State governments urged to increase forested areas

By BERNAMA / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

LIPIS • All state governments in Peninsular Malaysia need to increase their existing forested areas that were only at 43.41 per cent, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan (picture) said.

He said the measure needed to be implemented as the 4th National Physical Plan aimed to have 50 per cent forested areas in Peninsular Malaysia by 2040.

“The target is a game-changer in strengthening forest conservation and preservation efforts in the country,” he said during his speech at the national level International Forest Day 2022 celebrations with the theme ‘Forests for the Well-Being of Communities” here today.

The celebrations were officiated by The Regent of Pahang, Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.

Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail, Deputy Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Mohamad, who is also Lipis MP, and Energy and Natural Resources Ministry secretary-general Datuk Zurinah Pawanteh were also present.

Takiyuddin also said the federal government has prepared financial incentives, including the Ecological Fiscal Transfer (EFT) for Biodiversity Conservation, to assist state governments in taking more proactive measures in conserving and preserving biological diversity and protected areas.

“State governments are encouraged to apply for grants under the National Conservation Trust Fund for Natural Resources (NCTF) under my ministry to intensify research and conservation activities,” he said.

On the 100 Million Tree Planting Campaign, Takiyuddin said that 27.87 million trees have been planted throughout the country up until today.

He also invited all Malaysians to redouble efforts to make the national agenda a success by hitting the 100 million trees target by 2025.

“I also urge more community associations, non-governmental organisations and private concerns to get involved and play a more active part as tax exemption incentives have been prepared for donations to the conservation and greening of Malaysia,” he added.

Meanwhile, Wan Rosdy said during his speech that Pahang had 1.6 million hectares of permanent forest reserves while the state’s forested areas were 2.04 hectares, covering 57 per cent of Pahang.

He added that this made Pahang the largest contributor of forested areas among all states in Peninsular Malaysia.