LETTER | Deforestation is a common issue in Malaysia for years. Deforestation occurs when forests are depleted through logging and not replacing trees. The most prevalent motive for land clearing is to make room for crops and ranches.
Trees were frequently felled for fuel and lumber, as well as to make place for towns. Many animals die as a result of deforestation, which destroys their habitat.
In Malaysia, deforestation and forest degradation are complicated problems, with many causes. However, the attention has so far been mostly on direct or proximal factors like industrial logging, large-scale commercial oil palm plantations and agriculture, road development and major dams.
Malaysia lost 2.7 million hectares of humid primary forest between 2002 and 2020, accounting for 34 percent of the country's total tree cover loss during that time. During this time, the total area of Malaysia's humid primary forest shrank by 17 percent.
Therefore, the Malaysian government has intensified efforts to replant trees to recover from deforestation. The national forestry policy was enacted in 1978, which gazetted 14.1 million hectares of permanent forest reserves and National Parks.
The government has gazetted national parks as part of its attempts to save forests. The Malaysian government has gazetted national parks since 1939. Forest reserves are valuable natural heritage areas and need to be protected. Logging, hunting, and development activities are not allowed in these areas.
In addition, illegal logging activities are controlled. The role of the federal government and the state governments is to monitor illegal logging. Loggers are required to use modern equipment and are subject to legal action if convicted.
Lastly, the government has conducted environmental education. Environmental education is provided to various sections of society through exhibitions, campaigns, dialogues, conventions, seminars, symposia and advertisements on television and social media to raise awareness about deforestation.
When Covid-19 struck the country, it had both beneficial and bad consequences. The majority of the good benefits were seen in the forests, as numerous logging, building, and development operations were halted in order to stop the pandemic from spreading.
As a human, we must acknowledge that deforestation must be stopped to avoid climate change, global warming, floods, animal extinction and the loss of animal habitats.
As humans, we must recognise that deforestation must be halted in order to prevent climate change, global warming, flooding, animal extinction and habitat loss. It all starts with us taking care of the forest and preventing deforestation for the future benefit of the community.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.