Shamsul: Malaysian forestry policy does not limit state rights

Shamsul: Malaysian forestry policy does not limit state rights

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Forestry Policy does not limit the states’ right to take action related to forest management as stipulated in the objectives and provisions of the policy.

Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah explained that the policy was complementary, and did not reduce the provision in any other policy related to forest management which is still in force.

“Forest management in the country is under the purview of the state governments and has been enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

“Each state has the power to manage forestry in their respective states,” he told Bernama when appearing as a guest on the ‘Ruang Bicara’ programme, produced by Bernama TV, last night.

Therefore, he said that the setting up of strategies and action plans under the policy is the absolute right of the states in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.

He also emphasised that the Malaysian Forestry Policy never took over the powers of the state governments and it should be read together with any other written policy relating to forest management for the three regions.

The Malaysian Forestry Policy, which was agreed upon by all state governments at the 78th National Land Council meeting, and has gone through a process of negotiation between the Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak since 2016, was launched on March 21.

Asked about forest enforcement and monitoring, he said that his ministry also collaborated with various agencies including the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) and the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) to monitor high-risk ‘hotspot’ areas for cases of forest encroachment.

He said that, apart from the introduction of the policy, his ministry also emphasised strengthening the use of technology in forest management in Malaysia through the digitisation of forest resources and operations.

“This includes the development of high-tech applications, data development and geospatial technology in preventing forest encroachment, in line with the development of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0),“ he said.

Commenting on the 100 Million Tree Planting Campaign 2021-2025, Shamsul Anuar said that more than four million trees had been successfully planted nationwide since it was launched in January.

He said that it involved an area of 8,770 hectares and 455 tree species, as recorded through the ‘Penghijauan Malaysia’ mobile application.

“This number is expected to increase with the commitment of the ministry and the state governments. I am confident that we will achieve the target before the deadline,” he said.

He also called on Malaysians to upload the ‘Penghijauan Malaysia’ application and visit www.100jutapokok.gov.my to register and see the latest developments on the campaign.- Bernama