Saturday, 16 August 2008

SAM alarmed over forest plunder in Sarawak

Saturday August 16, 2008

SAM alarmed over forest plunder in Sarawak


MIRI: The plundering of Sarawak’s forest resources has become so widespread that even protected forests and forest reserves are not spared, said Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) president S.M. Mohamed Idris.

This is in addition to land clearing in secondary forests or native customary rights land.

These protected forests and forests reserves are being blatantly encroached on and cleared of timber so oil palm plantations and pulpwood estates can be developed, he said.

Mohamed Idris said SAM recently discovered that the Sarawak Forests Department had licensed out some 2.8 million hectares of forested land to 40 plantation concessions.

This meant at least 23% of Sarawak’s land mass was now under department concessions for plantations, he said.

“This is larger than the size of the state of Perak,” he told The Star.
He added that information from environmental impact assessment (EIA) reports on the 40 concessions showed many of them were within protected forests and forest reserves.

He urged the state government to be more transparent in its land development policies.