Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Auditor General: Poor forest management in 4 states

Published: Tuesday October 20, 2009 The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Poor management of forests has led to river pollution, erosion, landslides and destruction of flora and fauna in Kelantan, Pahang, Johor and Sarawak, according to the Auditor-General's Report of 2008.

It cites illegal logging, logging in forest reserves or national parks and poor enforcement as some of the factors responsible.

For Kelantan, the report says the Kelantan Department of Forestry is said to be focused more on the revenue derived from the logging concessions compared to the environment.

"The department has failed to gazette all permanent forest reserves as protected forests as proposed.

"This can undermine the safety and protection of forests which should be protected to maintain the quality of the environment, especially the protection of highlands of more than 1,000 metres above sea level," the report says. For Pahang, the report finds the Lesong forest plantation project, though undertaken with approval, to have a serious impact on the environment.

"The Pahang Department of Forestry has to draw up a specific and comprehensive plan before implementing the project by taking into consideration the impact on the environment and also on the permanent forest reserve being developed," it says. - Bernama