The Sarawak government will continue not to issue new timber licences in their efforts to protect and retain the remaining indigenous virgin jungle in the state.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg emphasised that once forests have already been logged, it was very difficult to restore them.
“Worse still is the stripping of the forests of all their vegetation by plywood factories operating deep in the forests, ostensibly to clear the land for the planting of oil palm,” he told the August House in his winding up speech at the State Assembly Sitting.
“As such, therefore, there will be no more new palm oil plantation licences except for NCR (Native Customary Rights) land,” he remarked.
The state government, he added, will continue to take action against illegal logging.
“Not only are they just stealing timber in areas which are not licensed to them, but they are also intruding into forest reserve areas,” he said.
“If unchecked, we may have no more forest reserves of any kind, fully protected or otherwise. We must protect our protected forests if we want to retain any of our indigenous virgin jungle,” he added.