Borneo Post Online
Posted on February 26, 2012, Sunday
KUCHING: Preliminary investigations of alleged land encroachment and tree felling at Kubah National Park near here have found that the affected area was in fact outside the forest reserves boundaries.
State forest director Ali Yusop told reporters yesterday that locals in the affected areas claimed that the clearance were made on their native customary rights (NCR) land, and not due to illegal logging as first suspected.
He added that his department would verify these claims with the Land and Survey Department.
Ali welcomed actions taken by members of the public in highlighting illegal logging activities through the media or by contacting the department via phone calls or emails. He hoped that such assistance would continue.
“Take as an example a recent case in Baram. We are very grateful that the locals informed the media about illegal logging there. We need the public to be our eyes and ears. We can’t conduct our operations like the fire department, where we’re only in action when there’s fire. In our case, constant monitoring is very much needed.
“That’s where the media and public can help to alert us,” he said when met at the state-level World’s Wetland Day 2012, which was held at Kuching Wetlands National Park in Sg Lemidin.
Second Minister of Resource Planning and Environment Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan officiated at the event.
Also present were Assistant Environment Minister Datu Len Talif Salleh and Assistant Resource Planning Minister Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais.
Ali said the Sarawak Forestry Corporation’s (SFC) Security and Asset Protection Unit (SAPU) enforcement activities had been reverted back to the Forest Department effective Feb 13.
Now called SAPD (Security and Asset Protection Department) unit, it would continue with the patrolling of national parks and forest reserve areas.
With the new set up, Ali said that the department would be more pro-active in its monitoring task. The department will step up its efforts in gathering information from the public.
He added that the department also had an intelligence unit to conduct investigations on the ground.
Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/02/26/land-encroachment-happened-outside-national-park/#ixzz1nXYVzkV3