Nik Nazmi: Central Forest Spine initiative will address human-wildlife
conflict (Kuala Lumpur)
Soo Wern Jun, Malay Mail
March 9, 2023
The government is in the midst implementing the Central Forest Spine (CFS)
initiative in Peninsular Malaysia, Natural Resources, Environment and
Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said.
In a collaboration with respective state governments, the minister said
with the CFS in place, it will improve connectivity of isolated forest
areas through the establishment of an ecological network at the national
“The need for CFS area will also help to reduce the human-wildlife
conflict, due to forest fragmentation and obstruction of wildlife natural
passage caused by development projects.
“However, the establishment of the CFS can only be successful by
reconnecting the four main forest complexes in Peninsular Malaysia by
creating ecological corridors that have been identified.
“They are: the main-range of the Bintang-Nakawan Forest Complex, Greater
Taman Negara Forest Complex, South East Pahang-Chini-Bera Forest Complex
and the Endau Rompin-Ulu Sedili Forest Complex,” Nik Nazmi said in this
winding up speech on the Budget 2023.
He was responding to DAP’s Kluang MP Wong Shu Qi who asked if the
government would build an ecolink to connect the permanent forest reserves
in Johor to enable wildlife such as elephants to move to the permanent
forest reserves that have been fragmented by highways or oil palm estates
without negatively impacting farmers or local residents.
Nik Nazmi added that the CFS initiative will be implemented by introducing
the Master Plan for Ecological Linkages Central Forest Spine (PIRECFS) 2022
which had and will be implemented in several phases from 2022 until 2040
involving 12 ministries, 11 federal agencies, 96 state agencies, 18
government-linked companies and statutory bodies and 26 non-governmental
organisations or civil society organisations.
The implementation of PIRECFS involves eight states including Johor, where
three proposed CFS ecological network plans are located in Johor.
They are: Labis forest reserve — Sembrong additional forest reserve —
Lenggor — Mersing forest reserve; Panti forest reserve — Ulu Sendili; and
Panti forest reserve — Seluyut forest reserve.
“With the implementation of PIRECFS, several wildlife crossings have been
identified in the ecological network area to facilitate wildlife crossing
the road to avoid human-wildlife conflict.
“Therefore, I’m hopeful that with the establishment of this ecological
corridor, it will be able to help deal with human-wildlife conflict issues
in the future,” he said.
Earlier, Wong said the human-wildlife conflict did not only happen in Orang
Asli villages, but has reached the city centre.
“It’s really bad, that the elephants are even looking for food in the
residents’ kitchen,” she said referring to an incident which happened in
Among other actions taken by the ministry to address human-wildlife
conflict included discussion with stakeholders who are involved in
developing land in elephant habitat areas whereby they should make
available elephant crossing or corridor.
“The shrinking elephant habitats should also have fruits which are
elephant’s source of food, should be planted to reduce elephants dependency
on residents’ plants as food source,” he said.
On January 12, it was reported that two elephants that were separated from
their herd entered the compound of the houses in the neighbourhood by
damaging the gate.
In another encounter in Gua Musang, Kelantan, an elephant was captured in a
video which went viral, showing it smashing its head through a kitchen
window looking for food, on January 4.