sign in a cave in Laos

16 October 2017

Illegal logging in Merapoh, around Gua Hari Malaysia

A report in Sinar Harian on 15 Oct 2017, "Hutan Simpan Merapoh kini makin parah?" (Is Merapoh Forest Reserve getting worse now?), talks about illegal logging and maybe gold mining going on in the Merapoh Forest Reserve. It has happened recently, in Oct 2017. One of the worst areas is in the forest around Gua Hari Malaysia. The water flowing through the cave is now muddy.

"Based on the preliminary investigation with the villagers, there was no direct signboard confirming logging activities. We suspect illegal logging activities or steal gold. They are quite cunning because they operate during the rainy season and are believed to be involved with other parties, ".

"In addition, Merapoh Forest Reserve is known for its wildlife sanctuaries such as elephants, bears, goats, tapirs, tigers and the world's smallest flower breeding grounds."

"This is also the location of an international event that has attracted tourists to Malaysia, the Magnificent Merapoh Trail for three consecutive years since 2015, with almost 30 countries participating in it."

It has been known for a few years that illegal logging is taking place in this area of northern Pahang.
There was also a possibility that Gua Hari Malaysia would be quarried.

I've posted many blogs about the caves and flora and fauna of this area. It seems that everything is in danger of being destroyed - by logging, mining or quarrying.
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UPDATE

On 16 Oct, Bernama published "No Logging In Merapoh Forest Reserve"
No Logging In Merapoh Forest Reserve

KUANTAN, Oct 16 (Bernama) -- The Pahang Forestry Department today stressed that there is no logging or mining activity in the Merapoh Forest Reserve area in Lipis near here, as alleged by a non-governmental organisation posting which went viral on the social media.

Its director Datuk Mohd Paiz Kamaruzaman said the alleged logging activity was actually on land owned by the Agriculture Industrial Development Board (LKPP) and did not involve any forest reserve land.

He said the LKPP had the permit to develop the land and had built a 1.2-kilometre trail in the area to transport forest products before the land is developed.

"The process of making the trail to transport the forest products had been approved by the estate manager. The process does not involve the Forestry Department because there is no forest reserve land involved. It is understood that the trail was made as it was the nearest access to the main road.

"Although it is outside our jurisdiction, we took the initiative to investigate and see for ourselves the track as we were worried it involved forest reserve land. We also met and talked to the land owners.....

This was reprinted in The SUN on 16 Oct "No logging in Merapoh Forest Reserve" and also the Malaysian Digest.

There were 2 articles in The Star on 20 Oct :
‘Look for another trail to Merapoh caves’which is about talks with the locals and the land owners about the trails etc.

Seeing red over deforestation , with a photo of the destruction.