Forest to be gazetted by end of the year
THE KOTA Damansara forest will be gazetted as a permanent forest reserve by the year-end at the latest.
In a reply to Kota Damansara assemblyman Dr Nasir Hashim, tourism, consumer affairs and environment chairman Elizabeth Wong said that the state executive council had on May 27 approved for the forest to be gazetted.
“We have started the process through the Selangor Forestry Department (JPNS) by giving the approval plans to the Mapping and Survey Department (Jupem) to prepare a gazette plan,” said Wong.
She said the process was expected to be completed before September but no later than the end of 2009.
At the same time, the forest area would be gazetted as a forest reserve, educational forest and research forest under Section 10(1) of the National Forestry Act 1986.
“This would open up possibilities for the state to have a suitable forest management plan for the area, including its potential as a recreation and forest biology education area,” she said.
Wong added that the state government would focus on making forest reserves and state parks a destination for eco-tourism.
“The state, through the JPNS, continually works with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to protect and preserve the environment, especially forest areas in the state,” said Wong.
The state was in the midst of having a memorandum of understanding with the Global Environment Centre to implement a two-pronged programme that would save cost for the state government while creating awareness among the community about environmental conservation.
Meanwhile, the Selangor government has barred the State Forestry Department from issuing logging permits in a move to end indiscriminate logging in the state.
Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said only the Selangor State Executive Council had the power to approve applications for logging.
In the past, he said the state Forestry Department director was empowered to issue logging permits.
“The change is to ensure the forest reserves are protected and the state takes full responsibility,” he said.
He said the state had not only lost millions to the illegal loggers but the activity had also damaged the environment.