Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Concern over logging plan

Just when the dust has just settled, another appeared. This time logging in Perak. Another environment concern to people of Perak. Wake up dear Pakatan Government of Perak!
Concern over logging plan
Tuesday November 11, 2008

IPOH: The Perak Environment Asso­ciation has opposed the selection of two forest reserves which were re­­cently opened for tender for logging.

Association president Abdul Rah­man Said Alli said logging in parts of the Pondok Tanjung and Kota Siam forest reserves would have dire consequences to the ecosystem.

According to a notice put up at the state Forestry Department, the two forest reserves were among 28 sites selected for open tender for logging, he said.

“The Pondok Tanjung reserve is a 5,000ha wetland in the Larut Matang and Selama districts that serves as a natural water catchment area for overflowing water from the Bukit Merah reservoir.

“Logging activities will destroy the land there and worsen the flooding problem in Bukit Merah and some areas in the Kerian district,” Abdul Rahman told a press conference here yesterday.

The forest reserve was home to a wide range of protected animal and plant species and was also a popular research site for Universiti Sains Malaysia, he said.

The Kota Siam Forest Reserve in Manjung district would also see the destruction of wildlife habitat if logging were to be conducted there.

“The 300ha forest reserve is like an island surrounded by oil palm estates and other plantations.

“If the wild animals’ habitat is destroyed, they would be forced to intrude into human settlements, cau­sing conflict between them,” he said.

Abdul Rahman pointed out that the Kota Siam reserve was one of the smaller forests gazetted by the Forestry Department and that there were many other more suitable sites for logging.

“We are not against logging and have no problems with the other sites but Pondok Tanjung and Kota Siam should be off the list (of 28 sites for tender),” said Abdul Rahman.

He said the association would write to Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jama­luddin for appropriate action to be taken.

Efforts to get confirmation from the Forestry Department about the matter proved futile.


EIA wanted on planned logging in Pondok Tanjung
Tuesday November 11, 2008

TAIPING: An environmental impact assessment (EIA) may be sought from the Department of Environment to protect river tributaries in Pondok Tanjung near here from indiscriminate logging activities.

Larut Matang and Selama district officer Datuk Mahmod Morsidi said this was the best option to protect these rivers -- that supply water to the Bukit Merah reservoir -- from active siltation.

He said the fear of active siltation was one of the reasons why no tin mining activities in Pondok Tanjung had been permitted.

Both logging and mining excavation permits had been sought in Pondok Tanjung, he told reporters after launching the national Coastal Rehabilitation Awareness Campaign 2008 at the Kuala Sepetang Eco-education centre near here on Tuesday.

However, following objections from various technical departments, no tin mining activities have been permitted there.

Mahmod said the Perak Government had approved about 600ha of land at three different locations in Pondok Tanjung for group agriculture schemes to provide more income to the local population.

To turn such sites into agriculture plots, trees must be felled, he said.

Mahmod said a choice would have to be made between allowing the three sites to remain as jungles, and allowing logging and converting them into agriculture schemes.

“Perhaps we may disallow jungle clearing activities at the hilly terrain there but allow logging at the lowland,” he said when commenting on an objection raised by the Perak Environment Association on Monday.

The association said that logging activities in Pondok Tanjung, a 5,000ha wetland that serves as a natural water catchment area for overflowing water from the Bukit Merah reservoir, would damage the land and worsen the flooding problem in Bukit Merah and in parts of Kerian district.

Forestry Department director-general Datuk Seri Azahar Muda, who was present at launch, said it was up to the Perak Government to act on the matter as logging activities came under its purview.

Once there is a request for an EIA, the state Forestry Department must study the matter and take into consideration the views of the community, said Azahar.



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