‘No logging in forest reserve’

KUANTAN: The Pahang Forestry Department has a message for those eyeing logging concessions in the Endau Rompin State Park forest reserve – it has never and will never happen.

Pahang Forestry Department director Datuk Dr Mohd Hizamri Mohd Yasin said such approvals would never be given.

He said there were a few logging concessions in the vicinity but it involved 3,811.11ha and not 6,000ha as alleged on the hutanwatch.com website.

“The area where logging has been approved is on government land located outside the buffer zone, which is 1.5km from the border of the forest reserve,” he said when contacted.

Citing a document it received, the website alleged there was a “quiet removal” of 6,000ha of forest on the Pahang side of the Endau Rompin State Park.

The website claimed this was made possible by declaring these forests as “degraded”.

A comparison of two maps was posted on hutanwatch.com to highlight the area of discrepancy.

A check on the Department of En­v­i­­ronment’s website found a tot­al of eight approved preliminary en­v­i­ronmental impact assessment reports for logging near the area.

Dr Mohd Hizamri confirmed that the maps were inaccurate as the current boundaries of the state park was mapped according to a gazette dated Dec 7, 2000.

Under the gazette, the area of the state park was 31,797ha and not 40,197ha as alleged, he said.

“This has also been validated by the Pahang Department of Survey and Mapping in a letter dated April 27, 2017,” he said, adding that the maps on the department’s website would be updated immediately.

Dr Mohd Hizamri said the department had stipulated that an environmental impact assessment must be approved first before a logging licence could be issued.

He said it was also stipulated that licensed logging does not include ‘kayu jaras’ of 30cm diameter at breast height.

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