Malaysia: Increased pulp mill capacity in Sabah means an additional 168,797ha of forest will be destroyed

KOTA KINABALU: A planned expansion of Sabah’s sole pulp and paper mill
is causing concern among an environmental group here. The Sabah
Environmental Protection Association (Sepa) said Sabah Forest
Industries Sdn Bhd mill must address the serious pollution at the
Brunei Bay adjacent to the company’s mill in the southwestern Sipitang
district.

Sepa president Wong Tack said a detailed environmental
impact assessment (DEIA) showed that the 11 coral reefs in the bay
were dead. “Dead shell alongside mud and wood chips were found in 18
sampling points within a 1.5km radius of SFI’s mill effluent in the
Brunei Bay,” Wong claimed. Under the expansion plan, SFI intends to
increase the annual output from its mill from 144,000 tonnes to
210,000 tonnes of paper. The amount would reach 273,500 tonnes if pulp
was included, he said. Wong said in tandem with this increase, SFI
intends to log an additional 168,797ha of its forest concession in the
remote Ulu Padas region. He said this was in addition to the original
concession area of 107,826ha. “This means the company will eventually
be logging an area the size of (the state of) Malacca,” said Wong,
adding that the logging operations could lead to further environmental
degradation in areas where there were already serious erosion
problems. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/12/21/nation/20081221133331&sec=nation

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