In a new article today in The Star, my question, “What is the bee tree worth in Malaysian ringgits?” that I asked in my previous blog entry is answered. A bee tree is worth about 5,600RM. That’s 1,483.44 US dollars.
Thursday March 29, 2007
Dept. probes illegal logging in Pedu rainforest
Story and picture by TUNKU SHAHARIAH
SUNGAI PETANI: The Kedah Forestry Department is investigating illegal logging in the Pedu rainforest.
Department director Kasim Osman said he believed loggers were taking advantage of the trans-eastern hinterland highway being constructed through the forest alongside Pedu Lake to transfer the sawn timber out. The highway links Durian Burung to Baling.
The logging came to light after honey hunters found three trees chopped down and a century old tualang or honey tree marked for felling in the forest reserve.
“Only the highway contractor is given a permit to cut down trees which are in the way of the highway alignment. However, we found that trees have been felled some 400m from the highway construction area,” Kasim said.
He added that the trunk from a tualang tree was worth RM5,600 in the market while the other three trees, including a sepetir tree (sindhora), were estimated to cost up to RM20,000.
Under Section 15 of the Forestry Act 1984, anyone found guilty of cutting down trees in the forest reserve will face a fine of RM500,000.
The Star reported on Thursday that honey hunter Salleh Mohammed Noor found a 100-year-old tualang tree dying and saw a deep axe cut on the trunk.
Salleh, 78, had been collecting honey from the tree for 15 years.
Malaysian Nature Society president Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Mohd Nor urged the department to bring the culprits to book and to ensure the rainforest was not compromised for the sake of development.