Ministry probing claims Malaysia risks losing 3.2 million hectares of natural forests, says Nik Nazmi


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 28 May 2024

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Resources and Environmental Sustainability Ministry (NRES) will study a report by an environmental watchdog claiming that the country is at risk of losing around 3.2 million hectares of natural forests due to logging and oil palm plantations.

Its minister, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said the ministry views the claims seriously as it involved the ministry’s commitment of retaining 50 per cent forest cover in the country.

"Currently, forest cover in the country is at 54.58 per cent. We know there are challenges in several areas but we’re working hard to protect it.

"We will study this claim and the ministry will respond soon,” he told reporters after attending Mercy Malaysia’s International Humanitarian Conference 2024 plenary session here Tuesday (May 28) in response to RimbaWatch’s report stating that the country risked losing 14 to 16 per cent of its natural forests due to human activities, and that the forest cover in the country had dropped to 46.97 per cent in the last two years.

Nik Nazmi also shared that his ministry was drafting a climate change bill and a national adaptation plan that are expected to be tabled during a Parliament session next year.

"We have started engagement sessions at the ministry level with state governments, non-governmental organisations, and we will go through all the processes, including going to the Attorney-General’s Chambers for the draft bill,” he added. - Bernama

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