‘Royal land’ among vast tracts of forest for sale

THE Rimba Disclosure Project (RDP) is concerned over the online advertising of vast tracts of allegedly deforested lands in various states in Peninsular Malaysia.

(The Malaysian Reserve) – Some of the listings, it said, are being sold under the guise of being owned by royal families and warranting further investigation.

RDP has identified and verified 43,539ha of forested land purportedly for sale through 28 listings on websites including Mudah.my, iProperty, PropertyGuru and Facebook.

These listings contain land within forest reserves, central forest spine habitat linkages and indigenous customary land.

RDP has called on authorities to investigate these online advertisements of the vast tracts of forest in the peninsula, ostensibly for sale and conversion to agriculture with a 99-year lease.

RDP stated that the sale of forests is inconsistent with Malaysia’s pledge to maintain 50% of its total landmass as forest cover, as well as its commitment under the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030, and its responsibility to prioritise climate action under the Paris Agreement.

They also stressed that the conversion of forests to agricultural use will result in further loss of biodiversity and the degradation of natural habitats, as well as exacerbate issues of flooding and the climate crisis, all of which will further affect the communities living in these areas.

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