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National challenge created by AZNUR HAJAR Tuesday, August 18, 2015



The problem

Illegal logging is the harvest, transportation, purchase or sale of timber in violation of laws. The harvesting procedure itself may be illegal, including using corrupt means to gain access to forests; extraction without permission or from a protected area; the cutting of protected species; or the extraction of timber in excess of agreed limits. 

In Peninsular Malaysia, main cause of illegal logging  never been determined but some NGOs claimed that illegal logging in Peninsular Malaysia occurred because of corruption among forest authorities, weak of law enforcement and lack of enforcement operations. Noted that, tropical forest in Peninsular Malaysia is very dense and some are located in the remote areas and places deep into the forest and involves large areas away from public, the monitoring agencies and the press. Therefore, the probability of detection and arrest of forest offenders are low in some areas. Some policies created by the state government also encourage to this issue. For example, it is believe that some state governments have charged very high tender price for timber harvesting rights and it was reported that some states charge price for timber very much above expected stumpage value of the standing timber (Rusli, 2001). This has caused timber companies to log areas that not allocated to them in order to recover as much cost as possible from timber harvesting operations.

Malaysia has defined the illegal logging as any activities that include offenses relating to logging without permit, logging outside a licensed area and construction of infrastructure including unauthorized building of forest roads (FDPM, 2003). In Peninsular Malaysia, three categories are used to classify forest offenses. Three categories to classify forest offenses are; Category I: Cover offences involving logging without licenses and logging outside license area and unauthorized construction of infrastructure and forest roads, Category II: Cover encroachment of forest reserves for agricultural activities and settlements and Category III: Cover other forest offences that involves felling of unmarked trees, cutting trees below the cutting limit, unlicensed workers and contractors with no valid sub-licensed, unregistered machinery plus other bleaches of rules and regulations committed within and outside the forest reserved (FDPM, 2003).

Focusing question

1) How can we reduce the illegal logging? 

2) How complex is the problem?

3) What events caused this problem?

4) Why is it a problem?

5) Does the problem pose threat? To people? To organization? To the community? In what way is it a threat? 

6) There's a source stated that illegal loggers cut down trees at permit area under companies that have license. What can be done to limit tree cutting by concessions company?

7) Where are hotspot areas that illegal loggers cut down trees?

8) Can we reduce the exportation timbers towards buyers?(Japan has been the largest buyer of timber products from Sarawak, Malaysia, for more than twenty years) 

9) Who benefits from such illegal deforestation?

10) Who is affected by this illegal logging activities?

11) Why does illegal logging happen?

12) How many involved in illegal logging activities?

13) Who's in charged ?

14) Does the law implemented work?

15) Does the offenders being given heavy penalty?

Where to go from here

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