Illegal deforestation is Malaysia is at an alarming level and we are gradually losing our forests reserves due to the illegal activity.
According to Bernama, the Kedah Forestry Department (JPNK) director Muhamad Abdullah said that about 3,500 hectares of forest reserves in Kedah were being illegally cleared.
He added that the illegal deforestation had been carried on for around 10 years, since 2011 until now.
He said there were irresponsible parties who carried out illegal land exploration and their aim were mostly for agricultural purposes such as to plant oil palm, durian and rubber trees, besides opening new settlements.
“For newly explored areas, we will conduct demolition and reforestation efforts while for areas that have been explored for a long time and produce yields, we will seek directives from the state government for further action.”
“To date, we have detained 20 men in connection with several forest encroachment cases and the investigation papers are being prepared before we hand them over to the deputy public prosecutor.”
Muhamad made the statement while attending the tree plantation programme in conjunction with the 100 Million Tree-Planting Campaign 2021-2025 at Compartment 4 of the Bukit Enggang Forest Reserve yesterday (12 September).
Nonetheless, Muhamad said these illegal land exploration activities in forest reserves could led to destruction of biodiversity in the affected areas as well as the loss of forest products to the state government.
He said the JPNK through the 100 million Tree-Planting Campaign, aims to plant 2.75 million trees in areas that have been identified in the state, with 550,000 trees to be planted annually until 2025.
A quick check on Global Forest Watch, Kedah has lost around 29% of its tree covers since 2002 to 2020, with Padang Terap and Baling contributed the most, both having a loss of 36% and 20% respectively.
What do you think about this? Share your thoughts!