PM: Govt approves master plan to link, preserve forest areas in Peninsular Malaysia

·2-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 — The federal government has today approved the Central Forest Spine Ecological Network Master Plan — an urban and rural planning policy to be used as a guide in the future forest development for Peninsular Malaysia.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the master plan is an initiative to connect the country's eight major forest complexes throughout Peninsular Malaysia, involving Kedah, Perak, Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Johor, Selangor and Negri Sembilan.

"It is to preserve the forest areas in Peninsular Malaysia so that there is a physical network of forests that are connected throughout the Central Forest Spine area in line with the vision of reconnecting the forest,” he said in a statement after chairing the 40th National Physical Planning Council Meeting here.

Ismail Sabri explained that the master plan has identified 39 ecological networks to connect forest areas or isles that are not connected due to fragmentation.

He said the efforts were to reduce conflicts between humans and wildlife by ensuring that the natural path of wildlife from one forest area to another is not hindered by development activities.

"Through the implementation of this master plan, the country's commitment to maintain 50 per cent of the forest area as agreed during the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 can be realised,” said Ismail Sabri, adding that the efforts can be achieved through a joint commitment between both the federal and state governments.

On another matter, Ismail Sabri said the meeting also took note of the Public Open Space Status Report in Peninsular Malaysia and the Federal Territory in 2020 which has been prepared by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government.

He explained that the government has set a target of two hectares of open space for 1,000 urban residents.

"The total amount of public open space in Peninsular Malaysia and the Federal Territory is 23,433 hectares. However, only 33 per cent or 7,662.6 hectares of it have been gazetted, 24 per cent (5,738.4 hectares) are in the process of being gazetted, while the rest have not been gazetted,” he said.

Ismail Sabri, who is also the Bera MP, said all state governments, with the responsible agencies under it, are called to take serious steps in expediting the gazetting of the public open space under Section 62, National Land Code.

"The gazetting of the public open space will ensure that it remains preserved and continues to function as an open space that can be utilised by the people for recreational and leisure purposes towards a more livable Malaysia,” he said.

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