Review all logging licences, group tells Terengganu govt

Tour guides are complaining that the water at Tasik Kenyir has turned muddy due to logging activities. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: An environmental group, Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), today urged the Terengganu government to review all logging licences and operations of private companies.

This comes after reports that the area around the state’s tourist spot, Tasik Kenyir, has become badly polluted due to logging activities.

MNS’ Terengganu state chairman Wong Chee Ho said pictures obtained from local tour operators showed the crystal clear waters at Tasik Kenyir are now filled with mud.

“Sustainable logging should take into consideration the environmental impact on areas both inside and outside the logging concession area.

One of the areas at Tasik Kenyir badly hit by muddy water. (MNS pic)

“However, recent evidence suggests that approved logging concessions have been environmentally destructive.”

Wong said the livelihood of many local tour operators in Terengganu and image of the country had been affected by these logging activities.

“Local tour operators have all this while been able to benefit from ecotourism-related activities by relying on what nature does best,” he said.

Yesterday, Terengganu Tourism, Culture and Information Technology Committee chairman Ariffin Deraman said they had halted all logging activities at Lasir Waterfall, situated near Tasik Kenyir.

Ariffin said the state, through its Forestry Department, had ordered the logging licence holders to take mitigation measures to reduce the pollution.

However, Wong said the state government’s order to halt the logging activities was not enough.

“We strongly feel the benefits of having a healthy environment is in the best interests of everyone, especially the people of Terengganu,” he said.