sign in a cave in Laos

25 November 2013

Malaysia has the world's highest deforestation rate

Not exactly a caving issue, but one that is related as many areas around limestone hills are being logged.

This Google forest map from 15 Nov 2013 (Mongabay) reveals that Malaysia has the world's highest deforestation rate. A similar report appeared in The Star on 21 June 2013,Nasa: Malaysia sees 115% jump in deforestation.

I'm not going to make any comments on the articles. The point of this blog is that just after the report was published on Mongabay I was caving in the Merapoh area, in Pahang, and I saw the effects of logging.

The first day we went to Gua Cadu which is a remote hill only accessible by logging trucks. The drive took 2 hours each way, and much of that time was spent on logging trails, as well as areas cleared by mine companies.

The following day we went back to Gua Gajah Marah. This is in a hill at the back of Merapoh village. There is a new gravel road leading out of the village and ends at a newly cleared area which will be the new rubbish dump for the area. Beyond this the track goes to a huge expanse of freshly cleared land.

I was shocked as when we were there in Sept 2012 it was thick vegetation and very hard to drive to the cave. Now it is a huge expanse of nothing.

Sept 2012, Gua Gajah Marah hill and entrance -

And Nov 2013 -

The whole area has been cleared -

Anyone who has traveled on the road from Gua Musang south towards Raub, or from Gua Musang to Cameron Highlands will have seen many logging trucks on the road. From the road is is not obvious from where the logs are coming from, but once you leave the main roads and go into the more remote areas that you see vast areas of devastation.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

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