Malaysia: Gaharu trees illegally harvested

RUBEN SARIO The Star 22 Mar 16;

KOTA KINABALU: Even a guarded park near Sandakan town is not safe from illegal gaharu or agarwood collectors who have managed to carry out their activities there.

The illegal agarwood collectors have harvested at least three gaharu trees at the 148ha Sandakan Rainforest Park recently.

“We believe they used axes or small saws to extract the agarwood from these trees sometime in the mid-morning when our staff are not in the area,” Sabah Forestry Department director Datuk Sam Mannan said when interviewed.

Mannan added that the department managing the park, located about 9km from Sandakan town, had stepped up patrols, including deploying sniffer dogs.

“We are worried that if illegal gaharu collectors can come in, what about poachers?”

The park, he noted, was also home to small wildlife, including pangolins as well as sambar and mousedeer.

Last week, Mannan led a fruit tree planting programme at the park for the wildlife there.

The park, locally known as Kebun Cina or the Chinese orchard, was gazetted as an Amenity Forest Reserve in January 2007.

Mannan said the Sabah government was committed to conserving 30% of the state’s landmass or 2.2 million hectares as totally protected forests. At present, some 1.8 million hectares of the forests have been classified as totally protected.

No comments:

Post a Comment