Natural Resources and Environment minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar has urged all parties to reconsider any plans to develop permanent reserved forest areas. Bernama Photo

PUTRAJAYA: The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry has urged all parties to reconsider any plans to develop permanent reserved forest areas.

Its minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the move was necessary to ensure the country's forest cover remains beyond 50 per cent, especially in Peninsular Malaysia.

"For any permanent forest that has been degazetted or cleared for development, these areas must be replaced immediately in line with Section 12 of the National Forest Act 1964," he said in a statement today.

Wan Junaidi said that if necessary, by using the National Land Council platform, the ministry would call on state authorities to review land development projects that would involve permanent forest reserve.

He said permanent forest reserves in Kuala Lumpur has shrunk from 106.10ha to 68.27ha due to road and infrastructure developments.

There are four permanent forest reserves in KL namely Bukit Lagong with 2.10ha of forest cover, Bukit Nanas (9.37ha), Sungai Puteh (14.51ha) and Sg, Besi (42.29ha).

The permanent forest reserves, he said, were crucial as water catchment areas especially as with country facing the El-Nino phenomena.

In this respect, he said, it was sensible to stop any land development in permanent forest reserve areas immediately to support the nation's biodiversity conservation efforts.

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