Environmentalist group claims Kelantan Forestry Dept's tiger statement a diversion tactic


PETALING JAYA: The statement by Kelantan Forestry Department (JPNK) director Abdul Khalim Abu Samah on logging benefiting the local tiger population is a diversionary tactic, says environmental group Sahabat Alam Activists Association (Kuasa).

Sinar Harian reported that Kuasa advisor Meor Razak Meor Abdul Rahman said the statement was intended to divert attention from the destruction of natural habitats which threatened the tiger and other species’ of wildlife to the brink of extinction.

Meor Razak added that the implementation of large scale monoculture fields along with mining activities within forest reserves had resulted in human-wildlife conflict, especially in Kelantan.

“Based on our observations and fieldwork, we found that the projects within the forest reserves were believed to have been done without controls, although the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been approved and standard operating procedures (SOP) already set in place.

“The monoculture fields and mining activities here are also believed to destroy the natural forest through production and clear-cutting,” he said in a statement on Tuesday (Jan 25).

Meor - who is also a Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) field officer - said almost 28% of forest reserves in Kelantan are believed to be zoned as forest plantation development areas, with the percentage not including areas used for mining purposes.

“Hence, the statement by Abdul Khalim that Kelantan is practising sustainable forest management while abiding by the Annual Felling Ration (CTT) is questionable.

"Also questionable is the statement that Kelantan is abiding by the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management (MC&I) through the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS)," said Meor Razak.

Meor Razak added that such certification for Kelantan has been suspended since 2016 due to exceeding the quota of the CTT.

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