A great statesman with conservation at heart

Adenan has illustrated that illegal logging can be combated with strong political will and enhanced enforcement on the ground

Adenan, accompanied by his wife Datin Patinggi Datuk Jamilah Anu, planting and watering a sapling at the then newly gazetted Piasau Nature Reserve in May 2014.

Adenan, accompanied by his wife Datin Patinggi Datuk Jamilah Anu, planting and watering a sapling at the then newly gazetted Piasau Nature Reserve in May 2014.

KUCHING: Sarawak lost a great statesman with the passing of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem on January 11.

In the environmental conservation circle, Adenan was known for his role in weeding out illegal logging in the state since he assumed the post of Chief Minister in February 2014, said WWF-Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Dr Dionysius Sharma in a media statement.

He said among the first few things he did as Chief Minister was to address illegal logging which has been a nagging issue for years.

The late Chief Minister put a stop in giving out new timber concessions, arming Forest Department’s enforcement officers and urging timber companies to undertake timber certification.

“He has illustrated that illegal logging can be combated with strong political will and enhanced enforcement on the ground.

“Since he took office, he has sent consistent message on the need to care for and preserve the environment.

“In his recent Christmas and New Year message to the people, he stated that ‘We must not forget our duty to care for and preserve our environment. We must keep Sarawak’s natural environment as pristine as we can. It takes thousands of years for a tree to grow but only takes a few minutes to cut it down. Uncontrolled and indiscriminate clearing of our forest must be stopped to preserve our forest and protect our flora and fauna. Our forest with all its diversity is our heritage that we must protect.’ In WWF-Malaysia, we could not agree more with the late Chief Minister on this.”

Dr Dionysius said on behalf of WWF-Malaysia’s Board of Trustee and staff, he would like to express his heartfelt condolences to Adenan’s family for their loss.

“We will miss his support and friendship. I have known the late YAB Tan Sri Adenan since his days as Federal Environment Minister and have always been impressed by his interest and dedication to his environment portfolio.

“With his appointment as Chief Minister of Sarawak, he has been a game changer in Sarawak with regard to environment matters. I hope that his sustainable environment legacy will continue in his successor. I also offer my condolences to his family and pray for them in this very difficult moment,” he added.

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