16 Oct 2010
The Selangor government has called on developers to stop buying mangrove logs for construction. According to state tourism, consumerism and environment committee chairman Elizabeth Wong, there are other alternative materials for construction like cement in the market rather than mangrove logs.
“We need the support from the developers and the construction industry to ensure that our mangrove forest are not lost. “We have to create awareness on the need for developers to stop buying mangrove logs for construction,’’ saidWong, after visiting pockets of mangrove forest off Port Klang that were felled.
She said an estimated 20,000 logs were seized during the Selangor Forestry Department raid on illegal loggers at the area and was proud of department personnel in taking drastic action to save the mangrove forest. “The loggers are very cunning, they only fell trees in the middle of the island so that fishermen cannot see what they are doing.
“Over the 10-year period, the price per log fluctuated between RM3 and RM7.90. This comes to about RM100 million worth of logs that the state had lost in a decade. The state should put a stop to mangrove forest logging entirely as mangrove saplings take about 15 years to be fully mature before they are ready to be harvested,’’ she said. Wong added that the Forestry Depart-ment itself was unable to carry out raids alone but needed help from other relevant departments. From next month onwards, the Forestry Department will carry out air surveillance to check on encroachment and stealing of mangrove logs.
“It is very difficult to monitor from land but we can see the activities better up in the sky. “The Forestry Department will also present a paper to the state regarding the illegal logging and would even propose ways to save the mangrove forest from further devastation. “In order to sustain the mangrove forest, we have to do replanting. We have to plant 15 trees for each tree felled,’’ she said.