大馬自然之友敦促馬來西亞政府停止進一步森林轉換之必要

紧急呼吁停止进一步的森林转换

鑑於馬來西亞半島在近期遭遇嚴重洪災,所造成的悲劇,以及其有史以來最大規模的襲擊及氣候變化日益不利的影響,大馬環境之友強烈要求國內所有州屬即刻停止進一步的森林轉換成種植林計劃。

我们針對全国林业数据的分析如下:

馬來亞半島
根據森林局年度報告指出,從2008年至2013年期間,所檢測到馬來西亞半島在森林面積的大小及憲報刊登永久森林保護區上並沒有明顯的變化。在2008年,它們的數據分別維持在580萬公頃及480萬公頃。於2013年,憲報刊登永久森林保護區僅僅小幅度的增加至490萬公頃。

然而,這種統計穩定的表象背後,半島的森林數據在一個特定的單位上大幅度的增加。這包括在永久森林保護區中的人工林內所涵蓋的乳膠木材克隆及其他木材樹的數據。

事实上,“植树造林”的概念,本质上是矛盾的。森林是由天然植被和水平高的生物多样性而形成的。它们执行不同的生态功能,包括作为集水系统。种植农作物都是單一的大农场,對於集水区、生态系统和生物多样性帶來災難性的影響。

2008年,分类为木材人工林地区的总规模是10萬8千512公頃。到了2013年,这一数字已飙升至32萬4千417公顷,或占永久保護森林區的6.6%。短短五年的时间里激增近200%。

吉蘭丹擁有大量的木材種植林被歸類為永久森林保護區,佔永久森林保護區的26%,即16萬2千485公頃。事實上,吉蘭丹州森林局的網站指出,該州已指定19萬9千352公頃的永久森林保護區為乳膠木材克隆種植園,但是這並不意味著整個地區將被開發。2010年,115間公司獲得該州批准於9萬1千零30公頃或14.6%的永久森林保護區上建立LTC種植林。

其次為霹雳,其中有5萬6千503公顷归类为种植园或佔永久森林保護區(100万公顷)的5.6%;柔佛有4萬5千544公顷或佔其永久森林保護區(43萬2千209公顷)的10.5%;彭亨州則是3萬1千831公顷或其永久森林保護區(156萬公顷)的2.0%;登嘉楼佔最少,有3千833公顷,佔其永久森林保護區(54萬4千855公顷)的0.7%。

总体而言,2013年的数据顯示了從2012年的19萬7千829公頃,激增了12萬6千588。吉兰丹州在這個數目中貢獻最多,增加多5萬7千971公顷至10萬4千514公顷;霹雳记录創新高,從2012年的1千680公頃增加到5萬6千503公顷。

同时,在2012年,共有13486公顷等种植园被授权收穫。这些在吉兰丹州(5千824公顷),彭亨(5千183公顷)和柔佛(2千479公顷)举行。在2013年,共有6千947公顷被许可收获,即,彭亨(5千421公顷),吉打(889公顷),柔佛(557公顷)和霹雳(80公顷)。
为了充分了解上述数据所帶來的影响,我们希望森林局提供澄清以下事项。

究竟是什么意思时,“森林型”被列为“人工林”?森林转化的範圍包括什麼?現今半島的木材人工林的規模多大?这些地区的年度数据可以被授权收獲以用来估计所建立种植园的规模,还是应该参考实际列为“人工林”的數據,即,單單在2012年與2013年間,从19萬7千829公顷跃升至32萬4千417公頃?

沙巴和砂拉越
在沙巴,其“人工林”的信息也可以从森林局的年度报告中獲得。於2012年,沙巴州拥有一些26萬5千904公顷木材种植园,其中13萬零184公顷位于其森林保护区。到了2013年,这种种植在该州的规模已增至27萬1千110公顷,其中14萬9千507公顷位于其森林保护区。除了橡胶、金合欢、桉樹和龙脑香,“农林业”的发展甚至还可以允许油棕在森林保護區進行种植。

同時,砂拉越,在其森林局的网站上證實,到2013年,該州在人工林牌照的制度下已经颁布了43個植樹執照於282萬7千372公頃的森林,當中,可以種用的面積估計是159萬5千398公頃。许多人工林牌照区也位于该州的宪报公布的永久性森林地产之内。2012年,30萬6千486公顷的人工林牌照地区已经种植;2013年,这数字进一步攀升至47萬1千892公顷。出于这些,32萬5314公顷栽種木材树,而另外的14萬6千578公顷种植油棕。如同沙巴,油棕种植,也可以在砂拉越的人工林牌照区内進行,包括那些在永久性森林地產之內的地區,以不超過20%的可栽種地區及25年的單一循環。

呼籲及进一步的问题
以上显示,2013年,半島的森林面积大如32萬4千417公顷、沙巴27萬1千110公顷及砂拉越的282萬7千372公顷已被指定为木材樹和棕榈油棕种植园的发展。假設砂拉越的可栽種區域份额降低到160萬公顷,其总规模将是220万公顷,或佔2013年1千800萬公頃的12.2%,比霹靂州稍大。如果砂拉越的份额进一步限制在已耕地面积,这一数字仍然会大110万公顷,佔我国森林面积占的5。9%, 比登嘉樓奴略小。可悲的是,這樣的損失事實不可能會被森林局數據準確的呈現。

这里最迫切的问题自然是,扩展幾時停下来?事实上,州內積極的發展木材树种植园的状态似乎是在響應2009年到2020年国家木材产业政策。愛2006年至2020年間,該政策設定在全國數個選定的地點建立37萬5千公顷木材树种植园,为此,180億令吉的拨款作为“初始”之和,以协助該領域。

鉴于所有这些,我们請求马来西亚半岛的森林局澄清以上提出的问题。

其次,我们认为种植及原產部在国家木材产业政策下,必须说明,是否有打算审查政策的明确野心。

第三,執法單位还必须杜绝木材、橡胶和油棕种植园列为森林区的误导性的做法。

事实上,这样的种植园甚至不应该属于我们的宪报刊登的森林。然而今時,2013年环境统计處公布的纲要將“人工林”定义为种植了树木或森林植物,无论本地或外来物种的区域,种植的方法广开不低于50公顷。人工林可以包括位于永久性森林地產之內或以外的地区。

如果我们要认真对待及防範未来的灾难,那么就必须停止所有的森林转换。

S.M. 莫哈末伊德里斯
大馬自然之友主席
2015年1月19日

SAM urges the Malaysian Government to halt further forest conversions.

Letter to the Editor
January 19, 2015

Urgent call to halt further forest conversions

Given the severity of the recent floods and the resulting tragedy that has befallen several states in the Peninsular Malaysia at a scale that has never been witnessed in living memory, and the increasingly adverse impacts of climate change, SAM strongly calls on all states to immediately halt further forest-to-plantation conversions in Malaysia.

Our analysis of the forestry data in the country shows as follows.

Peninsular Malaysia
From 2008 to 2013, no sharp changes could be detected to the size of forested areas and the gazetted Permanent Reserved Forest (PRF) in Peninsular Malaysia, as reported by the Annual Reports of its Forestry Department. In 2008, their figures stood at 5.8 million hectares and 4.8 million hectares, respectively. In 2013, there was only the small increase of the PRF to 4.9 million hectares.

However, behind the appearance of this statistical stability, one particular unit of forestry data in Peninsular Malaysia did in actual fact register a drastic increase during the period. This is the data pertaining to the size of ‘forest plantations’ within the PRF, where the latex timber clone and other timber trees are the trees of choice.

Indeed, the concept of ‘forest plantation’ is inherently contradictory. Forests are formed by natural vegetation and a high level of biodiversity. They perform various ecological functions, including as water catchment systems. Plantations are large monoculture farms of crops, disastrous for water catchments, ecosystems and biodiversity.

In 2008, the total size of forested areas classified as timber tree plantations was recorded at 108,512 hectares. By 2013, this figure had soared to 324,417 hectares, or 6.6 per cent of the PRF. This is a leap close to 200 per cent within a span of just five years.

Kelantan had the largest bulk of such PRF areas classified as timber tree plantations, at 162,485 hectares, or 26.0 per cent of its PRF (623,849 hectares). In fact, the website of the Kelantan State Forestry Department states that the state has designated 199,352 hectares within its PRF as the Latex Timber Clone Plantation Zone (Ladang Zon LTC), which however does not mean that the entire zone will be developed. By 2010, 115 companies had received approval from the state to establish LTC plantations on 91,030 hectares or 14.6 per cent of its PRF.

This was followed by Perak which had 56,503 hectares of its PRF areas classified as plantations or 5.6 per cent of its PRF (1.0 million hectares). Johor’s was at 45,544 hectares or 10.5 per cent of its PRF (432,209 hectares). Pahang’s figure stood at 31,831 hectares or 2.0 per cent of its PRF (1.56 million hectares). Terengganu had much less, at 3,833 hectares, or 0.7 per cent of its PRF (544,855 hectares).

Overall, the data in 2013 indicated a steep climb of 126,588 hectares from 197,829 hectares, the figure recorded in 2012. Kelantan again contributed generously to this growth, adding 57,971 hectares to its 104,514 hectares. Perak recorded another high, up to 56,503 hectares from its 1,680 hectares in 2012.

Meanwhile, in 2012, a total of 13,486 hectares of such plantations were licensed for harvesting. These took place in Kelantan (5,824 hectares), Pahang (5,183 hectares) and Johor (2,479 hectares). In 2013, a total of 6,947 hectares were licensed out for harvesting; Pahang (5,421 hectares), Kedah (889 hectares), Johor (557 hectares) and Perak (80 hectares).

In order to fully understand the implications from the data above, we wish for the Forestry Department to provide clarifications on the following matters.

What exactly does it mean when a ‘forest type’ is classified as a ‘forest plantation’? What is the extent of the forest conversion involved? How large is the size of all established timber tree plantations in the Peninsula today? Can the annual data on such areas being licensed out for harvesting be utilised to estimate the size of all established plantations, or should we refer to the figures actually listed as ‘forest plantations’, which jumped from 197,829 hectares to 324,417 hectares, between 2012 and 2013 alone?

Sabah & Sarawak
In Sabah, information on its ‘forest plantations’ can also be accessed from the Annual Reports of its Forestry Department. In 2012, Sabah possessed some 265,904 hectares of timber tree plantations, of which 130,184 hectares were located within its Forest Reserves. By 2013, the size of such plantations in the state had increased to 271,110 hectares, of which 149,507 hectares were located in its Forests Reserves. Apart from rubber, acacia, eucaplytus and dipterocarps, ‘agroforestry’ development may also permit the cultivation of oil palm, even in the Forest Reserves.

In Sarawak meanwhile, the website of its Forests Department confirms that by 2013, the state had already issued out 43 tree plantation licences over some 2,827,372 hectares under its Licence for Planted Forest (LPF) system, with plantable areas estimated at 1,595,398 hectares. Many of the LPF areas are also located within the state’s gazetted Permanent Forest Estate (PFE). By 2012, some 306,486 hectares of the LPF areas had already been cultivated. In 2013, this figure further climbed to 471,892 hectares. Out of these, 325,314 hectares were cultivated with timber trees while another 146,578 hectares were planted with oil palm. Like Sabah, oil palm cultivation may also be permitted within the LPF areas in Sarawak, including those within the PFE, for one single rotation of 25 years on no more than 20 per cent of their plantable areas.

Further questions and calls
The above shows that by 2013, forested areas as large as 324,417 hectares in Peninsula, 271,110 hectares in Sabah and 2,827,372 hectares in Sarawak have been designated for timber tree and palm oil plantation development. If Sarawak’s share is reduced to its plantable areas of 1.6 million hectares, their total size would be 2.2 million hectares, or 12.2 per cent of our 18.0 million hectares of forested areas in 2013 – slightly larger than Perak. If Sarawak’s share is further limited to areas that have been cultivated, the figure would still be as large as 1.1 million hectares, or 5.9 per cent of our forested areas – slightly smaller than Terengganu. Compounding the matter at hand is of course the fact that such losses may not even be captured by our forestry statistics accurately.

The most urgent question here is naturally, when will the expansion stop? In fact, this aggressive development of timber tree plantations by the states seems to be in line with the National Timber Industry Policy 2009 – 2020 (NATIP). Between 2006 and 2020, NATIP has targeted for the establishment of 375,000 hectares of timber tree plantations in selected sites all over the country, for which RM 180 million has been allocated as an ‘initial’ sum to assist the industry.

In light of all these, we would like to first request for the Forestry Department of Peninsular Malaysia to provide clarification on the questions posed above.

Secondly, we believe the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities under which NATIP was launched, must also state whether it has any intention to review the policy’s express ambitions.
Thirdly, our authorities must also put an end to the misleading practice of classifying timber, rubber and oil palm plantations as forested areas.

In fact, such plantations should not even belong in our gazetted forests. However today, even the Compendium of Environment Statistics 2013 published by the Department of Statistics defines ‘forest plantation’ as an ‘area planted with trees or forest plants, whether from local or foreign species, the method of cultivation as wide open no less than 50 hectares. Forest plantations can include areas that are located within or outside the PRF’.

If we are serious about preventing future calamities, then we must halt all forest conversions.

S.M. Mohamed Idris
President
Sahabat Alam Malaysia

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