KUALA LUMPUR: Illegal logging activities in Peninsular Malaysia between 2006 to 2016 led to losses totaling RM15.2 million.
This was revealed by Deputy Natural Resources and Environment Minister Hamim Samuri in the Dewan Negara sitting today, in reply to Senator S. Bagiam Ayem Perumal’s question on losses incurred from illegal logging in the country.
Hamim said, during the same period, 256 illegal logging cases were recorded, with 229 arrests made in connection to them.
Illegal logging refers to any activity that is conducted without a license, is planned and uses heavy machinery.
Replying to a supplementary question on the use of the latest technology to curb illegal logging activities, as done in other countries, he said the ministry employs the use of drones, satellite observations and remote sensing.
Last year, the Forestry Department had introduced the use of real-time technology to tackle illegal logging activities. The use of the latest technology allows the ministry to monitor changes in forest cover in real time, which has had a big impact on enforcement.
Integrated technology such as the hyperspectral imaging, the Forest Monitoring Using Remote Sensing (FMRS) system which uses satellite imagery, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones) and a Geographical Information System (GIS) allows the authorities to gather information quickly and accurately.
Hyperspectral imaging gathers and processes information from across the electromagnetic spectrum, while the GIS works with spatial and geographical data. Developed by Agensi Remote Sensing Malaysia and the Peninsular Malaysia Forestry Department, the FMRS monitors activity in the forest on both macro and micro levels via satellite imagery.