EIA needed before development of area close to Sungai Panjang Forest Reserve can proceed, says Tuan Ibrahim

PUTRAJAYA: An environmental impact assessment (EIA) report has yet to be submitted on plans to develop areas close to the Sungai Panjang Forest Reserve in Sabak Bernam, Selangor, says Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man (pic).

The Environment and Water Minister said any decision on whether development works at the location could proceed would be based on the evaluation of the EIA report.

He said the submission of an EIA report was required under Section 354A of the Environmental Quality Act to evaluate the effect a project has on the environment, to propose mitigation measures and to reduce negative impacts.

“The ministry is prepared to provide consultation and engagement with the Selangor state government to find the best solution to the issue.

“Our priority is to ensure that each development project is sustainable without leaving any negative impact on the environment,” he told the media after meeting the ministry’s staff on Tuesday (Sept 7).

On the degazettement of Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve (KLNFR), Tuan Ibrahim said the degazettement as well as that of any forest reserve would affect Malaysia’s target to reduce carbon intensity to 45% by 2030.

The issue over the degazettement of the forest reserve was raised at the Selangor legislative assembly on Monday (Aug 30) where state exco member Hee Loy Sian informed the assembly that the state degazetted as much as 536.7ha of the reserve for development.

The land was to be given to a private company, Gabungan Indah Sdn Bhd, for a mixed-commercial development.

Hee said only 536ha of the originally earmarked 991ha of forest would be degazetted, after taking into account objections from various parties.

Hee also said three other areas were slated to replace the degazetted area, namely Sungai Panjang, Broga and Ampang Pecah.

Selangor Forestry Department director Datuk Ahmad Fadzil Abdul Majid had said that the green light for the degazettement was given after intense scrutiny carried out by the Public Inquiry Committee in line with the Public Investigation Method (Selangor) 2014.

On Sept 2, PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil said the degazettement of a portion of the KLNFR had been temporarily put on hold and that Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari has promised to postpone the degazettement after the Selangor Mentri Besar had briefed and clarified the issues surrounding the proposed gazettement at a meeting with the PKR political bureau on Wednesday (Sept 1).

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