“I am disappointed with what had happened or allowed to happen. We do not seem to have learned any lesson from all the ecological and environmental disasters that have befallen on countries that have failed to listen and address environmental concerns,” he added yesterday. Masidi was referring to the Sabah Environmental Protection Agency’s (SEPA) demands for explanations from the Tuaran District Council and the Land and Survey Department for alienating the land in Mengkabung for private ownership and allowing 10 acres of land to be cleared, buried and backfilled.
“The land in question is a titled land approved by the Land and Survey Department, while the permission to clear the land was given by the Tuaran District Office.“I am sure the district officer is aware of the current government policy and guidelines on mangrove swamps as there are sufficient official guidelines to enable the relevant authorities to make good decisions. The only issue is whether those in authority have the courage to make difficult but right decisions,” he said.
Masidi stressed that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) requirement must not be the sole criteria to determine a right decision when considering land development on a land, more so when the land in question is located in an environmentally sensitive area.“The compelling reason should always be to see and ensure long-term benefits and avoid possible negative impacts of that decision.“What is even more perplexing is that the land alienated in 2002 was approved for fruits orchard. And it is on a mangrove swamp,” he stressed.
SEPA president Wong Tack, in a statement, said the Cabinet had approved the whole area to be put under the Shoreline Protection Plan in the 90s, meaning the area is off-limit for development.
Describing the Land and Survey Department as the “biggest culprit”, Wong said a lot of land in the area had been alienated for private ownership. He also blamed the Tuaran District Council for failing to respect the Cabinet’s decision.
Dept: No EIA application to cut mangroves ‘unannounced project’ in Tuaran.
KOTA KINABALU: There is no Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) application to cut mature mangroves, particular ‘unannounced project’ in Mengkabung, Tuaran. Department of Environment Conservation director Yabi Yangkat, when contacted by The Borneo Post yesterday, said he would be carrying out site inspection to ensure the owner of the land stops the activity.
“According to earlier investigation that we received, the mangroves cutting activity is illegal and we do not know who is the owner of the land. “It was learnt that the land has been titled to someone and most of lands have a title in the particular area. However, there are huge mangrove areas that have been cut by unknown people,” he said.
Yangkat added any company which needs to do a modification of mangrove swamps for commercial, housing and industrial project is required to apply for EIA before doing any modification.
However, he said modification of mangrove swamps that involves less than 10 hectares do not need EIA. If there is an illegal activity of cutting mangroves without EIA, Yangkat said the particular company or individual can be charged in court.
Comply or face the music, land owners warned.KOTA KINABALU: Land owners have been warned to abide by the terms and conditions stated in their land titles or face the consequences. Issuing the warning yesterday, Land and Survey Department director Datuk Osman Jamal said they have the right to cease the title if land owners were found to have breached the land use conditions.
Responding to the Sabah Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) complaint over the clearing of the mangrove area in Mengkabong, Tuaran, Osman said the department would be sending its personnel to check on the land in question, to determine whether the land owners abide by the land use terms and conditions.
He said the two pieces of land, one with a Native Title and the other a Commercial Lease, each measuring 1.974 hectares, were applied for in 1987. “The land applications were approved in 1994, and the department issued a title for the CL land three years later while the NT title in 2002, meaning the approval (for the land applications) came way before the Shoreline Protection Plan was implemented,” explained Osman. He said the approval was made following advice from the Natural Resources Department, and according to the terms and conditions, the land owners would develop the land for planting edible fruits.
“From what we are told, the owner has cleared, buried and backfilled the area, which is more suited to carry out physical development, and not to plant edible fruits as stipulated in the land use terms and conditions. “However, we will be visiting the land in question soon, probably tomorrow (today),” he said.
JomoSamaTuaran sendiri merasa hairan bin ajaib dengan beberapa peraturan baru, yang mana telah dikuat-kuasakan terhadap semua kawasan bakau di sekitar kawasan pinggir pantai Daerah Tuaran, yang menghalang orang-orang kampung dari memasuki kawasan-kawasan tersebut untuk mencari nafkah hidup (mencari lokan, ketam). Lebih `menyeronokkan' kawasan tersebut kini di jaga oleh renjer-renjer hutan...hehehehe, guano demo ni kawe???