KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 11 — Research by a journalism portal covering the environment and sustainability in Malaysia has shown that Selangor is the most effective state when it comes to monetising its forests, whereby RM233 was made from every hectare in terms of revenue per forest area.
According to an in-depth study conducted by Macaranga, Selangor achieved this between 2007 and 2019.
The report stated that in 2010, the Selangor state government had imposed a 25-year moratorium on logging in forest reserves.
“Unlike other states, Selangor derives most of its forestry revenue from non-timber products,” the report said.
Syed Mohd Adzha Syed Khalid from the forest planning and certification section of the Selangor Forestry Department told Macaranga that the main non-timber product in the state is rock quarried from permanent reserve forests.
He said Selangor has raised the tax rates for forestry products, especially quarry rocks, leading to much higher forestry revenue since 2011.
He added that quarries in forest reserves are licensed and specified in areas with lower tree density and higher granite content in the ground.
Meanwhile, the study also showed that between 2001 and 2019, forestry departments in peninsula Malaysia reported a total forest loss of 245,566 hectares.
In contrast, primary forest loss reported by satellite imagery is thrice that at 758,397 hectares.
According to the report, a key component that can explain the huge gap is forest plantations: estates of single-species fast-growing trees grown for timber and pulp.
“Between 2007 and 2018, Kelantan and Pahang cleared about 180,000 hectares of forests to create such plantations.
“All of these 180,000 hectares would have been flagged as forest loss in satellite imagery, but not in government records,” the report added.