In line with the directive from the State Government for all Forest Timber Licenses (FTL’s) to undergo certification in Sustainable Forest Management (SFM), Ta Ann has consolidated its FTL’s and Licences for Planted Forest (LPF’s) in the Song-Kapit region into three (3) Forest Management Units (FMU’s) namely, Kapit FMU, Pasin FMU and Raplex FMU. The rationale for the consolidation is:
- To separate LPF’s from FTL’s to ensure no overlapping of areas for the purpose of PEFC-MTCS Certification.
- To attain better economies of scale and viability of coupe size and operation based on 25 years cutting cycle, which is also essential of sustainable forest management.
KAPIT Forest Management Unit (FMU) covers an area of 149,756 hectares in the southern part of Kapit District. The FMU operates under the Timber Licence No. T/3491 issued to Tanjong Manis Holdings Sdn Bhd, a 100% subsidiary of Ta Ann Holdings Berhad. The Licence was issued on 12th June 2007 and will expire on 11th April 2021 (14 years). The logging contractor for this FMU is Hariwood Sdn Bhd, also a 100% subsidiary of Ta Ann Holdings Berhad. 28% of the FMU is located within Kapit Stateland and the remaining 72% is inside Baleh Protected Forest. The southern part of KAPIT FMU is located inside Heart of Borneo (HoB) project area.
Kapit FMU can only be accessible by express boat from Sibu town via Batang Rejang to Kapit town. Kapit town is about 140 km upriver and an express boat trip would take about three (3) hours that ply along the river daily. The FMU Engkeramuh Base Camp can be reached from Kapit town by four-wheel drive vehicles for another two (2) hours’ drive on government tar-sealed and logging roads.
The topography of Kapit FMU area is rather rolling but tends to be mountainous towards the south and west with altitudes ranging from 75 m (250 ft.) to over 880 m (5,900 ft.) above mean sea level. Most of the terrain is between 300 and 600 m (1,000-2,000 ft.).
The main underlying geological formation of the FMU is the Kapit Member (P2Kt Palaeocene-Eocene era) of the Belaga Formation. This basically indicates that the area consists of mainly skeletal soils and red-yellow podzolic soils; very shallow to moderately deep loamy to clay on sedimentary and/or metamorphic rocks. These rocks usually show some weak regional metamorphism.
The current vegetation is predominantly Hill Mixed Dipterocarp Forest (MDF). Patches of shifting cultivation areas with pioneer and secondary vegetation may be found along Batang Rajang, Batang Baleh, Sg. Sut, and Sg. Gaat in the vicinity of the settlements.
Kapit FMU and its adjacent area are currently inhabited by 55 communities living inside or at the fringe of the FMU boundary. Ethnically, most communities living inside Kapit FMU are Iban while other races, namely Chinese, Malay, Orang Ulu, Melanau, Bidayuh and “others” are residing in Kapit town.