Monday, October 26, 2009

Anti-logging enforcement poor in Sarawak

October 26, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: Enforcement activities to prevent illegal logging, unauthorised settlement and other offences are lax in Sarawak, revealed the Auditor-General’s Report 2008.

It found that between 2006 and last year, 668 offences were detected, of which 558 were illegal logging.

Between 2006 and 2008, the audit found 94,008sq metres of forest were illegally logged, yielding 272,588 timber logs costing RM2.3mil. In 2006, only 29,179 logs were taken.

“Audit analysis on illegal logging and other offences found that the numbers continued to increase year after year,” it said.

However, the report also found that the state forestry department faced manpower shortage.

It said that out of 88 rangers, only 48 were able to carry out enforcement work. “The rest have not been supplied with safety equipment such as firearms and training in enforcement and security,” it added. It also said the target to achieve at least six million hectares of permanent forest reserve and one million hectares of fully protected forest in Sarawak would not be met unless the state government gazetted forest areas that need to be replaced following logging activities.

No comments: