Best of our wild blogs: 27 Aug 12

Latest Green Jobs in Singapore [20 - 26 Aug 2012]
from Green Business Times

Wild shore fun for kids during the September holidays
from wild shores of singapore

It’s September – the International Coastal Cleanup is here!
from Toddycats!

Trash talking
from The annotated budak

Year-Round Cleanup – Nestle R&D Singapore team-building coastal cleanup exercise spends three hours at ECP (16th July 2012) from News from the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore

lineated barbet @ kent ridge - Aug2012
from sgbeachbum

Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker feeding and calling
from Bird Ecology Study Group

Javanese Grasshopper
from Monday Morgue

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Malaysia: Johor logging 'will not encroach' on wildlife trails

Jassmine Shadioe New Straits Times 27 Aug 12;

PRIORITY SITES: Forestry Department says no projects will be allowed on Central Forest Spine

JOHOR BARU: STEPS are being taken by the Johor Forestry Department to ensure that logging activities will not encroach on natural trails of wild animals that connect the various forest reserves.

Acting director Yahaya Mahamood said preventive measures were in place to ensure logging activities were kept out of areas designated under the Central Forest Spine (CFS) project.

The CFS identified 31 priority sites across Peninsular Malaysia where forests need to be connected either via underground culverts or by replanting tracts of land to become forests.

Connecting these tracts of forest allows for better movement of wild animals and makes it easier for the transfer of genes and plant seeds.

Yahaya said out of three companies which had applied to conduct logging activities near the Sembrong Forest Reserve in Mersing, only two were allowed to do so on their proposed sites.

"The third company was asked to move out of its proposed site, as the area had encroached on the CFS," he said when commenting on a report by an English daily about logging activities that had begun near the Sembrong Forest Reserve in northeastern Johor.

Yahaya said no companies would be allowed to conduct logging activities in the CFS corridor.

"The company agreed to move their operations from the affected areas."

Yahaya refused to name any of the three companies. He said the three companies were awarded contracts to fell and replant rubber trees in 2006 under the Forest Plantation Project.

The rubber trees under the project, he said, were of a species called timber latex clone. This species is planted for its rubberwood, not its latex.

However, a year later, issues concerning the CFS cropped up.

He said after concerns were raised, the projects were delayed until 2010.

"We cannot simply cancel the project after awarding the contract to the companies because of their investments and there were legal issues involved. Thus, areas which the companies had earmarked for logging and which affected the CFS were reviewed and the project removed.

"The corridor includes areas like the Endau-Rompin National Park, and the forest complex to the east (Labis Timur Forest Reserve and the Endau-Kluang Wildlife Reserve) and southeast (Mersing Forest Reserve, Lenggor Tengah Forest Reserve and Lenggor Timur Forest Reserve)."

The network of the CFS spans throughout the peninsula from the north to the south and involves eight states -- Pahang, Johor, Negri Sembilan, Selangor, Perak, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu."

Probe forest reserve plan in Mersing, Johor urged
Desiree Tresa Gasper The Star 27 Aug 12;

JOHOR BARU: The Johor Government needs to examine current policies and look at what went wrong at the Sembrong Forest Reserve in Mersing to prevent further damage.

Stating this, Malaysian Nature Society Johor chairman Vincent Chow said reports in The Star that two rubber plantation companies were logging at the reserve were serious and needed to be dealt with immediately.

“I believe there are many more such cases in the state. This shows there may be weaknesses in current policies.

“Many are in the dark about the role of the Central Forest Spine Masterplan and unaware that animals and the environment will suffer without it,” he said, adding that the plan provided for the animals to migrate via linked forest areas throughout the peninsula.

Chow said that by logging the reserve forests, loggers break the link and this would result in animals being stranded, hence affecting their migration patterns and survival.

Meanwhile, environmentalist P. Sivakumar called on the Government to stop all logging in Sem-brong and ban logging at all forest reserve areas.

“It is our responsibility to preserve the forests for the future generation,” he said.

In KUALA LUMPUR, Transparency International (TI) Malaysia secretary-general Josie M. Fernandez urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to probe what she called poor governance and weak institutions in the Forest Department.

“The Sembrong Forest Reserve has been logged because governance and accountability mechanisms, including transparency, were not implemented in awarding concessions,” she said.

“Reforms of laws and policies related to forestry and land use are necessary as logging and agriculture at state levels cannot be addressed by existing national policies,” Fernandez said

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