KUALA LUMPUR,Mar 23 – The Malaysian Forestry Policy does not limit state rights and is stipulated in the objectives and provisions of the policy, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Seri Shamsul Anuar Nasarah.
He 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’s Ruang Bicara programme last night.
Therefore, he said that the setting up of strategies and action plans under the policy is the absolute right of 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, has gone through a process of negotiation between the peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak since 2016, and was launched on March 21.
Asked about forest enforcement and monitoring, he said that his ministry also collaborated with various agencies including police and the army to monitor high-risk encroachment ‘hotspots’.
He said that, apart from the introduction of the policy, his ministry also emphasised strengthening the use of technology in forest management through digitalisation.
“This includes the development of high-tech apps, data development and geospatial technology in preventing forest encroachment, in line with the development of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” 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 8,770ha and 455 tree species, as recorded through the Penghijauan Malaysia mobile app.
“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 download the ‘Penghijauan Malaysia’ application and visit www.100jutapokok.gov.my to register and see the latest developments on the campaign.