Dept entrusted to develop airborne monitoring system

Posted on 02 Mar 2010

* Berita ini terdapat dalam Bahasa Inggeris sahaja.

LAMBIR: Sarawak Forestry Department was entrusted by the state government to develop an airborne monitoring system so as to further enhance surveillance and enforcement capacity.In this respect, the Forest Department is working with Spectral Imaging of Finland (Specim) to set up a fast response airborne hyper spectral sensing solution that could be mobilised in short notice.

Department director Datu Len Talif Salleh yesterday disclosed, in the long run, the department would be thinking to further collaborate with both local and foreign institutions such as Carnegie  Institution of Science, University Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) and University Putra Malaysia (UPM) to further enhance the understanding in tropical rainforest ecosystem dynamics.Picture

Sarawak Forestry Department yesterday launched the International Collaboration for the Development of Mixed Dipterocarp Forest Spectral Database and Forest Department Sarawak Airborne Hyper Spectral Sensing Programme at Borneo Tropical Rainforest Resort in Lambir, Miri.

Len  said the department would also be looking at the development of new applications that were associated with these parameters.

“The collaboration efforts that we see today resembles the commitment by both Sarawak and Malaysian government in improving understanding on forest ecosystem functions and also in looking at ways to  effectively manage forest resources in a sustainable manner,” he said in a speech delivered by deputy director of Forests, Sarawak, Ali Yusop.

Len is confident that with all the commitments from all parties, this International Collaboration for the Development of Spectral Database of Mixed Dipterocarp Forest at Lambir National Park and Airborne Hyper Spectral Sensing Programme would benefit not only the department but also the state.

The Forest Department has taken a step further by establishing its own airborne sensing facility in 2009 to supplement satellite mission and at the same time promote the advancement of high technology such as hyper spectral sensing into research and development within the department.

Over the first year, the department has successfully developed several end-user applications through its research and development activities.

Although initially meant for in-house operations, the department has plans to further develop some of these applications for commercialisation and for use to other state agencies.

One of such application is in mapping the health status of the planted forest stands, which could be extended for mapping nutrient and disease outbreak in large-scale agriculture plantations.

Geospatial information and technologies are increasingly becoming effective tools to resolve issues faced by societies around the world.

Geospatial technology has also been accepted as a key  operational tool for organisations working in environment.

Amongst the technologies are global positioning systems (GPS), geographical information systems (GIS), remote sensing.

These technologies have contributed immensely to addressing issues in natural resources management.

“The state government is committed to resolving these issues and therefore supports the use and applications of geospatial information and technology in managing the natural resources in the state,” he added.

Therefore, the state government is prepared to support initiative like this which is aimed at encouraging the personnel in the department to enhance their knowledge and capabilities in the use of these technologies.

Sarawak Forest Depart-ment started using GIS in 1995 through a bilateral project with German government.

Since then, the state in 1998 had approved for the procurement of GIS.

The system’s overall objective is to establish an efficient and operational forest management information system using GIS as a tool to support and strengthen the department to carry out its mandate as the custodian of the state’s forest resources.

“Contrary to most accusations on developed countries, the guiding principal behind the sustainable forest management model adopted particularly by the state and Malaysia in general takes into consideration all these factors, where forest resources are utilised at a rate that is able to support both economic and social development without impairing the permanent value of the forest,” he said.

In this respect, the state has also realised the importance of good governance among regulatory agencies such as Sarawak Forest Department to ensure compliance to the various policies and regulations.

A total of 50 scientists and researchers from Carnagie Airborne Observatory (CAO) University of Stanford USA, University Malaysia Sarawak, University Putra Malaysia and staff of the state Forest Department attended the workshop.

source from : The Borneo Post