Long Pasia – Deforestation (part 6 of 6)
In the movie “Avatar”, we’ve already seen how human greed can put the environment and mankind in threat. Unfortunately, this kind of scenario happens every day in Sabah. I have been introducing the beautiful nature of Sabah. But wherever I go, I always see destruction of environment going on. Frankly, I don’t know if these places will still look the same years later.
You have seen the beauty of Long Pasia in my blog, but I need to tell you that the forest of Long Pasia is not a forest reserve protected by government. Sabah Forest Industries (SFI), a logging company, who runs the pulp & paper mill in Sipitang, have been logging in Sipitang district, and the rampant logging is getting nearer to Long Pasia each year. Just look at the Google map below and that shall give you an idea. Based on the map, you already can tell there are some serious erosion problems in logging area.
SFI is a controversial company in the eyes of environmentalists. The effluent released by SFI mill into Brunei Bay has polluted the sea and kill the coral reefs. SFI also wants to build a 40MW coal power plant in Sipitang without the participation of the public and other stakeholders. Environmentalists also believe that the logging by SFI in upstream of Padas River has caused serious flood in other places such as Tenom (so don’t take this as the problem of Long Pasia only). But a politician (with the nickname “Vacuum”) promptly stood up and denied such claim. Personally, I don’t understand why government approves logging in sensitive water catchment area and slopes.
SFI is owned by an India company and most of their workers are Indian too. The locals also complain that they are not given much job opportunities that they deserve. That really makes me think if this foreign company loves our land and have the slightest concern for the sustainability of our forest resources. You can see the deforestation by SFI on the way to Long Pasia. But to be fair, they provide the road (logging road) to Long Pasia.
Paper from Long Pasia
Personally I want to stop using A4 paper produced by SFI, but sadly the paper of SFI dominates 99% of Sabah market. Look at the packing on your paper rim and you will see the name “SFI”. Ourselves should be blamed too. Malaysians have wasteful behaviour. We waste food, water, electricity and PAPER. Please always keep in mind that the paper that we are using is probably coming from the trees of Long Pasia. Do NOT waste. Think before you print. Reduce, Recycle and Reuse the paper.
I really hope the government will gazette the forest of Long Pasia as a forest reserve soon, and such policy is totally in line with the initiatives of the Heart of Borneo.
Photos taken in Long Pasia, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo