Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Logging 'threatens Terengganu's endangered rhinos'

Yesterday was Perak. Today is Trengganu.

A mature timber tree is worth a minimum of RM10K (US$3.3K). No wonder you find every state Government is going for the kill. It doesn't matter about wildlife, water resources or even livelihood of people living on the fringes of the forest. Chop the trees - for the $. Nevermind about extinction of rare wildlife, polluted water, animal-human conflicts....afterall, the people who approved the project could be rewarded by "commission". This is the fact - the greedy fact. A norm.

It has always been a ploy to build a highway. Then, the timber. I was right when I sensed that the road from Gua Musang to Kenyir Dam has to do with timber. And it was so true now. Development and infrastructes are all bullshit. Timbers & logging are the main objective.


Nov 12, 08 6:34pm

Terengganu government is planning to log two forest reserves which is home to the critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros and endangered Malayan tiger.

The proposed logging was revealed in a detailed environmental impact assessment (DEIA), which was recently made available for public viewing.

The DEIA, which is done by an independent agency, is the process of examining the environmental effects of the proposed plan to log of the forests.

Source: Malaysiakini

The study revealed that the state government has proposed to log 12,630 hectares of forest adjacent to the 6,130 hectares of forest reserve currently being cleared for the construction of two hydropower dams.

“The Tembat and Petuang Forest Reserves, which also act as a water catchment area for Tasik Kenyir, are currently being logged to build the Puah and Tembat dams,” said conservation group World Wildlife Fund in a press statement today.

It said that a survey conducted as part of the DEIA has revealed evidence of the presence of the elusive Sumatran rhinoceros within the Tembat Forest Reserve.

“Both the forest reserves are also habitat for other endangered wildlife, namely the Malayan tiger and Malayan tapir which are totally protected animals under the Protection of Wildlife Act 1972.”

The environmental impact assessment also exposed a shocking fact - that logging has already begun in the forest reserves despite that no approval has been given.

“Satellite images in the DEIA indicate that clear felling of the reservoir area and adjacent hills has begun since 2005-2006.

“According to the DEIA, the site of the catchment area has already experienced changes of between 25 and 30 percent and new logging tracks have already been constructed,” said WWF-Malaysia.

“There seems to be little regard for relevant laws and the DEIA process,” lamented WWF chief executive officer Dr Dionysius Sharma.

One-third of elephants to be forced out

According to the study, the logging will also affect the elephant population in the forests, where about one-third will be forced into nearby plantations, creating more human-elephant conflict.

“This will result in loss of revenue to plantation owners and property damages. In the long run, the government will incur higher cost for human-wildlife conflict management,” said Dionysius.

The DEIA also states that the high soil erosion and sedimentation as a result of the logging will affect fish biodiversity and spawning grounds.

“The Kelah fish population found in rivers there will undeniably decrease. Kelah has high conservation and commercial values,” said the WWF chief executive.

Dionysius also added that eco-tourism activities will be affected, translating to loss of revenue to the eco-tourism operators in the area.

The WWF has called on the state government to protect the two forest reserves by classifying them as wildlife sanctuaries under the National Forestry Act 1984 and gazetting them as water catchment forests.

“Logging or clear felling should not be allowed to take place at any time,” he said.

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