WWF-Malaysia Backs Up Adenan In Fighting Illegal Logging
Illegal logging is carried out without a prescribed harvesting plan, with almost no consideration to the environment, is highly destructive to the long term existence of flora and fauna communities especially the rare, threatened and endangered species, and is highly detrimental to the livelihood of people depending on the forest, said WWF-Malaysia CEO Dato’ Dr Dionysius Sharma.
“Sarawak is gearing towards forest certification by promoting wide scale sustainable forest management, and cannot let illegal logging activities jeopardize the government's goal. We support the Chief Minister’s effort in this and will assist the Sarawak government in addressing the illegal logging problems.
“The instruction by YAB Tan Sri Adenan Satem asking the major players to go for forest certification by 2017 is a positive step. This must be followed by stringent implementation of existing forest policies. In fact, Sarawak has good forest policies but as the Chief Minister mentioned, there is a need to review some of the outdated legislation such as the amount of penalty,” he said.
Dr Dionysius said there is a need for clearer distinction of executive powers between the government agencies to manage forest reserves and carry out monitoring work in Sarawak. Another approach is through market intervention by putting pressures on the major buyers of timber products from Sarawak to carry out due diligence on their trading partners i.e the producers.
Sarawak could also better combat illegal logging if it has an independent third party auditing system which will further enhance transparency and strengthen the state’s credibility in long term forest management improvements towards sustaining its natural resources, he said.
“Having such a system will increase buyers’ confidence in the global timber market
that they are purchasing legally produced timber,” he pointed out.
Such a move to eradicate illegal logging will make it possible for Sarawak to expedite in her signing of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement - Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (VPA-FLEGT), giving access to wider market and reducing the state’s dependency on Japan and Far East.
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WWF-Malaysia (World Wide Fund for Nature-Malaysia) was established in Malaysia in 1972. It currently runs more than 90 projects covering a diverse range of environmental conservation and protection work, from saving endangered species such as tigers and turtles, to protecting our highland forests, rivers and seas. The national conservation organization also undertakes environmental education and advocacy work to achieve its conservation goals. Its mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the nation’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. For latest news and media resources, visit http://www.wwf.org.my/media_and_information/media_centre/
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