PETALING JAYA: WWF Malaysia is working closely with the Kedah Government to gazette parts of the Pedu forest reserve as a state park.
An official said no logging activities would be allowed in the area once it was gazetted as a state park.
The state government, she said, had expressed interest to gazette parts of the Pedu forest reserve and the Ulu Muda forest reserve as state parks.
“We are working with the state government to protect the Greater Ulu Muda forest,” she said.
The official said once an area was gazetted as a state park, the forest within it would be managed mainly for the purpose of biodiversity conservation and recreational activities.
“No logging would be allowed in a state park,” she added.
The Star had on Tuesday reported on logging activities being carried out at the Pedu forest reserve and Gunung Inas in Kedah, supposedly to clear the land for the state’s Ladang Rakyat rubber plantation scheme.
The official explained that an area gazetted as a permanent forest reserve (PFR) could either be categorised as a production forest or a protected forest.
“A production forest may be selectively logged according to sustainable forest management guidelines while protected forests cannot be logged.
“If the state decides to do so, the PFR status must be degazetted or reclassified,” she added.
She said degazetted PFRs would normally be clear-felled and converted to other land use such as agriculture.
“Unfortunately, the National Forestry Policy and the National Forestry Act 1984 do not prohibit the clearing of natural forests within PRFs for the establishment of plantation,” she said.
She said the classification of a forest or an area as a high conservation value forest (HCVF) also did not protect it against logging.
“The classification is only meant to encourage better forest management to promote the conservation of important, unique or endangered flora, fauna and ecosystem which the area hosts.
“However, only 2ha of the 15,299ha Pedu forest reserve has been identified as HCVF,” she said.