Tuesday, March 24, 2015

WWF: Deforestation is Continuing at An Alarming Rate

Towards the end of 2014, Malaysia's State of Kelantan experienced the biggest flood disaster ever since 30 years or more. Although it was a result of unusual heavy rainfall, it was likely exacerbated by the extensive loss of forests which in turn accelerated the sedimentation of rivers due to surface runoffs from extensive land clearing.

Forests, being the largest terrestrial storage of carbon and the third largest source of carbon emissions after coal and oil, play a vital role in the fight against global warming. Forest lost contributes up to 20% of global carbon emissions - more than the total emissions of all the cards, trucks, trains, planes and ships in the world combined. Climate change in turn may damage forests, for instance by drying out tropical rainforests and increasing fire damage on the forests.

Situated in Northern Perak, Belum-Temengor is approximately 130 million years old and is thought to be one of the oldest rainforests in the world. Encompassing an area of about four times the size of Singapore, it is one of the only three priority sites for tigers under the National Tiger Conservation Action Plan for Malaysia.

The Belum-Temengor forst is also home to all 10 hornbill species found in Malaysia and is an important habitat for large mamals such as the Malayan tiger, gaur, sambar deer and elephant. The only permanent human inhabitants within Belum-Temengor are the indigenous Orang Asli.

However, at the moment, only Roayl Belum State Park has been gazetted as a protected area, whilst Temengor Forest Reserve is still designated for logging.

Source: WWF-Malaysia