Forest Research (Background/Overview)
1. Forest Research (Background/Overview)
Forest research in Sarawak can be traced back as early as in 1800’s with discoveries of flora and fauna by notable researchers from around the world which documented for conservation and knowledge generation. Forest Department Sarawak in 1921 initiated botanical collection before starting with silvicultural studies in 1930’s. The research activities conducted by the Department then evolved not only focusing on botanical collections but also in other fields namely soil study, insects, ecology, mycology, conservation and tissue culture.
Currently, forest researches are conducted by Research, Development and Innovation Division (RDID) that is located at KM10, Jalan Datuk Amar Kalong Ningkan, Kuching, Sarawak. RDID is responsible for the state's forestry research as well as documentation of biodiversity of flora, fauna and forest environment. The division comprise of two main sections, namely the Biodiversity Section and the Development and Innovation Section.
Various research programmes are parked under these sections, such as botany, ecology, mycology, entomology, conservation, biotechnology, soil and environmental chemistry. Some of the facilities available are the herbarium, mycological reference collection, entomology reference collection, zoological reference collection (temporary for Sarawak Museum), soil laboratory, wood anatomy collection, laboratories, nurseries and research resource center.
The main functions of the Research, Development and Innovation Division include:
- To generate knowledge and develop appropriate technology for the conservation, sustainable management, development and utilisation of forest resources;
- To document, inventorise and investigate the biodiversity of flora, fauna and forest environment of Sarawak;
- To acquire skill and knowledge as well as to disseminate information on related research activities;
- To manage and maintain reference collections of plants, fungi, insects, wood samples, wildlife specimens and more;
- To provide technical advice on forest research and conservation