By Sheeda Fathil
SHAH ALAM, June 25 — The Selangor government has targetted to increase the total area of forest reserves in the state to 35 per cent in five years’ time as part of the state’s long-term planning, says state executive councillor Hee Loy Sian.
The State Environment, Green Technology, Science and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman said the short-term plan would be to ensure that the forest reserve area in Selangor does not drop below 30 per cent.
At present, the estimated area of forest reserves in the state is 250,207 hectares, which stands at 31 per cent.
“(The long-term plan) will see the increase in forest reserve areas by 2025, which includes natural forests, peat swamp forests and mangrove forests.
“As for degazetted forest reserves used for development, and the construction of transmission lines, highways and pipelines, it will be replaced with a new forest area of equal or more total area,” he told SelangorKini yesterday.
Furthermore, Hee said the existing Selangor National Forestry Act (Adoption) (Amendment) Enactment 1985 suffices to protect the natural environment.
“However, we will make several improvements from time to time while focusing on several matters such as the forest service charge, violations under the specific legislative provisions and imposing penalties for breach of license terms or regulations,” he said.
He said attention will also be given on other issues including cross-border trade or crime and money laundering in the forestry or timber-based industries in order to safeguard the forest reserves in Selangor.