@Green March/April 2022 | Page 28

Terengganu government denies deforestation at Tasik Kenyir


@ Forest | March-April , 2022
April 2021 ; Coordinate A - 5.00767 , 102.91957
March 2021 ; Coordinate B - 4.97355 , 102.86805
October 2021 ; Coordinate A -5.00767 , 102.91957
October 2021 ; Coordinate B - 4.97355 , 102.86805

It ’ s the heavy rain

Terengganu government denies deforestation at Tasik Kenyir

IT IS undeniable that Malaysia has witnessed a fair share of extreme weather phenomena of late . Having previously occurred in Pahang , the unusually heavy rain has also been said to be the cause of the debris flood near Tasik Kenyir , Terengganu recently .

A video went viral on the Internet showing the massive amount of floating wood and logs filling up the river , located downstream of the artificial lake . With the enormous amount of timber and logs spotted in the video , it was only natural for the public to assume that some logging activities or deforestation might have occurred in the area . However , the speculation and assumption were denied by the Terengganu government .
In a statement on March 3 , Terengganu Menteri Besar Dato ’ Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar said the unusually heavy rains and landslides were the cause of debris flooding in the Tasik Kenyir area .
“ I have received a full report from the Terengganu State Forestry Department ( JPNT ) today regarding the debris flood in the Sungai Terengganu area near the Sultan Mahmud Hydroelectric Power Station ,” said Ahmad Samsuri .
“ An investigation on March 1 , 2022 , along the Terengganu River near the
Terengganu Menteri Besar Dato ’ Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar .
Sultan Mahmud Hydroelectric Power Station , showed that landslides and medium-sized debris flow occurred on the river slope . We found no logging activity in the area .”
Heavy rains and landslides
He said the landslides carried wood waste , debris and plants to the area .
“ This was due to the heavy rain that continued for five consecutive days from Feb 23-27 , 2022 , which reached 1000 mm of rainfall .
“ Landslide slips were estimated to be 100 metres long , 50 metres wide , and five to 10 metres thick . The debris flow from the top of the hill to the Terengganu River reached up to 300 metres in length .”
Ahmad Samsuri said the post-disaster coordination meeting was held , and various relevant agencies had carried out clean-up work . He added that the State would carry out monitoring activities from time to time to monitor the situation .
“ Hopefully , this statement can clarify the issue that has been hovering for a day or two on social media .”
Satellite images show the opposite
The Association for the Protection of the Natural Heritage of Malaysia ( PEKA ) on Mar 4 asked for an explanation from Terengganu Forestry Director regarding satellite images near the Tasik Kenyir area , which showed human activities .
On its official Facebook page , the association shared the differences spotted by its team on the images from Mar 2021 to Oct 2021 .
“ Coordinate A ( 5.00767 , 102.91957 ) is located 1.33 km away from the Tasik Kenyir area , and Coordinate B ( 4.97355 , 102.86805 ) is 2.19 km . Our satellite images indicate some differences ( in the area ) from March 2021 to October 2021 ,” said PEKA .
PEKA said news released by the media stated that the Terengganu Forestry Director explained ‘ no illegal logging ’ happening at Tasik Kenyir . However , the association raised some questions regarding the statement ,
asking : i . What is the size of logging areas licensed by the Terengganu Forestry Department ? ii . How many areas are still being used for logging activities in Tasik Kenyir ? iii . What is the plan of the Terengganu Forestry Department after the flooding ? iv . What type of logging activities is happening in the Tasik Kenyir area ? Is it selective logging or clear-cutting ? — @ Forest

A hidden gem in Terengganu

TASIK KENYIR is an artificial lake located in Hulu Terengganu , Terengganu . It was created in 1985 to provide water to the Sultan Mahmud Power Station . It is the largest artificial lake in mainland SouthEast Asia with 260,000 hectares .
Tasik Kenyir is home to numerous species of freshwater fishes and exotic wildlife . The jungles surrounding the lake are home to some endangered species like Asian elephants and Malaysian tigers .
The area has also been successfully developed as an ecotourism destination . It has mesmerising landscapes and waterfalls , making camping one of the area ’ s attractions . Tourists may also enjoy fishing , hiking , kayaking and canoeing .