Illegal logging in Sabah/ Image: Sabah Forestry Department
The Sabah Forestry Department cracked down on illegal logging activities on the state land of Kg. Tinanom and Kg. Rinangkatan in the Ranau district on February 18, last Thursday, after receiving complaints from the public.
A total of 1,364 logs of various sizes and species were seized. Logging equipment such as tractors, excavators and logging lorries were also confiscated. If found guilty, persons may be fined up to RM 500,000 and a jail term of no less than one year and not exceeding 20 years.
The Ranau district has poor environmental governance and as a result is one of the areas most susceptible to illegal logging. Land development is not controlled and logs are extracted indiscriminately from these areas. Although the illegal logging in the district does not involve forest reserves, it generates many problems for the local community over issues of rights and claims.
Forests are necessary for environmental stability in the region and especially in Ranau and Sabah.