be identified through field sampling. However, it is expected that in most of these residual natural forests sufficient natural regeneration is still on the ground that can be treated through silvicultural methods.

 

8.    Latex production

Rubber/latex production is scheduled commence in the 5th to 6th year of planting for the next 25 years. It is estimated that 940,000 tons of rubber/latex will be produced from 25,000 ha of rubber forest plantations. During this early phase of plantation establishment, only about 25,000 metric tons of dry latex are expected to be produced until the end of the PDP period in year 2021.

 

9.    Timber production

Future timber harvesting volumes will be generated from three different sources:

from salvage logging operations for plantation development
from harvesting of matured Acacia crassicarpa stands, and
from harvesting of rubber timber

Volumes from a. and b. above will be harvested during the current plan period, whereas timber resources from c. above would only be harvested as from year 2037 onwards, unless latex prices continue to be depressed over an unpredictable period. In this case harvesting of rubber stands would be implemented at an earlier stage, but not during the current plan period.

Schedule for salvage logging operations

During the remaining plantation establishment period of years 2016 to 2028 a net area of about 1,600 ha will be harvested which will produce an average volume of 67,200 m³ per annum, based on an average extractable volume of 42 m³ per ha.

Schedule for harvesting Acacia crassicarpa stands

The Acacia crassicarpa stands planted in year 2004 had not been silviculturally managed and hence, diameter growth has not met with expectations. The stands will be harvested as soon as most of the trees have reached diameters well above the minimum saw log diameter limit. This is expected to be the case by the end of year 2019. Harvesting of the Acacia area can be carried out in year 2020. The harvesting operation is expected to yield a total volume of 124,583 m³, out of which approximately 55,435 m³ consisting of saw logs and 69,144 m³ consisting of chip logs. These estimates shall be verified through a stand inventory to be conducted during year 2017.

Schedule for harvesting Rubber stands

A timber yield forecast has been undertaken using preliminary yield tables for Hevea brasiliensis developed in early 2016. The results of the underlying growth and yield study are based on growth observations in Permanent Sample Plots (PSPs) up to an age of 7 years, and on literature review and published analyses of rubber plantation growth in Southeast Asia.

Assuming stand growth development will be according to the growth projections harvesting operations are expected to commence by year 2037.  Exemptions from this scheduled harvesting year include stand latex yield well below target, or stand damages caused by biotic or abiotic damage. Average harvesting volumes can be sustained around 153,000 m³ per annum, unless stem numbers, growth performance or commercial bole heights significantly differ from the assumptions made in the yield tables. Between years 2037 and 2058 total standing timber volumes of Hevea brasiliensis will amount to 7.42 million m³ with a corresponding commercial volume of 3.38 million m³.

 

10.     Timber harvesting methods

All operations related to tree felling, log extraction and transport from the plantation will be carried out using best management practices employing Reduced Impact Logging (RIL) technology. The management objectives are formulated to achieve long-term sustainability of timber and non-timber production with the least possible impact on the forest environment:

 

- Safety and health of all personnel involved in timber harvesting operations shall be ensured at all times, based on the company's SOP.

- Timber harvesting systems, methods and technologies shall be directed to minimize any negative effects on conservation and protection areas, as well as soil structure and soil fertility.

- The recovery of commercial wood shall be maximized to realize optimum returns from the sale of rubber wood logs.

 

11.     Replanting of harvested stands

At this early stage of plantation development it is premature to determine the scope and scheduling of replanting operations in detail. Currently, BTSB plans to continue planting rubber following the completion of the first rotation, though this will depend on a general performance assessment to be carried out towards the end of the scheduled 30-year rotation. Replanting operations will closely follow the harvesting operations which will help to keep harvested areas free of competing vegetation and hence, reduce the need for pre-plant sprays or manual weeding operations. For maintaining yield sustainability the targeted annual gross harvesting area of 2,000 ha will also require an annual replanting operation of similar size.

Wherever possible, the commercial and ecological value in the second rotation of the plantation shall be further enhanced. The company will also continue to contribute in improving and enhancing the livelihood and wellbeing of its staff and workers sourced from local communities. The technical production objective is assumed to stay focused on high-yielding timber-latex clones producing quality saw logs to be grown within a rotation period of 25 to 30 years. In case latex prices would remain at continuously depressed levels making rubber tapping commercially not economically viable the latex production would be discontinued. Rotation period would be shortened to around 15 years with rubber timber production as the key management objective.

 

12.     Forest fire control

During prolonged periods of drought forest fires constitute a major threat to the plantation area as forest plantations are more susceptible to fires compared to natural forests. The period from March to September is critical where monitoring activities need to be stepped up.

Several approaches to forest fire management are applied in and around FMU No. 11. BTSB's management approach employs an Integrated Forest Fire Management (IFFM) System whereby all aspects of prevention and suppression are dealt with in a holistic manner. Effective and efficient forest fire prevention and suppression (firefighting) can only be carried out when proper procedures, resources and facilities are in place and put into operation. A Forest Fire Management Plan prepared in year 2013 regulates the details of forest fire control in the FMU.

 

13.     Community Support and Development Programme

The community development approach taken by BTSB focuses on the following key points:

 

- provision of suitable land for crop cultivation and/or animal husbandry
- permission to continue to settle in the Licenced Area for communities that already were established before the license was issued to BTSB
(Kg. Wawasan in particular)
- priority is given by BTSB management to economic development activities, including improvement of in physical and social infrastructure, as identified by needs analysis
- employment priority to qualified job applicants from nearby local communities

- awarding service and maintenance contracts by BTSB to individuals or small companies originating from adjacent communities, e.g. for - plantation maintenance works, forest survey and inventory works, and planting activities

 

Further steps to be taken by the company include effective control of forest encroachment and management of claims over Native Customary Right (NCR) in close collaboration with the responsible government agencies.

 

The long-term community support and development programme adopts a strategy to

Continuous dialogues with the communities shall be held especially pertaining to

  • strengthen community cohesion and good neighbourhood,
  • increasing efforts to protect natural forest encroachment,
  • strengthening community interest and participation in community project development and implementation
  • setup and operation of the Milian Sapulut Community Forestry Committee (MSCFC) for permanent community liaison, project identification, coordination and implementation monitoring

 

14.     Research and development

 

Research and development activities form an essential element of sustainable forest management and continuous improvement of current practices. The company will prioritize R&D activities as described in the following sub-chapters. These components comprise BTSB's designated research and development programme.

During the remaining plan period R&D activities shall focus on the following tasks:

a. A detailed Digital Surface Model (DSM) and Digital Terrain Model (DTM), and improved topographical maps will be available for refined plantation development and harvest planning

b. the Continuous Growth Monitoring System will be further improved to enable the regular estimation and updating of BTSB's timber stocks

c. Tools for growth and timber yield projection will be developed to enable reliable forecasts of harvestable timber resources by the end of the rotation. Growth functions and projections for rubber will be available for different clones and site conditions.

d. Identify the optimum fertilizer dosage required at different plantation development stages, to ensure best possible growth performance without wasting resources.

e. Minimize negative environmental impacts caused by site clearing and preparation for planting.

These research and development objectives will be achieved through full dedication to the identified tasks, and firm commitment of BTSB's management and staff.

 

15.     Organization and Manpower

 

The overall company management of BTSB is effected by a Chief Operations Officer (COO) who is directly supported by a Senior Operations Manager. He directs an Operations Manager who oversees the day to day activities of all company Divisions. The Operations Manager is assisted by a team of Senior Officers heading the following Divisions: Forest Management Division, Production Division, Administration Division, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Division, and Sales and Marketing Division.


The current operational manpower at the field camp sites comprises a total of 241 staff. A breakdown of the BTSB-ITP staff by origin and gender is available.


As shown in this Table about 84% of the workforce originate either from local communities in the vicinity of the FMU or from other places in Sabah, meaning that BTSB is a major employer in Central Sabah providing job opportunities and giving preference to the employment of local people.


In terms of employment by gender the majority of BTSB's staff is male (82%), which is typical for companies involved in plantation resource management. However, the company employs a significant number of female staff (44) working in the technical as well as in the service and support units.

 

16. Training and Human Resource Development

Professional and technologically advanced forest management can only be implemented with a well-trained pool of company staff, skilled contractors and forest workers. Hence, the company policy is to continuously develop its human resources by conducting internal and external training courses and briefings in all necessary fields of practical forest operations and administration.

 

The need for training measures will be identified through individual staff performance assessments conducted by the heads of Divisions, and through specific training needs assessment carried out by the HR Unit of the Administration Division, where necessary. The training programme will focus on identified high priority topics.

All training subjects, priorities and timing of training components are planned and coordinated by BTSB's Administration Division.

 

17. Safety and Health            

The company management has also developed its own Safety and Health policy.  A S&H Committee oversees the implementation of the policy and standards for implementation. The necessary type of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be used by the company staff and workers is specified by job categories and risk exposure. The appointed S&H Officer conducts regular training courses and briefings, as well as field monitoring to ensure all staff fully understand and comply with the respective company policies and safety requirements at the work site.

 

18.     Monitoring system and Operational procedures

A monitoring, compliance and evaluation (MC&E) system forms a standard component of the forest management system described in this Forest Management Plan. Continuous MC&E activities shall systematically observe the implementation activities, their effects and frame conditions on the basis of plans, targets and objectives (PDP, Annual Operation Plans), followed by a documentation of the relevant data and information collected, and a subsequent evaluation of the achievement of scheduled activities.

 

The monitoring objectives include:

a. the control of forest operations, including the performance of own staff and contractors

b. the identification of under- or over-achievements, to determine the causes and to take action to rectify the situation through future plan adjustment

c. the detection of inefficiencies, shortcomings, and fraud

d. the provision of information for evaluation and future revision of the Forest Management Plan, and/or Annual Operation Plans

 

The results of the MC&E activities will be presented and discussed with relevant managers for corrective action and improvement, as considered necessary. A list of monitoring elements is provided in the PDP and a comprehensive database that is available from the company website.

Another component of the MC&E System is the Compartment and Block Register currently under development. All current data and information as well as operational planning and implementation data are to be compiled and summarized in the Register.  

All important planning and operational activities are described in a comprehensive set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). SOP's are important documents describing objectives, responsibilities and work procedures to be implemented in a systematic manner.

The results of BTSB's ongoing monitoring activities are published on the company website.

 

 

19.     Plan review

The objective of the prescribed mid-term plan review is to ensure that the foundation of the planning framework remains intact and accords with changes in the production environment that might affect the viability and profitability of the timber business. In consequence, the FMP will need to be periodically adapted to avoid that this fundamental planning instrument continues to remain relevant for implementing approved management activities on the ground.

This updated Plantation Development Plan for the ITP Sub-Management Unit has been developed in year 2015. Changes to the assumptions and conditions of resource management need to undergo a full review and update. A final version of the revised plan will only be available by the time of the mid-term review by year 2017, after all necessary input data for a comprehensive review are available.

 

20.     Concluding remarks

This revised version of the PDP for the Industrial Tree Plantation area in FMU 11 has been developed to meet the requirements of forest certification under the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification (MC&I Forest Plantations) of the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS).

The PDP is to be viewed as a transition document between the 2nd FMP and the revised PDP to be developed during year 2017. This current PDP version describes the plan elements and work programme for the remaining years of the 2nd FMP (PDP) period 2012 – 2021.

The necessary activities for sustainable forest management primarily depend on a sound knowledge of the environmental, social and plantation resource. The measures formulated in this PDP are directed towards undertaking necessary conservation and protection measures in areas with HCV, providing safeguards for environmental and socio-economic needs, sound planning of plantation development and operation, based on best management practices, and deriving optimum benefits from the resource management in FMU 11.

Management and staff of Bornion Timber Sdn Bhd are confident that with this preliminary PDP a basic framework is in place that will guide our team in developing, enhancing and maintaining a healthy and vital forest plantation that serves the multiple needs of modern society, and contributes to responsible forestry for the benefit of current and future generations.

 

April 2016