Ministry mulls sustainable development blueprint for Cameron Highlands

PETALING JAYA: The Natural Resources Ministry and the Environment Department are considering drafting a blueprint for Cameron Highlands to look into sustainable development of the site.

This possibility for such a document comes after reports last month of rampant and illegal clearing of the forest.

According to a statement by the ministry, the blueprint will outline short- and long-term plans to ensure any development in the area takes into account the carrying capacity and is in line with the plans of the local councils and the state government.

“The issues that will be addressed immediately are erosion and siltation, caused by illegal logging, which leads to river pollution.

“Sensitive areas will also be identified for restoration programmes and management of water catchment areas,” a ministry spokesman said.

The ministry will also work with its agencies, such as the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) and the Forestry Department of Peninsular Malaysia to resolve encroachment issues in Cameron Highlands.

It will also step up enforcement efforts in monitoring land clearing via its One NRE Enforcement Team which comprises personnel from the DID and Environment Department.

“We will continue with our air surveillance programme and extend the survey around Cameron Highlands,” the spokesman said, adding that the programme launched last year yielded many positive results and curbed illegal logging and forest encroachment.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on June 7, 2013.


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