Environmental Group Condemns Planned Corn Cultivation In Forest Reserve


 


An environmental group has condemned plans to cultivate corn in the Kuala Langat South Forest Reserve to increase the supply of chicken feed, amid the rising prices of imported grain.
Biodiversity, Environment, Agroecology, Climate Change and Habitat (BEACCH), an environmental cluster of the CSO Platform for Reform, instead called on the Selangor state government to work with local conservationists to rehabilitate the Kuala Langat South Forest Reserve.
This follows reports that corn cultivation was approved to be carried out in Gemas and Kuala Langat South to increase chicken feed supply amid the rising prices of imported grain.
“The Kuala Langat South Forest Reserve and Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve are the two remaining forest complexes in the Kuala Langat district in southern Selangor. Compared to the population in northern Selangor, local inhabitants in the districts of Kuala Langat and Sepang do not enjoy easy access to lush forest complexes such as the Selangor State Park and Kuala Selangor Nature Park.
“In addition, we would like to remind the Selangor state government that the National Land Council chaired by the Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, had on Dec 2, 2021, agreed in principle to implement a moratorium on the approval for new forest plantations in permanent reserved forests in Peninsular Malaysia for 15 years,” said BEACCH lead coordinator Leela Panikkar in a statement.
Idle agricultural land
Leela claims that there was plenty of idle agricultural land such as the Selangor Fruit Valley in Ijok.
She added that intercropping can also be practised in new and existing farms and plantations with idle spaces such as those in Cyberjaya.
“Selangor’s forest cover, at 31 percent is already below the national target of the 50 percent forest cover that Malaysia has pledged to conserve in 1992 at the United Nations Rio Earth Summit.
“This 50 percent forest cover commitment was reaffirmed by the National Land Council in 2019. There should be no more clearing of forests for commercial or agricultural purposes,” she said.
It was reported last week that the project, to be carried out in Gemas and the Kuala Langat South Forest Reserve was a joint venture between the Selangor Agricultural Development Corporation and the Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Incorporated through the Food Security Initiative Programme. - Mkini


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