Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) Sarawak enforcement officers will be equipped with firearms during the course of their duties.
Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem said NREB enforcement officers like the Sarawak Forest Department forest guards, also faced threats while on duty.
“I want NREB enforcement officers to be properly trained and armed to combat illegal logging activities,” he said at the NREB Sarawak 20th anniversary dinner cum Chief Minister’s Environmental Award 2014 here last night.
He said Sarawak would turn into a desert if illegal logging and smuggling of timber was allowed to continue.
He said those who were involved in illegal logging were causing a mess and, if allowed to continue, would one day deplete Sarawak’s forest.
Hence, he appealed for the public’s cooperation in the war against illegal logging and smuggling of timber in the state, in reporting such cases to the relevant authorities.
Touching on the preservation of the environment, Adenan said there was a growing consciousness with regards to the issue.
“After the Cameroon Highland mess, the Hulu Rajang blockage and river erosion causing our rivers to become muddy, only now people are realising how important the environment is in order to live a healthy life,” he said.
Adenan expressed his satisfaction at NREB Sarawak for doing its part in preserving the environment.
Meanwhile, NREB controller Peter Sawal said NREB had prepared itself for future challenges, especially the development of mega and sensitive projects under Sarawak Corridor Of Renewable Energy (Score).
NREB has been actively involved in multi-sectorial development activities to ensure all development activities were being regulated, and project implementation complied with the set environmental standards and guidelines, he said.
This year’s biennial Sixth Chief Minister Environmental Award 2014, jointly organised by NREB Sarawak and the Sarawak Chamber of Commerce and Industries (SCCI), attracted the participation of 73 companies under various categories compared with 39 companies that participated in 2012.
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