Sarawak Energy Signs Collaboration Agreement With Sarawak Forestry for WiMoR

Kuching, April 18, 2013: Sarawak Energy Berhad, the State’s energy provider, today signed an agreement with Sarawak Forestry Corporation Sdn Bhd (Sarawak Forrestry) for the Wildlife Monitoring and Rescue (WiMoR) operation designed for the conservation of the wildlife, flora and fauna within the Murum Hydroelectric Project (HEP) area. 

Signing for Sarawak Energy were Puan Aisah Eden, Chief of Corporate Services (CCS) and Encik Marconi Madai, the General Manager for Corporate Risk and HSE.  Representing Sarawak Forestry were Mr. Oswald Braken Tisen, Ag. Deputy General Manager, Protected Areas and Biodiversity Conservation and Ms. Lucy Chong, Deputy General Manager, Applied Forests Science and Industry Development.

The signing, held at Menara Sarawak Energy, marks Sarawak Energy’s commitment towards sustainability in hydro development, in term of managing its impact to the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem in the project-affected area and in ensuring that biodiversity impacts arising from the project activities are managed responsibly.

Under the agreement, WiMoR’s initiative will be led and managed by Sarawak Energy’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) team and Sarawak Forestry will undertake the wildlife monitoring and rescue operation.  The whole operation will take a duration of two years.  A reconnaissance survey of protected species and medicinal plants was done in December last year by the Flora Component Team while the stream survey along the river took place early this month by the Fish Component Team.  The Fauna Component has also started with the preparations and has strategised its team for the rescue missions. 

Based on the WiMor Plan, over 230 species of trees were recorded from 28 sampling plots established along Sg. Murum, Sg. Plieran and Sg. Danum.  Some of the plants are  listed as Totally Protected and Protected Species under the Wild Life Protection Ordinance 1988 (e.g. Dipterocarpus oblongifolius or locally known as Ensurai). WiMoR is significant to manage biodiversity issues such as loss of habitat, fish migration barriers, loss of spawning ground, loss of habitat connectivity, loss or declines in important food chain species, loss of wetlands, poaching, hunting or over-exploitation of significant species, etc. 

WiMoR operations is undertaken in respect of the Murum reservoir preparation and it also include habitat suitability assessment for animals, phenology monitoring for plants and constructing suitable aquatic fauna holding facilities. Activities will focus on monitoring and rescuing animals, plants and fauna at various stages of the reservoir preparation and relocating them into pre-assessed suitable locations.

Chief of Corporate Services (CCS) for Sarawak Energy, Puan Aisah Eden in her welcoming speech said, "Sarawak Energy is committed to ensuring that WiMoR operations will be implemented in accordance to the EIA approval condition for Murum HEP under the Protection of Biological Resources.  We are committed to ensure that the operations are planned and implemented systematically and responsibly for the sustainability of our rich biodiversity. "

"This operation will see a concerted effort and teamwork of about 150 people.  Other than Sarawak Energy and SFC personnel who are directly involved in the WiMoR, it will also involve the local community, especially the Penans in the monitoring and rescue missions.  With thorough planning, good teamwork and joint-expertise, the success of this WiMoR program should be a model for our future projects." added Aisah.