Environmental NGOs present memorandum against forests degazettement in Selangor

Several environmental NGOs and concerned citizens' groups came up with a memorandum against the degazettement of forests in Selangor, which will make way for the Sungai Besi-Ulu Klang Expressway (SUKE) and the Damansara Shah Alam Highway (DASH) projects.

PEKA Malaysia, Sahabat Alam Malaysia, Malaysian Nature Society, Save Green Lungs, Say No To SUKE and Say No To Dash handed over their memorandum to Sri Muda assemblyman Suhaimi Shafiei, who is also political secretary to the Mentri Besar,  at the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah building in Shah Alam today (Apr 21).

In the three-page memorandum addressed to Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and the Selangor Forestry Department director Mohd Puat Dahalan, the group said the degazettement of forest reserves should not be allowed as it goes against the Sultan of Selangor's efforts to promote environmental preservation and conservation.

They asked the state government to stop any efforts to degazette forest reserves in Selangor.

The groups also asked for a meeting with the Mentri Besar to find a solution that is acceptable to all parties, a detailed study to quantify and verify that the current total forest reserve areas in Selangor is above 31.56% of the state’s land area and for the state to undertake efforts to increase the current forest reserve areas to 40% of the land area in Selangor.

The forests that will be affected are Bukit Cherakah forest reserve and Sungai Buloh forest for the DASH project while the Bukit Sungei Puteh Forest may be degazetted for the SUKE project.

Last week, the Save Green Lungs group submitted a petition to the Selangor Forestry Department to protest the proposal to degazette the Sungai Puteh Forest Reserve in Ampang to make way for the Sungai Besi-Ulu Klang Expressway project.

The group managed to get more than 10,000 signatures from hikers and concerned residents, who fear that the project would, among others, cause the loss of a water catchment area which in turn would lead to flooding to nearby residential areas and destruction of the ecosystem.

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