2016年07月10日

Friends of the Orangutans

DESPITE our Government’s promises to protect our forests and the environment, deforestation is occurring on a destructive scale. As you read this letter, forests in Kedah are being devoured on a daily basis, and this needs to be stopped.

The Star exposed rampant deforestation in the Ulu Muda forest reserve recently. Ulu Muda is a vital water catchment area as it supplies water to over two million Malaysians. It is also teeming with wildlife. Destroying Ulu Muda will not only severely disrupt supply of water but will lead to increased illegal wildlife trade, which is taking place at an alarming rate, to say the least.

In recent years, the Kedah state government approved logging leases in the virgin forests of the Ulu Muda forest reserve, and just over the past four years at least 10,000 hectares of forests have been logged in the area. So let’s not blame the forces of nature alone when water supply in Kedah, Perlis and Penang is severely affected.

Apart from Ulu Muda, the pristine Gunung Inas forest reserve is also being destroyed, including the steep slopes. In 2012, SIRIM QAS, one of two forest management auditors of the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC), stated that deforestation in Gunung Inas had stopped after it was exposed by The Star. However, earlier this year deforestation simply resumed, including in forests above 1,000m above sea level.

Is it not the case that our government policies prohibit clearance on steep slopes and in forests 1000m above sea level?

Clearing has also been spotted in the Chebar Besar forest reserve. Forests cleared here would most likely qualify as high conservation value (HCV) forests.

The primary forests inside the Pedu forest reserve have not been spared either. Hundreds of hectares were cleared in 2012 and open burning to clear land continued into 2014. Bukit Perangin forest reserve has also been affected.

Is there no end to this avaricious madness? Most of the forests cleared above are primary or high conservation value forests. Villagers in the areas surrounding the reserves mentioned are at risk of water pollution/shortage, landslides and flooding.

The Government must take immediate action and stop all deforestation in Kedah.

To make matters worse, the Kedah state exceeded its annual allowable cut (AAC) by 283% between 2009 and 2014.

One might ask what happens after logs have been cleared from the forest reserves.

They would be marketed globally with the MTCS label, meaning that the timbers originate from sustainably-managed forests. Malaysians know that this is a farce but, even locally, the voices of dissent are being ignored.


Letter to The Star, Published: Friday, 8 July 2016
End rampant logging of forest reserves
By UPRESHPAL SINGH, Director, Friends of the Orangutans (Malaysia)(note)
http://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/letters/2016/07/08/end-rampant-logging-of-forest-reserves/

(note)
http://www.friendsoftheorangutans.com/

GENEVA (AFP): The Bornean orangutan is on the verge of extinction, a top conservationist body said Friday, also warning that the world’s biggest fish, the whale shark, and a hammerhead shark species were endangered.
In an update to its “Red List” of threatened species, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature said growing human pressure was driving the three species ever closer to destruction.
“It is alarming to see such emblematic species slide towards extinction,“ Jane Smart, head of IUCN’s Global Species Programme, said in a statement.

The Bornean orangutan, which along with its cousin the Sumatran orangutan are Asia’s only great apes, has moved from being classified as “Endangered” to

“Critically Endangered” -- “only one step from going extinct,” IUCN said.

“As orangutans are hunted and pushed out of their habitats, losses to this slow-breeding species are enormous and will be extremely difficult to reverse,“ Erik Meijaard, an IUCN assessor of the species said in the statement.

Around 100,000 of these great apes are estimated to live on the island of Borneo, which is divided between Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia, down from 288,500 in 1973 and with their numbers expected to shrink to 47,000 by 2025.

The majestic creatures have seen their habitat shrink dramatically as the island’s rainforests are increasingly turned into oil palm, rubber or paper plantations.

Compounding the loss of habitat, surveys indicate 2,000 to 3,000 of the orangutans have been killed every year for the past four decades by hunters and sometimes villagers who view them as pests.

That represents a loss of as many as 66,570 individuals over a span of 40 years, IUCN said, warning that the great apes could be extinct within 50 years.

IUCN also warned that the slow-moving whale shark, which has been known to measure up to 12.65 metres (41.5 feet), had been placed on the “Endangered“ list.

The shark is fished for its meat as well as its fins which are used to make soup in some parts of Asia, but is also often caught by accident by fishermen casting nets for tuna.

IUCN said unregulated fishing was also behind the fast-falling numbers of the winghead shark, a distinctive species of hammerhead shark, which had also been moved from being considered “Near Threatened” to “Endangered”.

The small brownish grey shark, which has an exceptionally large “hammer“ that can be as wide as half the shark’s length, is particularly prone to getting entangled in fish nets due to its shape, IUCN explained.

The group said it was difficult to estimate how many of the sharks remain, but said there is a sharp drop in the numbers turning up.


The Star, Published: Sunday, 10 July 2016 MYT 9:44 AM
Bornean orangutan, whale shark sliding towards extinction: conservationists
By AFP
http://www.thestar.com.my/news/regional/2016/07/10/bornean-orangutan-whale-shark-sliding-towards-extinction-conservationists/


posted by fom_club at 12:31| Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする
この記事へのコメント
コメントを書く
お名前: [必須入力]

メールアドレス: [必須入力]

ホームページアドレス: [必須入力]

コメント: [必須入力]

認証コード: [必須入力]


※画像の中の文字を半角で入力してください。
※ブログオーナーが承認したコメントのみ表示されます。

この記事へのトラックバック