After the General Harvesting Plan (GP) and Detailed Harvesting Plan (DP) has been approved by Forest Department Sarawak (FDS), the ground planning can commence which comprise of the following component:
The construction of new infrastructure in Raplex FMU will be minimal as there is existing infrastructure in the area such as log pond, logging camps and roads, but some infrastructure may need improvement and maintenance.
Demarcation of boundaries
Boundaries for coupe, block, area for protection and conservation shall be demarcated before pre-felling Inspection.
Color Code for FMU Boundary Demarcation
Operational Inventory and Tree Marking
100% tree enumeration for the Harvestable tree (HT), Protected trees (PT), Potential Crop Tree (PCT), Mother Tree (MT), Fruit Tree (FT) and Nesting tree (NT).
Tree tags used in the Raplex FMU, with the blue tags used for protected trees, fruit trees, mother trees, orange tags for potential crop trees and white tags for harvest trees.
- Harvestable tree (HT) are trees that are above the prescribed minimum diameter cutting limit 50cm and above diameter at breast height (dbh) for Dipterocarp species and 45cm and above diameter at breast height (dbh) for non-dipterocarp species.
- Potential Crop Tree (PCT) are trees of commercial species excluding protected species that are smaller than the prescribed minimum diameter cutting limits. All identified PCT shall be marked with an orange tag on the higher side of the slope so that it is visible during tree felling operation. Felling of harvestable trees shall be done directionally to avoid damaging PCT.
- Tree for Protection (PT) are trees that is protected under the the Wild Life Protection Ordinance, 1998, and hold important wildlife resource trees such as mother trees to act as a seed source for commercial species with a minimum diameter at breast height of 40 cm, or as trees used for nesting by animals, or a fruit tree which acts as a food source. They shall be marked using blue plastic tags and tagging shall be done on the higher part of the slope.
Planning of Log Landing Site
Planning for log landing locations shall be based on 1:5,000 topographic maps enlarged from the approved DP. Landing sites may be located on either side of the forest road to avoid pulling logs across or along the road and adjacent to ridges, which are used as main skid trails.
Alignment, Marking and Mapping of Skid Trails
Planning the alignment of skid trails shall be based on a 1:5,000 topographic map enlarged from the approved DP. The alignment shall commence from the landing to the end of the block and constructed preferably with a grade not exceeding 200. Skid trails shall serve only areas to be harvested and shall not be aligned within areas with no merchantable timber, areas exceeding 350 slopes, and conservation areas. Marking of skid trails shall be following the FDS RIL guidelines (FDS 2019) Any existing skid trails will be mapped and to be re-used as much as possible, and un-used existing skid trails will be decommissioned.
Preparation and submission of Comprehensive Harvesting Plan (CHP)
The CHP/RILP shall be prepared for submission to FDS after the completion of the pre-felling inventory and mapping works in the individual harvesting Blocks, as well as the planning of the skid trail network, log landings and platforms. The results of these activities can be viewed in the CHP.
Changes of CHP
Changes to approved RIL Plans may become necessary when errors or omissions are detected that are significant and hence, require amendment. This situation might occur either before or during the harvesting operation. It is the responsibility of the Licensee/appointed contractor to detect and correct such errors and omissions and submit a written request for plan amendment, indicating the cause and sound reasons for changes (FDS 2020).
Following receipt of the written request, FDS will undertake the review and verification and determine the approval. Depending on the relevance of the amendment FDS will also decide on the need to inform any affected stakeholders about such changes (FDS 2020).
- Monitoring and control by Forest Department Sarawak – Once CHP/RILP completed, the FMU owner will inform FDS of a minimum of one month for pre-felling inspection on the ground. If no issues are detected, the SFC will endorse operation five of the PEC, however, if issues are detected, the FMU owner will need to rectify them before commencing operations.
- Monitoring and control by FMU – The FMU holder shall ensure all employees, contractors and their employees comply with the management prescription of the pre-harvesting operation. All employees, contractors and their employees should be conversant with the relevant prescriptions under their jurisdiction. It is also the responsibility of the FMU owner to control any encroachment, illegal harvesting, hunting, and settlement, and other unauthorized activities in the FMU as indicated in indicator 1.5.2. This can be done through the demarcation of boundaries, erect signage and periodical boundary patrolling especially in the high-risk area. Any findings of unauthorized activities shall be recorded and reported to relevant authorities.