by Chok Sim Yee
KOTA KINABALU: KTS Plantation Sdn Bhd (KTSP) and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) yesterday signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to conduct research collaboration on wildlife population, silviculture management and nature tourism potential in Segaliud Lokan Forest Reserve.
RTS Group deputy managing director Temenggong Datuk Vincent Lau Lee Ming hoped that the MOA would benefit both the industry and university.
He said the collaboration not only provided a platform to showcase the treasures at Segaliud Lokan Forest Reserve managed by KTSP, but also opened up more opportunities for cooperation in many aspects particularly in the fields of research, students’ industrial training and thesis for final year projects.
He said the research collaboration, which was based on a matching grant concept totaling RM211,095, would cover three objectives, namely wildlife population, silviculture management and nature tourism potential.
“KTSP believes that these research areas are critical for achieving sustainable forest management in Segaliud Lokan Forest Reserve,” Lau said that at the signing ceremony at UMS here.
The ceremony was witnessed by the Deputy Chief Conservator of Forests, Sabah Forestry Department, Dr Robert Ong.
The MOA was initiated following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2016 to enhance the collaboration between industry and education institute.
Lau said KTSP believed the MOA was an innovative strategy to tap into the potential of competitive impact from industry-university research collaboration as the company continued to challenge itself to be a role model for others in the forestry industry to meet common challenges ahead.
He added that KTSP together with the Sabah Forestry Department would be organizing a scientific expedition called the ‘Sungai Rawog River Conservation Area Expedition’ in August this year with UMS researchers among the principal research team.
Meanwhile, UMS vice chancellor Datuk Dr Kamarudin D Mudin hoped that the signing of the MOA would become inputs that helped strategic challenges in improving sustainable forest management through good science and research.
He elaborated that the MOA involved research collaboration on the study of mineralogical availabilities and its relationships with wildlife population in Segaliud Lokan Forest Reserve; study on the effect of silviculture improvement in the high production corridor and morphophenological variation of Shorea leprosula in the forest reserve; and feasibility study on nature tourism potential in the forest reserve.
Kamarudin was represented by UMS deputy vice chancellor (academic and international), Professor Dr Rasid Mail.
Also present were KTS Trading Sdn Bhd Sabah area operations manager Wong Kee Mee, KTSP Sabah area operations manager Collin Goh and UMS registrar No’man Haji Ahmad.