Selangor Journal
The view from above Pusat Kecemerlangan Hutan Paya Gambut Kompartment 73, in the Raja Musa Forest Reserve, Kuala Selangor, on May 11, 2023. — Picture by AHMAD ZAKKI JILAN/SELANGORKINI

Forestry sector contributes RM6.601 bln to GDP

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 — The country’s forestry sector has contributed a total of RM6.601 billion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to the 2022 Auditor-General’s Report (LKAN).

The report, tabled in the Dewan Rakyat today, said the amount was 0.4 per cent of the country’s total GDP of RM1,544.214 billion, and the exports of the timber industry contributed a total of RM22.744 billion in 2021.

“Overall, based on the scope of the audit, forest management in Malaysia has been done sustainably to provide socioeconomic benefits and maintain environmental sustainability.

“As of December 31, 2021, forest areas cover 18.05 million hectares or 54.6 per cent of the national land area, in line with the country’s commitment to maintain at least 50 per cent of its forest area,” it said.

However, based on audit samples reviewed in nine states, there were cases where the weakness of forest management for the development of forest plantations, logging, mining, and quarry activities within the Permanent Forest Reserve (HSK) had posed a negative environmental impact.

Meanwhile, audit interviews revealed that 188 Orang Asli respondents agreed that forestry activities around their settlements negatively impacted the rivers, as well as local economic and socio-cultural activities.

To ensure the objective of Sustainable Forest Management (PHSB) is achieved, the report, among others, recommends the Natural Resources, Environment, and Climate Change Ministry (NRECC), the Forestry Department of Peninsular Malaysia (JPSM), the Forest Department Sarawak (JHS) and Sabah Forestry (JPS), carry out the process of data collection and verification of national forested areas on an annual basis by creating a complete database on HSK, protected areas and forest land.

“In addition, NRECC needs to boost cooperation with state governments in providing directions or action plans for implementing PHSB through good governance and best practices to ensure the forestry sector continues contributing to sustainable national development.

“JPSM, JHS, JPS, and enforcement agencies are involved in increasing integrated monitoring and enforcement activities to ensure that every development project in forest areas complies with the development conditions set,” according to the report.

— Bernama

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