KOTA BHARU: The use of drones to monitor illegal encroachment activities, particularly in Kelantan permanent forest reserves has proven effective said state Forestry Department today.
Its director, Abdul Khalim Abu Samah, said that the use of drones that started in 2014 not only saves costs but also manpower and enables the department to act faster.
He said the department was able to quickly detect activities carried out by illegal loggers in the state’s permanent forest reserves through the deployment of these drones.
The use of drones has successfully detected illegal logging activities and prevented large-scale logging attempts, he said.
“We know that there are locals who are involved in the encroachment in permanent forest reserves such as at Chabang Tongkat, Machang which is a water catchment area and the use of drones managed to detect the activity,” he told Bernama when contacted today.
He said through detailed observations based on the photos taken using the drones, traces of encroachment such as the felling of trees and vehicle tracks could be detected.
Abdul Khalim said thus far the Kelantan Forestry Department has four drones to monitor forest encroachment in the state’s western and eastern districts covering a total area of 629,775.13 hectares.
He added that 16 of the 37 permanent forest reserves in the state had been encroached upon by illegal loggers to steal high-quality logs including ‘balau’, ‘nyatoh’, ‘merbau’ and ‘meranti’.
Abdul Khalim said the illegal activities only occur on a small scale and involve locals who cut logs based on demands. — Bernama