Xavier: Licences to allow logging of over 70k hectares of permanent forest reserves

KUALA LUMPUR: Logging licences were issued to allow logging of over 70,000ha of permanent forest reserves, says Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar.

“In 2017 and 2018, the state forestry departments had licensed logging in permanent forest reserves covering 35,264ha and 34,833ha,” he said when replying to a question raised by Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (PH-Jeli) in Parliament on Monday (July 1).

He said licensed logging in permanent forest reserves is only allowed in areas designated as production forests, with the felling of trees controlled through a selective management system.

“As for areas outside permanent forest reserves which comprise government and private land, logging licenses were issued covering 10,627ha in 2017 and 36,720ha in 2018,” he added.

Dr Jayakumar said that logging on government and private land was done for development purposes.

As for illegal logging, he said that a total of 269ha of permanent forests were logged in 2017 and 110ha last year.

“Illegal logging in permanent forest reserves affects only 1% of the total area of permanent forest reserves in the country.

“The illegal activity usually affects selected trees of high market value and involves a few trees in a particular area,” he added.

Dr Jayakumar noted that licensed logging in government and private land is subject to an environmental assessment impact report prior to logging.

To a supplementary question by Datuk Jalauddin Alias (BN-Jelebu), he said that it was up to the respective state governments to protect forests used by Orang Asal for their livelihood.

He said the Federal Government is currently in talks with Kelantan, Perak, Sabah and Sarawak on the issue.

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