Press statement : Stop monoculture plantations in Permanent Forest Reserves
Today, green NGOs of mostly youth-led, have spoken against big scale forest plantations in permanent forest reserves in Peninsular Malaysia, collectively demanding the reevaluation of the National Forest Policy. This was our press conference of Forest Plantation inside Permanent Forest Reserves in Peninsula Malaysia.
The press conference was conducted by Klima Action Malaysia, alongside with the main speakers; En Meor from Sahabat Alam Malaysia, Hafiz (KUASA), Heng ( Greenpeace Malaysia) and Encik Hussaimi ( Grass society).
The Malaysian government, corporation and banks have raised billions in bonds to finance coal + gas power plants in Malaysia and dying fossil fuel projects in other countries such as Indonesia. But why can't the same be done for forest protection? Despite the technical discrepancies being put forward by Encik Meor, the central question begs on the political willingness of the federal and state governments to actually protect their forests.
The Central Forest Spine project is the largest conservation project in peninsula Malaysia. Ever since its adoption in the NPP until 2016, around 60,000 ha of forest cover loss was observed in the primary and secondary linkages itself.
In 2017, more forest plantations have gotten the green light to operate inside Permanent Forest Reserves. Forest plantation, which is part of the national forest cover, does not have the same traditional functions of a forest in many ways, such as in biodiversity, hydrology, soil, and carbon capture and storage.
This is a worrying trend as Malaysia is not prepared for the climate crisis, as exposed by the Covid-19. The IPCC findings suggest that forest protection might account to 1/3 of climate change mitigation needed to cap the temperature at 1.5 C. Transformations in forest management can serve as a new development model for indigenous land rights and climate-resilient economy. Why is the leadership of political parties in this country is steering to the wrong side when we have an opportunity for green leadership in Southeast Asia in a post-COVID-19 world?
Listen to our interview here with BFM on this issue here
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