Since it's incorporation in the mid-1990s, Timberwell Berhad (TWB) believes that Sustainable Forest Management is closely linked with the socio-economic development of the local communities. Therefore it vital that as an established forest management company to bridge the gap with communities within the immediate proximity surrounding Lingkabau Forest Reserve.
The company's Community Liaison Programme is actively reaching out to these communities not only to have a better understanding of social issues that impacted these communities, but also on the their needs and cultural values. Apart from conducting consultations via formal and informal dialogues in "Gana Resettlement and Integrated Development Project ("GRID")". similar activity were also conducted with Kg. Dampiron and most recently with Kg. Abuan in Sugut, Paitan (a sub-district of Beluran).
Land and Land Usage
In general, all lands (Title Lands or under Land Application) are being utilized for agriculture production. There are some instances that demonstrates examples whereby the company has worked hand in hand with the community in an effort to address land and land usage issue faced by the community.
The company's Ranger Unit participated a joint effort task with Sabah Forestry Depatment's FRM unit surveyed the existing villager farms in Kg Dampiron and the area claimed by villagers from Kg Langog and Kg Lingkabau.
As a committee member for the "Gana Resettlement and Integrated Development Project ("GRID")" , the Company continues to provide inputs to the projects in GRID. A clear example is the participation of TWB in two Land Usage Workshop held in GRID in 2016 organized by Sabah Forestry Department and EU-REDD+ for the benefit of thecommunities in GRID. The Company also continued to be engaged indirectly with the GRID community to gauge and take note on current issues related to GRID that are affecting the community.
In the past, road connectivity has been a major concern amongst these communities. Since 2004, TWB has provided a total of 58.8km of free access roads and maintenance to
Community Needs and Cultural values
The local communities were used to be forest-dependent communities, where they have been using the forest resources for a long time to meet their subsistence and cash needs. They also practiced hunting and gathering in the forests. However, in the early 1970s', most if not all of the forests in the Statelands, were logged and later cleared for oil palm development. Consequently, the Licenced Area is the only remaining forest or "land base" for the following:
However during an informal dialogue session the villagers are aware and recognized the importance of watershed conservation as a source of their water supply during the and the only watershed areas available are within Lingkabau Forest Reserve has been brought to the company's attention. As a consequent, the communities strongly recommended that TWB implement good forestry practice in their Licensed Area to ensure that their source of water supply will not be polluted.
In the case of Kg. Tagibang, during such informal dialogue session, they would like TWB to set aside certain areas as their watershed areas and to be protected from logging activities. With the recent rezoning of Lingkabau Forest Reserve, the area mentioned has been included in the newly gazetted Mensalong Forest Reserve, which is a Class 1 Forest Reserve.
The preservation of the ancestral grave site was also been brought to our attention by the communities. It has been common knowledge that in the past, these communities are would bury their dead scattered across the forest reserve as theirsettlements are not permanent and no physical markings identifiable. Therefore the task of locating, identifying and ultimately preserving these grave sites, the company's Ranger Unit had worked together with the villagers from Kg. Dampiron and Kg. Tagapalang on several occasions on this task
Based on the Social Baseline Survey conducted by Sabah Forestry Department for Heart of Borneo Project it comes as no surprise that the community within the immediate proximity with Lingkabau Forest Reserve had worked in the logging operations and/or foresty related activities. TWB actively sought the participation of the members of the local community for its activities conducted in the Licenced Area such as nursery, planting, silviculture and harvesting. Through the direct employment of the local communities living adjacent to the Licenced Area, TWB had a direct impact on the economic well- being of the local communities, as we pay them more than the average monthly income of the villagers.
Future Projects: Joint Management Social Project
TWB is planning to propose a Forestry Community Project or Joint Management Rubber Project for the benefit of Kg. Dampiron. As of now it is still in consultation phase with Kg. Dampiron's community. In essence, the general idea of the project as follows:
Timberwell Berhad has sponsored a "Majlis Suai Mesra Bersama Penduduk Kampung Abuan" event and was organized by a committee consists of community leaders of Kampung Abuan and teachers from S.K. Abuan. The event was held on the 31 July 2018 at Kg. Abuan's Balai Raya. The purpose of this program is to foster good will and strenghtening the existing relationship between the company and the villagers of Kampung Abuan. Apart from the villagers of Kg. Abuan, the event was also attended by staffs from Klinik kesihatan Abuan. The event also showcased the traditional dance accompanied by gong beating of Sungai Tambanuo community. The company will continue to hold similar event in the future