KOTA BHARU: The proposed changes to the development plan involving environmentally sensitive areas (ESAs) in Kelantan is still at the publicity and public participation phase, which runs from Oct 11 to Nov 11, said Deputy Menteri Datuk Dr Mohamed Fadzli Hassan.
He said the proposal was made so that development in Kelantan could be coordinated while ensuring that water catchment areas in the state would continue to be protected.
“…we will provide further information about the matter after the publicity and public participation stage is completed,“ he told reporters after officiating the 23rd Convocation Ceremony of Kolej Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Sultan Ismail Petra (KIAS) here today.
Yesterday, Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said the government would stop the allocation of the Ecological Fiscal Transfer for Biodiversity Conservation (EFT) to Kelantan if the state continued with its plan to make changes to its development plan involving ESAs.
He said the plan was not in line with the principles underlying the implementation of EFT, which is an additional financial incentive from the federal government to state governments introduced in 2019 to protect and conserve protected areas, including ESAs for biological diversity.
According to Nik Nazmi, the Kelantan government’s move to make changes to its development plan involving ESAs would have implications on the federal government’s policy to achieve 50 per cent forested area in Peninsular Malaysia in line with the National Physical Plan.
He said the state government, during its state executive council meeting on Oct 21, had decided that permanent forest reserves, except water catchment areas, would no longer be classified as ESAs.-Bernama