KOTA BARU: The Kelantan government has taken steps to protect the state’s 300,000ha of forested land in its initiative to improve its carbon credits and, at the same time, contribute to creating a better environment.
Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob said the measures to enhance carbon credits and to conserve more forested areas were vital as forest cover would also enlarge the water catchment areas in the state.
“The state government is very concerned with the environment and we will get the help of all related agencies to improve the natural environment of Kelantan.
“We are confident that the move to protect forested areas will increase our carbon credits.
“Carbon credits is a permit which allows a country or organisation to produce a certain amount of carbon emissions and which can be traded if the full allowance is not used,” he said yesterday.
“We will also gazette at least 1,000ha of land for the conservation of Rafflesia plants with the cooperation of Universiti Malaysia Kelantan,” he told reporters after chairing the state executive council meeting here yesterday.
Ahmad said the conservation plans also included enforcement campaigns against encroachment of government forest reserves for agriculture or illegal logging activities.
To a question, Ahmad said the protection of the vast forested areas would not affect the state’s revenue.
“We have other areas in the state to get revenue from logging concessions.
“We need to improve the carbon credits for the long-term benefits of the state and the people,” he added.
He denied that the decision to protect more forested areas was made after newspaper reports highlighted that the Lojing highlands, which is adjacent to Cameron Highlands, was under threat following the alleged opening of the forest for agricultural purposes.
“I want to state here that the report on Lojing highlands turning bald from the activities of illegal loggers is not true.
“I will seek the help of the Federal Government to work with the Kelantan government to rid the area of illegal logging and unauthorised land use,” Ahmad said.