JERANTUT – The aggressive logging activity carried out in Ulu Tembeling over the past three years had threatened the development of eco-tourism in Kuala Tahan National Park, including the habitat of various types of fresh water fish in Sungai Pengau and Sungai Lau.
Despite the fact that the activity was legally permitted, it had nonetheless caused the two rivers, which are also the sources of water in Pahang, to be badly polluted, to the extent of destroying the habitat of fresh water fish, which was once an important tourist attraction to the district.
In fact, it was believed that the logging activity also posed threats to the habitat of wild animals, including elephants and hornbills.
A recent check carried out by Bernama and representatives from the Organisation for the Preservation of Natural Heritage (PEKA), found patches of elephant droppings along the logging, hence proved that the animal was clearly disturbed by the scrupulous loggers.
It was also found that several spots in the jungle had been cleared, believed to be used as timber drop-off zones by a logging contractor based in Kuala Lumpur.
It is learnt that the logging permit was issued to the contractor for a period between June 15 this year and May 15 next year, involving an area of 216.5 hectares.
Meanwhile, PEKA president Puan Sri Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil called for the activity to be stopped immediately for fear of a more serious impact to the eco-system in the area.
“We can see that the rivers become shallower and badly polluted, and this condition will bring about a more negative impact, especially during the monsoon season.
“This is because the forest, which is supposed to be water catchment area, is declining in size and we can see that the logging activity does more harm than good,” she said.
She also urged the state government, through its relevant authorities, to go to the ground and monitor the situation to prevent more damage to the environment which could jeopardise the eco-tourism activities in the National Park area.
At the same time, she said PEKA was also planning to hold a meeting and would invite all the relevant quarters, including tour and travel agency operators, state government and local residents, to discuss the issue.