Malaysia: All logging activities near Fraser's Hill ceased, says NGO

HIDIR REDUAN New Straits Times 29 Oct 17;

KUANTAN: All logging activities near Fraser’s Hill in Raub have stopped since the imposition of a temporary cease order on Sept 8.

This was confirmed by The Protection of the Natural Heritage of Malaysia (Peka) president Puan Sri Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil, who sent a fact-finding team to the famous eco-tourist spot earlier this month.

“(There is) no more logging and all the machines have been taken out of the area,” she said in reference to the removal of heavy machinery from the area, which measures 106.78 hectares.

On Oct 6, the New Straits Times quoted her saying that a fact-finding team would be dispatched to Fraser’s Hill to verify claims that a lorry was seen entering the Batu Talam Forest Reserve, which is in violation of the active interim cease order.

Shariffa said Peka intends to conduct a reforestation project at the hill to restore it to its pristine state.

However, she said, Peka can only do so after receiving permission from the Raub District Forestry Officer (DFO).

“We have written a letter to the DFO seeking permission to conduct the project. We are still waiting for the green light,” she said, adding that the letter was sent two weeks ago.

Sabrina said many non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and volunteers are eager to take part in the restoration exercise.

On whether the interim stop order should be extended, Pahang Forestry director Datuk Indera Mohd Paiz Kamaruzaman said the department will look into the matter seriously.

“We will conduct a study to determine the suitability (of extending the stop order),” he said when contacted today.

Meanwhile, a Raub Forestry Department representative said the department has received Peka’s letter.

He said the reforestation project, if allowed to proceed, will be a joint effort by Peka and the Forestry Department.

“The department will identity suitable areas to plant the new trees and the NGOs will be in charge of planting them.”

He also confirmed that no new logging activities will take place near Fraser’s Hill while stop order is active.

He said Forestry Department officers, during their routine patrols, have not encountered any parties breaching the order.

NST on Sept 26 published a report on illegal logging activities near Fraser’s Hill, which had been gazetted as a primary forest reserve and water catchment area.

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