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Terms of Reference

SPECIAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT


ASSESSMENT (SEIA) FOR
THE PROPOSED SINO-MALAYSIA JV
FOREST PLANTATION
AT KALABAKAN AND GUNUNG RARA
FOREST RESERVES,
TAWAU DISTRICT,
SABAH
July 2001

SEIA FOR THE PROPOSED SINO-MALAYSIA JV FOREST PLANTATION AT KALABAKAN AND GUNUNG RARA FOREST
RESERVES, TAWAU DISTRICT, SABAH

Abbreviation
Adv
Amm-N
Anthro
B.A.
B.Sc
Bhd
BOD
BW
CAN
COD
dbh
Dev
Dip
DO
DOE
E
ECD
EIA
Env
FCC
FMU
GIS
Gn
GPS
ha
Hons
ICSB
INAWQSM
ITP
JV
K
Kg
Km
LFC
m
M.
M. Sc.
Med
Mgmt
N
NBT
NEP
NFM
NO3-N
O&G
OH & S
Pdct
PhD
PRA

Advance
Ammoniacal Nitrogen
Anthropology
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Science
Berhad
Biological Oxygen Demand
Benta Wawasan
Cultural, Adventure and Nature
Chemical Oxygen Demand
Diameter Breast Height
Development
Diploma
Dissolved oxygen
Department of Environment
East
Environmental Conservation Department, Sabah
Environmental Impact Assessment
Environment
Faecal Coliform Count
Forest Management Unit
Geographical Information System
Gunung (Hill or mountain)
Global Positioning System
Hectare
Honours
Innoprise Corporation Sdn Bhd
Interim National Ambient Water Quality Standards for Malaysia
Industrial Tree Plantation
Joint Venture
Potassium
Kampung (Village)
Kilometre
Luasong Forestry Centre
metre
Master
Master of Science
Medicine
Management
North
North Borneo timber Bhd
New England Power Plant, United States of America
Natural Forest Management
Nitrate Nitrogen
Oil and Grease
Occupational Safety and Health
Production
Doctor of Philosophy
Participatory Rapid Appraisal
Abbreviations

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RBJ
RIL
RM
SAFODA
Sc.
Sdn
SEIA
SFD
SFI
SFM
Sg
Socio.
spp
SSB
STD
SUAS
TCC
TDS
Temp
TOC
TOR
TPFM
TSP
TSS
USA
Vet
VJR
WD
WWF
x
YS

Rakyat Berjaya Sdn Bhd


Reduced Impact Logging
Ringgit Malaysia
Sabah Forest Development Authority
Science
Sendirian
Special Environmental Impact Assessment
Sabah Forest Department
Sabah Forest Industries
Sustainable Forest Management
Sungei (River)
Sociology
Species
Sabah Softwoods Berhad
Sexually Transmitted Disease
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Total Coliform Count
Total Dissolved Solids
Temperature
Table of Contents
Terms of Reference
Tree Plantation and Forest Management
Total Suspended Particulates
Total Suspended Solids
United States of America
Veterinary
Virgin Jungle Reserve
Wildlife Department
World Wide Fund for Nature
Cross breed
Yayasan Sabah (or Sabah Foundation)

Abbreviations
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SEIA FOR THE PROPOSED SINO-MALAYSIA JV FOREST PLANTATION AT KALABAKAN AND GUNUNG RARA FOREST
RESERVES, TAWAU DISTRICT, SABAH

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.

2.

INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................. 1
1.1

P URPOSE OF THE TERMS OF REFERENCE .............................................................................. 1

1.2

P ROJECT BACKGROUND .................................................................................................... 3

1.3

P ROJECT PROPONENT ....................................................................................................... 3

1.4

EIA CONSULTANT ........................................................................................................... 4

PROJECT DESCRIPTION.................................................................................................... 5
2.1

P ROJECT LOCATION AND AREA SIZE ................................................................................... 5

2.2

P ROJECT OBJECTIVE ........................................................................................................ 6

2.3

P ROJECT CONCEPT ........................................................................................................... 6

2.4

P ROJECT STATUS............................................................................................................. 7

2.5

P ROJECT ACTIVITIES ........................................................................................................ 7

2.5.1

Site Clearing& Preparation.......................................................................................... 7

2.5.2

Operation Phase ......................................................................................................... 7

2.5.3

Abandonment Phase .................................................................................................... 8

2.6

3.

4.

S OCIO ECONOMICS & HUMAN ENVIRONMENT ...................................................................... 8

2.6.1

Land Use and Land Tenure........................................................................................... 8

2.6.2

Infrastructure, Utilities and Amenities ........................................................................... 9

SCOPING ACTIVITIES........................................................................................................ 9
3.1

P URPOSE ........................................................................................................................ 9

3.2

M EETING WITH RELEVANT AGENCIES ................................................................................10

3.3

P RELIMINARY AERIAL AND GROUND S URVEYS ...................................................................10

3.3.1

Forest Resources and Management .............................................................................. 10

3.3.2

Soil Erosion Control Management ................................................................................10

3.3.3

Wildlife.....................................................................................................................11

3.3.4

Social Economic Aspect ..............................................................................................11

3.3.5

General Pollution.......................................................................................................12

3.3.6

Land-use...................................................................................................................12

PROPOSED SCOPE OF WORK FOR THE SEIA STUD Y.....................................................13


4.1

K EY ENVIRONMENTAL I MPACTS TO BE STUDIED ..................................................................13

4.1.1

Soil Erosion, Water Quality and Hydrology...................................................................13

4.1.2

Terrestrial and Aquatic Fauna Ecology.........................................................................16

4.1.3

Flora Ecology............................................................................................................17

4.1.4

Socio Economics........................................................................................................18

4.1.5

Biomass / waste .........................................................................................................21

4.1.6

Pests and Diseases.....................................................................................................22

4.1.7

Forest Fire................................................................................................................22
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4.1.8

Green House Effects...................................................................................................22

4.2

P OSSIBLE M ITIGATING MEASURES FOR THE KEY I MPACTS TO BE S TUDIED AND RECOMMENDED

UPON :

23

4.2.1

Soil Erosion and Water Quality and Hydrology ..............................................................23

4.2.2

Terrestrial and Aquatic Fauna Ecology.........................................................................24

4.2.3

Flora Ecology (including forest management)................................................................24

4.2.4

Socio Economics ........................................................................................................25

4.2.5

Biomass / Waste.........................................................................................................26

4.2.6

Pests and Diseases.....................................................................................................26

4.2.7

Forest Fire................................................................................................................26

4.3
4.3.1

Soil Erosion, water quality and hydrology .....................................................................27

4.3.2

Fauna Ecology .......................................................................................................... 27

4.3.3

Flora Ecology............................................................................................................28

4.3.4

Socio Economics ........................................................................................................28

4.4
5.

C OMPLIANCE MONITORING ..............................................................................................27

RESIDUAL I MPACTS MONITORING .....................................................................................29

WORK SCHEDULE ............................................................................................................29

Appendices
A

General Definitions

Curricula Vitae of the SEIA team

Summary of Consultations and Int erviews

Water Quality Parameters and Definitions

Sample of the Socio survey Questionnaire

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1.

INTRODUCTION
These Terms of Reference are for the preparation of a Special Environmental Impact
Assessment (SEIA) for the proposed Sino-Malaysia JV Forest Plantation at Kalabakan and
Gunung Rara Forest Reserves, Tawau District, Sabah. For brevity, the proposed JV Forest
Plantation is known as Proposed Plantation or Project.
The Proposed Plantation covers an area of about 241,400 ha. It is made up of 81,270 ha of
the Sustainable Forest Management Agreement of Yayasan Sabah, and 160,130 ha of the
Tree Plantation and Forest Management Agreement of Benta Wawasan Sdn. Bhd. (BWSB), a
wholly owned subsidiary of Innoprise Corporation Sdn. Bhd (ICSB)1. (See Figure 1.0).
The Proposed Plantation is located in Kalabakan and Gunong Rara Forest Reserves about
100 km North-West of Tawau District Town. Administratively, the project area lies within the
Tawau District. It is further linked to the Kalabakan District at the Southwestern part.

1.1

Purpose of the Terms of Reference


The purpose of these Terms of Reference is to present the content and scope of works to be
undertaken in this SEIA. It is also aims at addressing key environmental concerns of
importance to the decision makers and various stakeholders. This TOR includes the following:

Background information on the nature and extent of the project;

Scope of works for the SEIA study;

Schedule and methods for assessment of impact, mitigation measures and


monitoring programmes, including description of data to be collected; &

Activities involving the key stakeholders.

In addition, the TOR provides a written framework for the proposed SEIA and allows the SEIA
to proceed in a scheduled manner. Table 1 below illustrates the general procedure of the
Special EIA in Sabah.

See Definition in Appendix A.


TERMS

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Table 1: A Summary of EIA Procedure in Sabah


The Seven Steps

Summary of main required activities and the part responsible


thereof

Step 1: Project screening

Project Proponent
Consult with ECD if the project is a Normal EIA or Special EIA

Step 2: Selection of
consultants

Project Proponent

Step 3: Preparation of TOR

EIA Consultant

Select consultants to undertake preparation of TOR for the EIA


Prepare scoping note and discuss with ECD
Conduct public consultations with various stakeholders
Prepare a draft TOR and submit to ECD
Finalise the TOR after public hearing and obtain approval from
ECD
ECD and Project Proponent
Advertise in the local newspaper of the availability of the TOR
for review and comment (timeframe 2 weeks)
Undertake public hearing activities for the SEIA

Step 4: Undertaking the


EIA study

EIA Consultant
Identify and Assess key and additional environmental impacts
Identify and assess key and additional mitigating measures
Identify and assess key and additional monitoring programmes

Step 5: Preparation of
SEIA report

EIA Consultant
Adhere to the ECD requirements and Standard Table of
Contents in the preparation of the SEIA report
Prepare the SEIA report in line with the ECD chapter-bychapter recommendations

Step 6: Review of the SEIA


report

EIA Consultant
Submit the SEIA report to the ECD
Undertake the public hearing activities required for SEIA
Participate in the review meetings
Submit additional information if required and finalise the SEIA
report

Step 7: Agreement of
Environmental Conditions

Project Proponent
Review of the draft Agreement of Environmental Conditions
prepared by ECD
Co-sign the Agreement of Environmental Conditions
Implement mitigation measures and monitoring programmes

Source: State Environmental Conservation Department (ECD) Sabah, 2000. Handbook fro Environmental Impact
Assessment (EIA) in Sabah.

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1.2

Project Background
In 1997, the State Government of Sabah signed a Heads of Agreement with The Peoples
Republic of China and the Lion Group of Companies of Malaysia to set up a pulp mill and
forest plantation in Sabah. This incidentally was an extension of an earlier MOU made
between the Federal Government of Malaysia and China signed in 1996. The Joint Venture
Project was initially proposed in the interior of Kudat District. However, preliminary
investigation showed that this area is less favourable as compared to the proposed project
area.
With the above decision, a joint venture agreement to undertake the development of a forest
plantation in the proposed project area was signed on 18th August 1999 between ICSB,
China Pulp and Paper Industry Company Ltd and Lion Management Sdn Bhd.

1.3

Project Proponent
As mentioned above, the Proposed Project is a Sino-Malaysia Joint Venture between the
Governments of Malaysia (Sabah) Government and the Peoples Republic of China.
The addresses and contact persons of the Joint Venture partners (hereafter refers to as the
Project Proponent, whereby one company will be formed later to manage the project) are:
Innoprise Synergy Sdn Bhd (A Wholly Subsidiary of ICSB)
12 th Floor Wisma Innoprise
Teluk Likas,
88817 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.
Tel: +60 (088) 326300
Fax: +60 (088) 326529
Contact Person:
Mr. Chiang Wei Chia
Lion Management Sdn Bhd
C/o Sabah Forest Industries
Kompleks S.F.I No. 10 Jalan Jeti
W.D.T. 31 89859
Sipitang, Sabah, Malaysia.
Tel: +60 (087) 801018
Contact Person:

Encik Johari Ho

Fuxing Pulp and Paper Co. Ltd


10 th Floor Sichuan Mansion
No.1 Fuchenhmenwai St.
Xicheng District, Beijing
Peoples Republic of China
Contact Person
Prof. Zhou Chang Xiang
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1.4

EIA Consultant
Chemsain Konsultant Sdn Bhd has been appointed as the Principal Consultants for this
Special Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA). The address and contact person for
Chemsain Konsultant Sdn Bhd is as follows
Chemsain Konsultant Sdn Bhd
Lot 5, B1-1 and B1-2 , 1st & 2nd Floor
Block B, Iramanis Centre, Jalan Lintas
88450 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Tel:+ 60 (088) 381277

Fax:

+60 (088) 381280

Contact Person:

Dr. John Chan

The consultants for this SEIA study are listed as below and their curricula vitae are attached
in Appendix B.

1.
2.
3.

Name
Dr. John S.T. Chan

Qualification
PhD Chemistry
B.Sc (Hons) Chemistry
Felicia Choo Phui M. Sc. Env Mgmt & Dev
Eng
B.Sc Agriculture (soils)
Dr. Edwin Jack Bosi
Masters of Philosophy

Report Contribution
Project Director & Water
Quality Management
Project Co-ordinator, soil &
Legislative Review
Fauna Ecology

Dr of Vet Med
Dip. Animal Health & Pdct
4.

Dr. Yap Son Kheong

5.

Jay Blakeney

6.
7.

Guoy Tong Kiat


Dr. Detlef
Bringemeier

8.

Lim Peng Siong

9.

Dr. Chey Vun Khen

10.

Peter Chang

Ph.D. Forest Biology


B.Sc. Botany
B.Sc. Forestry

Forest Resources, forest


Management Planning &
Operation
Hydrology
Soil Erosion Risk & GIS

M.Sc Ocenaography
PhD Geological Eng.
M. Sc. in Geophysics
M.Sc. in Geology
B.Sc. (Hons) Applied
Geology and Slope Stability
Geology
D. Phil. (Oxford),
Forest Entomology
Post grad. Dip. Taxonomy
B.Sc. Hons.
B.Sc. (Hons) Marine Biology & Aquatic ecology
Zoology

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11.

Name
Tan Shwu Mei

12.

Anthony Rentap
Enchana

13.

Ir. Brian S.H. Chong

14.

Zaffeer Ahmad
Kiprawi

15.

Dr. Chang Moh Seng

16.

Awang Abdullah
Awang Abdul Razak
Lim Sze Fook

17.
18.

AGRA Simons Ltd,


USA

Qualification
M. Env. Mgmt
B.A. (Hons) Anthro. & Socio
M.Sc. EIA
Adv Dip Applied Chemistry
Dip. Sc
M. Sc Env. Eng
B.Sc Civil Eng
M. Env Mgmt
B. Sc (Hons) Nuclear Sc
PhD (Filariasis)
Dip Applied Parasitology &
Entomology
B.Sc. (Entomology)
B. Eng (Civil)
B.Sc. (Hons) Physics

Report Contribution
Socio Economy
Land use & Environmental
Management Plan
Waste Management &
Infrastructure
Fire Risk and Emergency
Response Plan
Medical Entomology & Public
Health

Utilities & Occupational Health


& Safety
Air Pollution and Green House
Effects

International Advisor

2.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

2.1

Project Location and Area Size


The project site is located in the Southeast corner of Sabah within the Districts of Tawau and
Sandakan, on the eastern coast. The geographical location of the proposed Forest plantation
is between longitude 116 o 56E and 117o 40 E and between latitude of 4o 20 N to 5o 03 N
(See Figure 2.0). In terms of a straight-line distance, the furthest corners of the project site
stretches approximately 75 km from south to north and 82 km from east to west. The
proposed site encompasses some of the Forest Management Units (FMU) 22, 23, 25 and 26.
The land area earmarked for the plantation currently consists mainly of logged-over lowland
Dipterocarp forest. Generally, it is located in the Kalabakan and Gunung Rara Forest
Reserves, bordered by the Kuamut River to the north , Sabah Softwood Bhd plantation to the
east, the township of Kalabakan to the south and the Maliau Basin Conservation Area to the
west of the project area (see Figure 2.0). ICSB's international collaborative projects such as
the SUAS project2, the INNIKEA rehabilitation project3, the RBJ/NEP Reduced Impact Logging

See Definition in Appendix A .

See Definition in Appendix A.

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(RIL) project4 and the Luasong Forestry Centre5 are all located within the proposed plantation
site, but excluded from the Proposed Sino-Malaysia JV Forest Plantation Project (see Figure
1.0).

2.2

Project Objective
The proposed forest plantation at Kalabakan covers an area of about 241,400 hectares (see
Figure 2.0). The main objective of the project is to establish a forest plantation with fast
growing hardwood species such as Acacia mangium, Acacia hybrid (Acacia mangium x
Acacia auriculiformis) and other related Acacia species (Acacia crassiarpa, Acacia
aulococarpa) the raw material source for a proposed pulp mill6. This mill, which is planned to
have a production capacity of 500,000-750,000 tonnes per annum of air-dry Kraft pulp mill will
be situated in Tawau, Sabah.

2.3

Project Concept
The proposed project would be developed through 6 management units called Forest Farms
with approximate sizes of 20,000 60,000 ha each (See Figure 2.0). The planting target is
aimed at 20,000 - 30,000 ha per year with 7 8 years planting rotation. Table 2 below shows
the general sizing of the forest farms.
Table 2: The Proposed Forest Farms within the Proposed Project Area
Forest Farm
Ulu Kalabakan
Maliau

Tamboku
Imbak
Kuamut

Pinangah

Region
9
1
2
6
8
5
3
4

Size (Ha)
35,723
14,113
12,090
13,315
46,575
39,758
27,576
15,240

7
10
Total

15,690
21,320
241,400

35,723
39,518
46,575
39,758
58,506
21,320
241,400

Source: SSB Research Dept Dec 2000, Draft Forest Management Plan Benta Wawasan Forest Plantation 2024 for the
Proposed Project area.

See Definition in Appendix A.

See Definition in Appendix A.

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report will be prepared for the proposed mill once the plan is finalized.

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2.4

Project Status
At the initial stage of the development of the Proposed Plantation, logging will be carried out.
At the time of preparing these Terms of Reference, some of the Project area have been
logged and planted with Acacia mangium. Currently, about 1,400 ha of the proposed project
site (Coupe 1998) have been planted with Acacia mangium.
An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Proposed logging Operation for Benta
Wawasan Licence Area (1998-1999) at Kalabakan, Tawau District has been submitted to the
Environmental Conservation Department in February 2001 for approval (see Figure 3.0).
As for logging in coupes 2000-2001, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the
Proposed Logging Operation for Benta Wawasan Licence Area (coupes 2000-2001) at
Kalabakan, Tawau District (see Figure 3.0) was submitted in June 2001.

2.5

Project Activities
With the proposed development, it is envisaged that planning of development phasing,
scheduling and coordination of the general operation will be carried out in details to ensure
smooth execution. The followings are some of the key activities anticipated:

2.5.1

2.5.2

Site Clearing& Preparation

Recruitment of workers and establishment of camps;

Establishment and/or rehabilitation of skid trails and other infrastructure;

Removal and salvage of logs;

Land clearing and removal of biomass;

Land preparation;

Nursery establishment and maintenance; and

Field planting of seedlings.

Operation Phase

Planting programme and sequence;

Plantation maintenance and management;

Silvicultural treatment;

Pest and Disease control;

Growth and yield monitoring of plantation;

Plantation harvest;

Transportation of logs to the mill; and


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2.5.3

Maintenance of plantation roads and infrastructure.

Abandonment Phase

Rehabilitation and enrichment programme (in case the project were abandoned due
to unforeseen circumstances).

2.6

Socio Economics & Human Environment

2.6.1

Land Use and Land Tenure


The project area covers approximately 241,400 hectares (gross area) within the Kalabakan
and Gunung Rara Forest Reserves. The site, particularly the southern and south-eastern
part, has been logged during the 1970s, 1980s and more recently 1998-2001 by ICSB and
other logging companies e.g. North Borneo Timber Bhd (NBT), Hap Seng Sdn Bhd, Wallace
Bay Sdn Bhd, Seranum Sdn Bhd, Banita Sdn Bhd and other smaller companies who
employed mainly crawler tractors and to a lesser extent high-lead logging systems.
The general land-use of the project area and its surroundings is as follows (see Figure 2.0).
Within the Proposed Sino-Malaysia JV Forest Plantation Project boundary but excluded from
the development are:

SUAS Project (3,300 ha) is located in the southwest corner of the proposed forest
plantation project;

INNIKEA Project (14,300 ha) is sited in the centre of the proposed forest plantation
project;

Luasong Forestry Centre (LFC) and its water catchment area (16,230 ha) is also in the
centre of the proposed forest plantation project;

RBJ/NEP RIL Project (1,685 ha) is located south of the INNIKEA Project and close to
the southern boundary of the proposed forest plantation project;

Brantian-Tatuid Virgin Jungle Reserve (4,140 ha) is located to the south eastern part of
the proposed forest plantation project; and

Ulu Sg Nagapon Virgin Jungle Reserve (523 ha) is located directly to the north of
INNIKEA Project area.

Outside - the Proposed Sino-Malaysia JV Forest Plantation Project boundary are:

Sabah Softwoods Berhad (60,618 ha) is sited to the south and southeast of the
proposed forest plantation boundary;

Maliau Basin Conservation Area (58,840 ha) is situated to the east; and

Danum Valley Conservation Area (43,800 ha) is situated to the northeast of the
proposed forest plantation.

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In terms of hydrology, the area is located on the headwaters of major rivers including Sg.
Kalabakan, Sg. Brantian, Sg. Kuamut, Sg. Anjeranjermut, Sg. Tiagau and their tributaries,
which discharge into the Cowie Bay.
The project area is sparsely populated. The only settlements within the site are logging
campsites. During the initial field survey, approximately 15 logging camps with an estimated
total population of about 900 people were found scattered throughout the Project area.
In terms of land tenure, both the two licence agreements, the Tree Plantation and Forest
Management (TPFM) of Benta Wawasan Sdn Bhd (160,130 ha) and the Sustainable Forest
Management (SFM) of Yayasan Sabah (81,270 ha) where the Proposed Project Area is sited
have a land tenure agreement of 99 years (See Figure 1.0).

2.6.2

Infrastructure, Utilities and Amenities


Infrastructure, utilities and amenities in the project area are confined to the most basic. Road
access into the project area is provided by existing network of all-weather logging tracks (see
Figure 2.0). ICSB maintains this road system. Various older abandoned roads are providing
foot access to the project area. Most of the utilities and amenities are provided to cater for
the staff of the Luasong Forestry Centre as well as workers at logging camps within the
project site.

3.

SCOPING ACTIVITIES

3.1

Purpose
The purpose of scoping is to determine the focus, scope and content of the environmental
impact assessment and initial assessment of the potential impacts, possible mitigating
measure and monitoring programmes and thereby to a large extent determines the framework
for this EIA.
One of the scoping activities undertake by the consultant has been to look into the existing
forest plantations in Sabah such as the SFI (35,075 ha) 7 and the SAFODA (25,524 ha) 8
Plantations and evaluate the environmental problems encountered by these projects and use
these as an indicator for the assessment of this proposed Sino-Malaysia JV Forest Plantation
project.

Total Planted area in 1999 (Source: Sabah Forestry Department)

Total Planted area in 1999 (Source: Sabah Forestry Department)

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3.2

Meeting with Relevant Agencies


Another scoping activities carried out by the consultant has been to carry out meetings and
consultations with the relevant government agencies and Non-Government organizations to
gauge their concerns over the proposed project. Summaries of the results of the interviews
are attached in Appendix C. In general, the main concerns related to the development can
be further summarized into the following points:
Physical Impacts soil erosion and water quality;
Biological Impacts protection and conservation of wildlife corridor, riparian reserves,
sensitive areas and buffer zones and impact on the national and internationally
endangered species; Protection of International Project Sites, Maliau Basin
Conservation Area & Danum Valley Conservation;
Socio-Economic; and
Project justification.

3.3

Preliminary Aerial and Ground Surveys


Three rounds of aerial surveys and two rounds of ground surveys have been carried out so far
for the proposed project area. From these site observations, the following are some of the
findings:

3.3.1

3.3.2

Forest Resources and Management

The forests are mainly lowland Dipterocarp forests with some of the hilltops reaching
the Lower Montane Forest belt. Typically, these forest types are extremely rich with
a large variety of species and where naturally all size classes would be represented
if the area had not been logged.

Some of the project areas have been logged during the early 1970s, 1980s and
1990s.

The residual forest is relatively poorly stocked with commercial trees. This is
especially prominent at lower elevations, which therefore presently are uneconomical
to log.

Residual forests at higher elevations, steeper slopes and in the riverine reserves are
richer in species composition and contain larger commercial volumes.

Pioneer species dominate severely damaged logged over forest as well as forest that
suffered fire in the 1980s.

Soil Erosion Control Management

Old skid trails (or main skid trails) have been rehabilitated prior to logging and the
maintenance of these skid trails is noted to be of reasonably good standard.
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3.3.3

3.3.4

There is no immediate evidence of marking for the riparian reserve or steep area in
the logging areas. Such marking has either not been carried out or has been of
insufficient quality.

There is a very high occurrence of suspended sediments or sedimentation in most of


the waterways.

There is poor or no rehabilitation of cleared or seriously disturbed areas.

There is poor or no proper drainage system along the roads.

Some extraction roads are noted to be constructed on steep slope with more than
25 o gradient.

Most of the smaller streams or waterways are noted to be blocked by felled logs or
debris.

Temporary crossings and stream crossings have been constructed using rejected
logs.

No control measure such as cover crop is presented in the planted area especially in
the erosion prone areas.

Wildlife

Evidences of wildlife activity are noted especially to the north and east of the project
site.

The species noted or reported to be found include the Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus
sumatrensis), Elephant (Elephas maximus), Orang Utan (Pongo pygmaeus),
proboscis monkey (Narsalis narvatus), sun bear (Helarctos malayanus), clouded
leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), Tembadau (Bos javanicus), barking deer (Muntiacus
muntjac), mouse deer (Traganus sp.), wild boar (Sus barbatus), hornbills (Buceros
sp), Gibbon (Hylobates muelleri) and Argus pheasant (Argusianus argus).

Generally, deer and wild-boar are common for all areas.

Abandoned Orang Utan nests were noted in the eastern part of the project area.

Hunting of wildlife (wild boar, deer, pheasant, monkey) is noted to be a norm among
the workers, the contractors and the nearby settlers.

Social Economic Aspect

Only one illegal settlement or Kg Harapan Baru Mukandut (former NBT workers
from Kuamut area) is found within the Kalabakan Forest Reserve (i.e. within the
Luasong Forestry Centre and this Centre is excluded from the Sino-Malaysia JV
Forest Plantation Project development).

All the logging camps have reported Malaria cases and other communicable
diseases.

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3.3.5

3.3.6

Clean drinking water is reported to be one of the problems among some of the
logging camps and their workers.

Almost half of the workers (from the subcontractors) are foreign workers (the
Philippines Philippinos and the Indonesian).

None of the workers have any safety gear or helmet.

Some of the workers are reported to have little or no formal training in terms of heavy
machinery, equipment handling or correct tree felling techniques.

Most of the workers are not aware of the Wildlife Enactment, Environmental
Conservation Enactment or any other relevant, Sabahan legislation.

Many small sub camps are found scattered in the logging sites causing damages to
the forest ecosystem. These are also potential pollution sources.

Most of the logging camps have poor sanitary or living condition and poor
housekeeping except for a few established and some mobile (container) logging
camps.

There is no report of any cultural or historical site within the project boundary.

Basic utilities and facilities in Luasong Forestry Centre, Brumas Camp of Sabah
Softwoods Bhd and Danum Valley Conservation Area are modern and adequately
provided for its workers.

General Pollution

Most of the waterways are noted to be highly turbid.

No proper instruction seem to have been given on how to contain used oil or to
attempt to clear up any spillage of oil and greases onto the ground or waterways
from the workshop or other service areas.

No proper waste management is implemented in terms of refuse collection from the


camps i.e. packaging materials, tins, bottles etc as such waste is dumped or
disposed off indiscriminately.

Dust pollution is a common occurrence for all the roads especially during dry
weather.

Land-use

Substantial areas surrounding the proposed plantation area have been opened up for
oil palm plantations and other industrial tree crops especially to the southern region
of the project site.

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4.

PROPOSED SCOPE OF WORK FOR THE SEIA STUDY

4.1

Key Environmental Impacts to be studied


The key environmental impacts with regard to the proposed forest plantation which will be
studied are as follows and detailed from Sections 4.1.1 thru 4.1.8.
a)

Soil Erosion, Water Quality and Hydrology

b)

Terrestrial and Aquatic Fauna Ecology

c)

Flora Ecology

d)

Socio Economics

e)

Biomass and Waste

f)

Pests and Diseases

g)

Forest Fire

h)

Green House Effects

4.1.1

Soil Erosion, Water Quality and Hydrology

4.1.1.1

Soil Erosion
Preliminary ground survey and studies of topographical maps reveal that parts of the project
site are relatively flat to undulating while others are hilly to mountainous. Any development in
the hilly terrain may bring about serious soil erosion problems and thus affect the water
quality in the rivers. With the proposed phased development of 20,000 - 30,000 ha per year,
soil erosion is expected to become a major environmental issue.
One of the methods proposed for soil erosion study will be to analyse the thematic data layers
based on the factors that control erosion i.e. slope, rainfall, vegetation cover, infrastructure
development, permanent streams, catchment boundaries (see Section 4.1.1.3) and intended
land-use. Sites identified to be of high-risk will be further investigated using soil and rainfall
maps. The resulting hazard map will be verified through ground truthing.
For this study, assessment of impacts will be carried out for 2 scenarios, i.e. with local and
with regional perspective. Under the local perspective, the assessment will examine the
buffer zone, riparian reserves, high risk or steep areas, infrastructure l ayout, water catchment
and drainage system (including water intake points, if any). In addition, the assessment will
cover the schedules for logging and planting and the impacts due to wood harvesting and
clear felling during operation phase (harvesting) on soil properties. The evaluation will
examine available technology practiced within Sabah, and nearby regions.

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On the regional perspective, the assessment will cover the development of 6 Forest Farms
gradually as well as simultaneously, timing and phasing of the plantation development,
catchment areas and clearing phasing. In addition, the downstream impacts of the project, for
example sediment accumulation in Cowie Bay and the river estuaries will also be
determined.
In terms of infrastructure development, the proposed forest plantation will change the existing
natural environment into a well-developed property with infrastructure and facilities such as:
roads, forest nurseries, offices, mechanical workshops, workers housing, fire lookout towers,
log storage and scaling yards, recreational areas, car parks, sanitation and water supply, telecommunication and electricity supply facilities. All these developments would have some
impacts to the environment especially increase in surface runoff if there are sited within the
sensitive or erosion prone area. Impacts will be assessed based on thematic data layering
and appropriate mitigation measures will be prescribed for these infrastructure developments.

4.1.1.2

Water Quality (Sediments)


Based on site observations, most of the waterways show high loads of sediments and logging
activity is believed to be one of the main contributing factors to the high concentrations in the
rivers. In order to assess the existing water quality, baseline water monitoring will be carried
out and the result will be compared with the Interim National Ambient Water Quality
Standards for Malaysia (INAWQSM). Grab water sampling will be carried out upstream,
midstream and downstream of all main rivers and streams relevant to the project site and the
samples will be analysed by an accredited laboratory. The baseline water quality parameters
proposed are turbidity, for example, measurement of organic and/or inorganic constituents
and total suspended solids (indication of the amount of erosion that took place nearby or
upstream). The proposed sampling locations are shown in Figure 4.0 and detail of these
parameters is attached in Appendix D.

4.1.1.3

Hydrological Impact
Logging operations and land clearing of any type will inevitably disturb the soil surface and
affect the site hydrology. When vegetation is removed the hydrological cycle is altered as
water that would have been returned to the atmosphere by means of plant transpiration
processes, under undisturbed circumstances, now remains within the soil layer. The impact or
additional volume of water retained, increases approximately in proportion to the amount of
vegetation removed, therefore the greater the amount of vegetation removed, the greater the
hydrological impact. Absence of vegetation also allows a greater proportion of direct rainfall to
reach the forest floor. The additional rainfall and reduced rates of evapotranspiration translate
into increased volumes of water leaving the catchment (ECD, 2001).
When the amount of disturbed and compacted surfaces are high; there will be an
accompanying increase in the fast routing of surface runoff or the storm flow component of
the stream flow. However, most of the additional water drains more gradually through the soil,
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contributing to the slower base flow component of hydrological routing. Studies have shown
that if forest roads and skid trails cover more than 12 per cent of the land area being logged,
then there may be significant increases in storm water runoff. Up to 50 per cent of the land
area may be disturbed/exposed during intensive logging operations (ECD 2001).
Although it is popularly reported that deforestation results in an increased incidence of flood,
however, it must also be borne in mind that floods are a natural hazard, particularly in areas
that receive heavy rainfall. The speed at which water runs off into a river system determines
the height and duration of a flood. Again the changes in volume and timing of storm runoff will
be approximately proportional to the extent and amount of reduction in vegetation cover
(ECD, 2001).
Since the headwaters of major rivers such as Sg. Kalabakan, Sg. Brantian, Sg. Kuamut and
their tributaries, which discharge into the Cowie Bay are located within the project area, one
potential impact of the proposed forest plantations is the effect on flood levels and sediments
accumulation in the Cowie Bay and estuaries due to the increase in less impervious areas.
Base on preliminary site investigations, only Sg Kalabakan, Sg Brantian and Cowie Bay are
populated with settlements, hence assessment will focus on impact of flooding and sediments
in these river systems and the Cowie Bay. Hydrological impacts such as flooding frequency
and floodwater surface elevation on these settlements before and after the forest plantation
development will be assessed. For this, hydrological computer modelling will be employed to
transform rainfall to runoff and routing of the runoff through the Sg. Kalabakan and Sg.
Brantian river system. Flood frequency analysis of 10 years return period for before and after
development scenarios will be carried out using either HEC-HMS9 hydrological Modelling
system, Version 1.0 or similar hydrological modelling, as required to create a hydrological
model for Sg Kalabakan and Sg Brantian Catchments. The proposed fieldworks to be carried
out include river profile survey, river flow velocity measurement, water level measurement and
rainfall data. Different development scenarios will be generated reflecting different methods of
land clearing and size of area to be cleared. The models will include an advanced soil
moisture accounting procedure, primarily based on the GREEN-AMPT infiltration model (see
footnote # 9) or similar model as required.
Another impact is the alteration to the natural water flow regime of catchments within the
project area as a result of the development. Significant flow changes can have a direct

9
The system uses hydrologic elements that will be arranged in a dendritic network, and computation will be performed in an
upstream-to-downstream sequence. Subcatchment of Sg. Kalabakan and Sg. Brantian that are located outside of the proposed
project area will be computed in a lumped mode. In a lumped mode, precipitation and losses are spatially -averaged over the sub catchments. Sub catchments that are located inside the proposed project area and that may be affected by the proposed forest
plantation will be computed in a linear-distributed mode. In the linear distributed mode, rainfall is specified on a grid basis, and loss
and excess are traced separately for each grid cell in a sub-catchment. Losses for each grid cell will be determined using the Green
and AMPT infiltration model. Excess will be transformed to direct runoff with the modified CLARK method.

Routing of the runoff through Sg. Kalabakan and Sg. Brantian river systems will be performed using the Kinematic Wave and
MUSKINGUM-CUNGE methods. Standard geometric shapes or cross sections and estimated Manning values will be used in the
computation.
Based on the rainfall storm event with a ten years recurrence interval the response discharge signal of a base model and three
scenarios will be computed for Sg. Kalabakan and Sg. Brantian. The results will be compared with discharge records of historical
rainfall storm events.

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impact on water quality, aquatic habitat and associated ecology. An estimation of values for
the catchments and routing-reach parameters of the numerical models as mentioned in the
above (see footnote #9) will be estimated based on observed stream flow data, physical soil
parameter etc. River cross sections will be gathered as input parameter for the MUSKINGUMCUNGE methods or similar methods as required. The discharge of Sg. Kalabakan and Sg.
Brantian might be influenced by tides. Therefore, the discharge records will be carried out for
neap and spring tides.
In addition, other hydrological conditions such as characteristics of the catchment area (or
delineation of catchments and the natural drainage pattern of the affected river basin) for
these rivers and water uses will be examined.

4.1.2

Terrestrial and Aquatic Fauna Ecology

4.1.2.1

Terrestrial Fauna Ecology


The project site is located adjacent to two world-renowned conservation areas i.e. Danum
Valley Conservation Area and Maliau Basin Conservation Area. Danum Valley which is
located in the Ulu Segama Forest Reserve is recognised as the largest least disturbed and
most valuable example of lowland rainforest remaining in Sabah, while the scientific
communities are working hard to achieve the same status for the Maliau Basin. Both
conservation areas are internationally unique mainly because of their special composition and
richness in flora and fauna species. Some are newly discovered species while others are well
known but rare or endangered species. Among the endangered wildlife supported in this type
of habitat are the Sumatran rhino, Orang Utan, proboscis monkey, slow loris, sun bear,
clouded leopard, Tembadau, Bulwer's pheasant, Argus pheasant, and many other species.
Based on the available information and the preliminary field surveys, the project area is noted
to support similar flora and fauna species i.e. Lowland Dipterocarp in northern part of Kuamut
River and area near to the Danum Valley Conservation Area. For this SEIA, the assessment
will focus on key indicators which have national and international significance. The key
species are the orang utans, proboscis monkeys, tembadau, elephants and Sumatran
rihinoceros. Birds of importance are the Argus pheasants and hornbills species.
The evaluation will be based on the available literature, habitat maps (wildlife management
plan from Wildlife Department), vegetation maps from the flora ecologist, aerial surveys as
well as ground truthing to look into the potential wildlife corridors or sanctuaries 10 to protect
the wildlife and their possible migrating paths, feeding and nesting grounds in terms of relative
security, not only within the project site but also between the conservation areas as well as
joining up with other FMUs, if possible.

10

These sanctuaries mean general shelter or refuge for wildlife.

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The proposed field investigations include transect lines into particular habitats (based on
vegetation), habitat characteristics, food availability, roosting, breeding and nesting, refuge
areas, species diversity and others. Aerial survey will also be conducted to assess the overall
forest cover and the land uses surrounding the project area. Review of available literature
and consultation with local community or residents and camp work will be carried out to assist
with the field investigation.

4.1.2.2

Aquatic Life
The distribution of aquatic species and biodiversity will be identified through net casting and
trawling (see footnote 11 and 12) and available secondary data. The significance of the
aquatic habitats will be assessed based on information about species diversity and
importance to the fishing industry etc. Potential impact on aquatic life due to the discharge of
sediment loads and pollution during project development will be given due consideration too.

4.1.3

Flora Ecology
The project involves conversion of a large area of natural forest to a monoculture tree crop.
This will result in considerable loss of natural habitat and biodiversity. For this SEIA, the
general diversity of species and their habitats will be identified initially through existing
vegetation maps and satellite imagery. Aerial survey will be carried out to gain a general
overview of the area, selected habitats of ridge tops, logged over sites and rivers. Ground
survey on selected habitats by using logging roads and to assess the existing vegetation in all
the Licenced Area (see Figure 3.0). Surveys along skid trails recording the floristic
composition will also be carried out. A team of flora and fauna specialists will be working
together to enable both teams see the common conservation sites for both plants and
animals.
This study will also look into the impacts due to the establishment of monoculture tree stand
to the natural environment for example the invasiveness of the intended plantation species. It
is envisaged that rich, local biodiversity in the natural forest is bound to suffer a diminution,
simplification and change. Given that the conservation areas of Maliau Basin and Danum
Valley are internationally known for their biological uniqueness, assessment will look into the
protection of these areas.
The existing diversity in habitat types, specific variation and genotypic differences shall be
assessed. Aerial survey is to determine the different habitat types and followed by ground
checks. Line surveys of different sites determine the various species composition.
In terms of Forest plantation management, careful planning of the development phasing and
direction of clearing must be undertaken in order to preserve critical forest areas along water
courses and areas which provide special habitats and migration corridors. e.g. rivers,
streams, springs, salt-licks, limestone formations, etc.

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As for the proposed management system, the assessment will examine the Interim Benta
Wawasan Management Plan by the Sabah Softwoods Bhd for the Proposed project area on
pests and disease management (see Section 4.1.6), weed management, soil protection and
enhancement, tree establishment and maintenance as well as harvesting. Recommended
actions or considerations will be suggested, where appropriate.

4.1.4

Socio Economics
Socio economic issues of significance are mainly related to human settlement, vector-borne
diseases, source of livelihood (job opportunities), workers safety (occupational and
communicable diseases) and waste management. For this study, mixed methodologies will
be employed for the assessment. These include review of available literature, discussions
with the project-related personnel, participatory rapid appraisal (PRAs) 11 (see Appendix E),
visits and discussions with relevant government agencies and site visits . Based on the
findings, the result will be presented diagrammatically showing all the settlements, base
camps, proposed regional administrative centres, conservation areas, burial grounds,
historical sites (if any), stakeholders aquaculture farms, water-intakes for the villagers,
roads, rivers and air, water and noise monitoring locations.
The main issues relate to plantation establishment such as the followings:

Water Pollution since most of the waterways are noted to be highly turbid and some
are reported to be polluted with domestic waste, it is imperative to determine clean
potable water sources for the future workers as well as for the existing settlements. The
proposed methodology to assess the water quality is in-situ testing (pH, DO, temp) and
laboratory testing of sampled water for BOD, COD, turbidity, TSS, TDS, Amm-N, K, NO3N, oil and grease, pesticides, Total Coliform count and Faecal Coliform count (see
Appendix D for details). The proposed locations are current water intake points,
upstream, midstream and downstream of project area (see Figure 4.0). Visual
observations for any indiscriminate dumping of waste in the base camp and waterways
will also be carried out.

11
Participatory Rapid Appraisal (PRA) is a qualitative research or survey work that seeks to provide in-depth understanding of a
community or situation. It seeks to incorporate/involve local people in the assessment and to reduce the time and costs of
preparation. It is semi-structured and is designed to acquire quickly new information on and about the community lifestyle. Each
PRA group is limited to 5-10 participants, as small groups tend to facilitate the free flow of discussions. The study team presented
the questions/issues in the course of interviews. The atmosphere was informal, resembling a conversation. The interview ot ok
extensive notes that were developed later. A PRA session generally lasted between 1 to 1.5 hours. PRAs focused not only on
project impacts but also on affected person's fear, worries and expectations.

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Loss of fishing areas/livelihood - development of such a sizable forest plantation may


lead to an increase in soil erosion and subsequent sedimentation of water courses, which
again may negatively impact the aquatic habitats and fish population, thus affecting the
livelihood of the people who depend on fishing, both within and downstream of the site.
This is especially importance as Cowie Harbour is one of the most important and richest
marine resources in Sabah. Any changes to the upstream activities could bring
detrimental impacts to the downstream users such as the aquaculture farms, traditional
fishermen and fishing industries. The evaluation will look into the current status of the
fishing industries in the affected villages and Tawau. The methodology for this study
include review of available literature and data, discussions with the relevant authorities
such as the Fisheries Department, local residents and local fishermen as well as field
survey. Field study will employ net casting 12 at random for all the major rivers within the
site and trawling 13 along some of the more productive and sensitive areas in the Cowie
Harbour. In addition, water quality testing for temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen,
turbidity, total suspended solids, and salinity will also be carried out to correlate the
fishes surveyed (see Water Pollution in Section 4.1.4, Figure 4.0 and Appendix D for
details).

Land ownership the same illegal settlement has staked claim to about 500 acres of
land (forest reserve) surrounding their village. With the implementation of this project,
this may bring about some land ownership issues.

Employment opportunities - Based on preliminary ground survey, one illegal


settlement or Kg Harapan Baru Mukandut in Luasong claimed that the locals are not
given top priorities in terms of employment opportunities in the logging industries. The
evaluation will take into consideration the local (see Appendix E for the proposed social
survey questionnaire).

12
The use of cast net for sampling of aquatic habitat has been used by many researchers like Inger & Chin 1990, Samat, et. Al 1995, Department
of Fisheries, Sabah and others. Fishes were caught at each station by incidental collecting activity. The use of cast net for sampling provides an
indicator group of fishes at each station particular to that area. This can be used for comparative purposes from area to area.

Cast net provides a sample down the water column giving a range that covers the pelagic as well as the sedentary fishes as the net sinks to the
bottom where bottom fishes are scared out of the substrate. The mesh size determines the sizes of fishes that can be caught thus limiting the
catches to only specific species. This method of sampling is non-destructive as fishes caught can be released after counting. The use of gill net
is more specific as catches are usually confined to pelagic species only. On occasions sedentary species may be caught accidentally. Fish traps
and hook and lines are used by artisan and subsistence fisherman to catch fishes that are for consumption. This method is highly selective as it
depends on the bait and location of fishing.
1 3 This method of sampling is to determine the present catches of the fishing industry operating in the area as an indicator of the richness of the
area in terms of total biomass of the different groups of marine organisms landed. This is determined by the biomass landed per catch effort for
that location.

Catch effort = speed of trawling X width of trawler mouth X total time of trawling.
This method of fishing is the most widely used technique in this area and is a good indicator of the present standing population and composition of
the benthic and sedentary population of fishes in the area. It also covers a relatively large area in one sweep when compared to any other
method such as gill nets, traps, hook and line that are used in the area.

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Hunting Based on preliminary ground surveys, hunting is reported to be rampant within


the project area and its surroundings. The proximity of base camp to known wildlife
areas could increase hunting as logging activity would improve road access significantly
into the previously forested area. For this study, assessment will look into the sitting of
base camps and the security of within each region or forest farm. The results of the
study will be presented in a map showing all the temporary base camp, proposed
regional administrative centres, villages and nearby towns, conservation areas and
roads.
Relocation of economic activities - clearing of natural forests for forest plantations
especially those may affect some of the traditional economic activities such as gathering
of bird nest near Bukit Timbang Virgin Jungle Reserve (VJR). Even though the cave is
situated outside the project boundary, but any land clearing in the vicinity and
encroachment into the nearby VJR forest may affect the insect population or the feeding
ground of the swiftlet and thus affecting the bird population in the cave. This
subsequently may affect the availability of bird-nest and eventually lead to the loss of
employment and earning capacity of those affected.
An assessment will include
interviewing with local communities who may be affected directly or indirectly.
Vector-borne disease Based on the ground survey, there are countless reports of
Malaria and other communicable diseases among the workers. For this SEIA, the
evaluation will be based on available data from the Health Department, field survey and
interviews with the local communities and all logging camps.
Waste Management - Preliminary investigation revealed that most of the base camps
have poor housekeeping practices and provision of proper sanitary facilities. The
assessment will examine the provision of housing condition, portable water supply,
hygiene of the workers and waste generation in the logging camps.
Safety Timber harvesting is considered a high-risk activity. The assessment will
consider cutting and handling procedure of logs, as well as skidding and transporting of
logs from the camp to the log pond area. The evaluation will be based on the existing
legislative requirements and safety measures.
Dust Pollution currently all the roads leading to the project site are earth roads. On a
fine day, dust generation due to passing vehicles (mostly logging trucks) can be a hazard
especially for those houses situated along the main roads. Residents from Kg Harapan
Baru Mukandut and Kg Kalabakan and some from Luasong Forestry Centre have
experienced such discomfort due to high level of dust pollution. As part of the
evaluation, baseline monitoring for Total Suspended Particles (TSP) will be carried out
near these settlements for 24 hours period to determine the existing level of pollution
(see Figure 4.0).
Noise Pollution Noise pollution, though is not significance in the natural environment
like this project site. Nevertheless, baseline noise monitoring will also be carried out near
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the main settlements (same locations as the air monitoring locations see Figure 4.0)
and this will serve as a reference level in the evaluation of future noise pollution related
to project implementation. This is to gauge the noise level during the peak (day) and offpeak (night) under existing environment and then project the future traffic volume
generation.

4.1.5

Industrial, urban and commercial development - development of forest plantation, and


logging may generate significant benefits to the local economy through creation of new
direct employment, business opportunities, improved access, and indirect, "spin-off"
effects in property development and provision of goods and services to the proposed
area of development. These positive impacts may bring significant benefits to Tawau and
Sabah State as a whole. The evaluation will determine the possible economic benefit due
to the proposed development.
Loss of ecotourism opportunity - Development of this project may affect the lead to the
loss of eco-tourism industry especially to the Maliau Basin Conservation Area. As the
road leading to the Conservation area has to pass through the proposed plantation, it can
be expected that the establishment of monoculture cropping may affect the aesthetic,
visual impression or project a built environment rather than a natural one (or CAN
Cultural, Adventure and Nature).

Other land use surrounding the project area ICSB operates a few projects within the
boundary of the proposed project area. There are the Luasong Forestry Centre, the
renowned international collaboration projects namely INNIKEA rehabilitation project
(Rehabilitation of Tropical Rain Forest for IKEA, Sow a seed), Swedish University
Agricultural Sciences (SUAS) project, RBJ/NEP Reduced Impact Logging (RIL) project
and Virgin Jungle Reserves (VJR). The development of the proposed project may affect
these projects through creation of islands and threatening the security and sustainability
of these areas. Based on ground observations, the VJRs in some of the oil palm
plantations have been severely degraded either due to natural dieback or human factors.
For this SEIA, the assessment will look into the history and current status of these
projects or areas and corridors between SUAS, INNIKEA and the LFC.

Cultural or historical site as the proposed site is of significance size, it may have
some historical sites within its boundary. So far, based on available literature and initial
survey and interviews with the locals, the area is void of any significant historical site.
Nevertheless, the study will look into the potential of such historical or cultural sites
through survey along the major riverines, interviews with the local communities,
consultation with the Museum Department and review of literature.

Biomass / waste
It is envisaged that significant amount of vegetative waste will be generated during the land
clearing. Method of disposal will be considered in views of the previous fire and haze
situation in the State. The potential fire hazard and as well as potential pest breeding ground
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if the biomass were to be naturally degraded, will also be examined. Assessment will also be
undertaken in relation to the disposal of domestic waste and sewage as well as the usage of
agro-chemicals during the operation phase of the plantation.

4.1.6

Pests and Diseases


Pests and diseases problems occur in both native forest and forest plantations. The SEIA will
look into the potential pests and useful insects in the existing environment. In addition, forest
sanitation measures will be taken to prevent pest and disease outbreaks, consistent with
modern concepts on integrated pest and disease management.
Based on a review of available literature, it was reported that the whole stock of Acacia
mangium in Sabah is originates from a single parent tree in Australia. However, over the
years, new genetic material has been introduced and the genetic base is now believed to be
reasonably wide. Notwithstanding this, the assessment will look into the genetic base of the
plantation species in terms of resistance to disease and pest outbreaks.
On the other hand, if the stock or planting materials for the proposed forest plantation are
sourced from outside the State, it is vital for these materials to be screened for potential
diseases or pests prior to importation. If unchecked, the potential implications to the health
and safety of existing plantations or even the native forest and wildlife may be detrimental.

4.1.7

Forest Fire
This SEIA, evaluation will cover the risk of forest fire to the proposed plantation and its
surroundings. Uncontrolled forest fire is a serious risk in forest plantations. The assessment
will look into the proposed forest management plan and the proposed development phasing.
The evaluation will emphasize fire prevention strategies consistent with contemporary
philosophy on the management of risk. Assessment will also examine the risk of forest fire
from the nearby plantation to th e proposed project area and vice versa.

4.1.8

Green House Effects


It has lately been reported that forests of high biodiversity have a higher capacity to absorb
atmospheric carbon than monocultures. Since large tracts of forested area will be cleared for
this plantation, the carbon absorption the capacity of the area will decrease especially during
the land-clearing phase. Besides, the modification of landscape would also affect the local
climate condition. It is envisaged that the modification could be worsen if open burning were
carried out. For this assessment, the study will look into the effect of such changes to the
stock of carbon and a preliminary carbon budget will be carried out along side a comparison
with reference to the existing studies.

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4.2

Possible Mitigating Measures for the Key Impacts to be Studied and


recommended upon:

4.2.1

Soil Erosion and Water Quality and Hydrology

4.2.1.1

Soil Erosion and Water Quality


The following is a list of possible key mitigating measures that will be recommended upon for
the soil erosion control, water quality protection and hydrology. However, this list will be
expanded depending on the outcome of the assessment.

4.2.1.2

Development phasing (6 Forest Farms) and planting schedule of 20,000 30,000


ha/year over 7 - 8 years;

Demarcation and exclusion of potential or high erosion risk area;

Establishment of cover cropping on high risk areas or damaged sites;

Establishment of riparian reserves (both banks) for all the waterways;

Provision of abandonment plan;

Re-evaluation of the Plantation Management Plan in terms of infrastructure layout;

Suggestion of rehabilitation of old skid trails, if possible, and construct appropriate road
sizes follow ing JKR standard and forest requirement;

Scheduling and planning of road construction or rehabilitation;

Establishment of road shoulder protection either mechanically or biologically;

Establishment of maintenance programme e.g. road, culvert and drainage system;

Suggestion of appropriate drainage size design and intensity according to local soils
condition and topography;

Establishment of waste management programme (e.g. no disposal of earth spoils over


road shoulder or into waterways); and

Adopt state-of-the-art technology or most environmentally friendly harvesting technique


in tree harvesting; whenever practical and economically feasible.

Hydrology
The following are some of the potential mitigating measures that will be recommended for the
hydrological impacts. Other recommendations will be suggested depending on the outcome
of the assessment.

Establishment of water catchment boundaries and suggestions for demarcation on the


ground;

Suggestion of development phasing;


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4.2.2

Establishment of maintenance programme e.g., cleared of blockages in all waterways


and install appropriate drainage system;

Establishment of stream buffer requirement; and the

Indication of flood prone areas for possible exclusion.

Terrestrial and Aquatic Fauna Ecology


The following are some of the potential mitigating measures will be recommended upon for
the wildlife management and aquatic ecology. However, other measures will also be included
or expanded depending on the final assessment.

4.2.2.1

4.2.2.2

Terrestrial Ecology

Establishment of wildlife corridors or sanctuaries between Maliau Basin Conservation


Area and Proposed Project Site as well as between Danum Valley Conservation Area
and proposed project area (i.e. north of Sg. Kuamut);

Establishment of riparian reserves along all waterways and green belts between
INNIKEA, SUAS, NEP/RJB - RIL and LFC projects;

Prohibition of hunting within the Proposed Plantation as well as its surroundings;

Prohibition of legal or illegal firearms and spears in the camp;

Establishment of wildlife rescue plan (including suggestions of fund allocation in case


relocation of wildlife is necessary);

Demarcation and preservation of sensitive ecological area;

Development phasing or directional clearing (escape path for wildlife during land
clearing);

Induction course / briefing on wildlife protection and legislative requirement; and

Establishment of security gate into the project area.

Aquatic Life

Establishment of water pollution control programme (e.g. agro chemical applications


and sediments control) (See Sections 4.2.1 and 4.2.3); and the

Establishment of conservation programme for rare aquatic habitats, if any.

4.2.3 Flora Ecology (including forest management)


The following is a list of potential control measures that will be recommended upon for the
flora ecology. But the list will include other mitigating measures depending on the outcome of
the assessment.

Re-evaluation of the Forest Management Programme (e.g. phasing and scheduling);


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Establishment of buffer belts for all the VJRs and ecologically sensitive area;

Establishment of conservation programmes for unique habitat types and the


occurrence of rare or endangered species. Special attention will be paid to hill tops and
mountain peaks; riverine and between the two world renowned Conservation Areas;

Establishment of green belts for genetic exchange and also as fire breaks and buffer
zones for invasive plantation species like the Acacia mangium14;

Establishment of exclusion zone for development especially in the steep area and
riparian reserves;

Enabling the protection of rare and endangered species especially the protected
species listed in the Forest Enactment 1968 and the Wildlife Conservation Enactment,
1997; and

Implementation of environmental friendly harvesting technique such as cable-yarding


during operation phase i.e. harvesting stage.

4.2.4 Socio Economics


The following is a list of possible potential key mitigating measures that will be studied for the
socio-economic environment. Other recommendations will be suggested and recommended
upon following the completion of the SEIA assessment.

Establishment of benefits in terms of employment and business opportunities for the


locals;

Suggestion of training programme for workers especially in the usage of heavy


machineries and chemical applications;

Supporting public health programme and draw awareness to the screening of Malaria
and other communicable diseases especially for the foreign workers;

Specification of proper housing, basic sanitary facilities and potable water;

Establishment of basic safety gear or wear requirement for highly risky job;

Establishment of proper house-keeping and waste management;

Establishment of green belt along major roads for aesthetic visual;

Provision of traffic security measures;

14

Acacia mangium trees like other secondary species e.g. Macaranga are very aggressive as they can tolerate very degraded
habitats where primary forest species have difficulty of establishing fast. Thus when an area is disturbed the indigenous secondary
forest species will colonise the disturbed site gradually but if there are Acacia trees present the seeds easily dispersed by birds will
be brought into the site and germinate fast and owing to their numbers they form a carpet and will over dominate the local species.
Once it establish itself its rapid reproductive cycle and abundant flowers and fruits will form a source for moving into any disturbed
areas. It must be noted that each tree produces large quantity of small seeds. The seeds are covered with hard testa that can
survive for years in the ground (seed bank) waiting for the opportunity of a clearing to be formed and germinate fast to dominate.
The seeds are also resistant to fire thus form the most persistent tree cover in a burnt area. Its aggressive habit is shown by its
ability to spread along the road all the way to Mt. Kinabalu National Park Headquarter.

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4.2.5

Establishment of safety programme such as installation of road signs and impose


speed limit;

Provision of disposal facilities for waste oil;

Provision of proper plantation management dosage, timing and application of


agrochemicals; as well as use of biodegradable chemicals; and

Establishment of compliance monitoring programme such as regular monitoring for


water quality.

Biomass / Waste
The key possible potential control measures that may be recommended for biomass and
waste management are as follows. However, other suggestions will be considered upon
completing detailed assessment of the project.

4.2.6

Biomass - Zero burning (natural degradation during land clearing); prescribed burning
may be required during the maintenance phase to reduce fire risk in the plantation;

Solid waste buried away from waterways or land filling;

Hazardous / scheduled waste contained and disposed off by authorized handler; and

Sewerage Installation of individual septic tanks and provision of maintenance.

Pests and Diseases


The main possible potential mitigating measures recommended for pests and diseases are
listed below. However, a comprehensive list of recommendations will be provided upon
completion of the assessment.

4.2.7

Adopt integrated pests and diseases management system;

Maintain green belts to preserve some of the natural ecological balances which keep
insect and disease outbreaks in check.

Use certified seeds and different sources or parental stock seedlings; and

Get approval or clearance from Department of Forestry and Agriculture Department for
imported seedlings.

Forest Fire
The key potential mitigating measures that will be recommended upon for forest fire are as
follows. However, other recommendations may be made depending upon the outcome of the
assessment.

Adopt a holistic management system whereby a management teams with a capability


of mobilising all manpower during a fire. i.e. fire fighting team trained and co-ordinated,
equipment and surveillance mechanism to detect fires.

Maintenance of a fire management programme which addresses the significance of fire


risk and early warning;
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4.3

Regular maintenance of forest ground cover and biomass (potential fuel). For example:
prescribed burning as one of the control measures.

Retaining areas of rainforest or green breaks to provide effective external firebreaks;


and

Provide adequate road network and access for fire fighting and general forest
operations.

Compliance Monitoring
The main compliance-monitoring programme to be studied and recommended upon is specific
to the mitigating measures and locality or point which photographic or otherwise to be taken.

4.3.1 Soil Erosion, water quality and hydrology


The key compliance-monitoring programme that will be studied and recommended for soil
erosion control are as follows:

The Project Proponent to conduct self-monitoring programme on the work progress and
record keeping on the demarcated area and worked area at regular interval. Large
scale map showing the demarcated and worked areas, pictures as well as GPS
locations as per map and recommendations in the SEIA report are to be included.

The provisions of aerial photograph or satellite imagery by the Project Proponent for
the monitoring requirement and time schedule will be recommended upon.

The contractor to report to the Project Proponent on their work progress and to provide
evidence of the implementation of control measures at their designated work area.

The Project Proponent to conduct regular monitoring for any blockage along the
streams or waterways.

The Project Proponent to engage external environmental consultant to conduct


environmental performance and the frequency of auditing will be recommended upon.

The External Environmental Consultant to prepare and submit the environmentalcompliance report to the Project Proponent and the Environmental Conservation
Department (ECD), Sabah and the frequency will be recommended upon.

4.3.2 Fauna Ecology


The key potential compliance monitoring activity recommended upon for fauna ecology is
shown below. Other monitoring requirement will be suggested upon the completion of the
assessment.

The Project Proponent to establish security gates and to keep a record of all incoming
and outgoing vehicles (car, trucks etc) into / from the project area.

The Project Proponent together with relevant Departments to carry out random checks
in all coupes or blocks on security measures such as encroachment of riparian reserve,
sensitive habitat & wildlife corridor etc.
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Wildlife Department to conduct random checks in all the camps for any keeping of wild
game or birds.

The Project Proponent to engage an independent environmental consultant to carry out


environmental audit at appropriate interval.

The external environmental consultant or auditor to prepare and submit the


environmental compliance reports to the Project Proponent and the Environmental
Conservation Department (ECD), Sabah. The frequency will be recommended upon
completion of assessment.

4.3.3 Flora Ecology


The key possible compliance-monitoring programme recommended for this SEIA is as follows:

The Project Proponent to conduct regular aerial surveillance & ground checking on
buffer zone, VJR and area concerning development limits. The frequency of the survey
will be recommended upon completion of the assessment.

The Project Proponent to engage external environmental consultant to carry out


environmental compliance monitoring and the frequency will be recommended upon.

The external environmental consultant or auditor to submit compliance monitoring


report to the Project Proponent and Environmental Conservation Department (ECD),
Sabah at appropriate timeframe as per development schedule.

4.3.4 Socio Economics


The key possible compliance-monitoring programme recommended for socio-economics
aspect of the study is as follows. Any additional monitoring requirement will be incorporated
in the study as per recommendations.

The Contractors to report to the Project Proponent on the status of workers at least on
a regular interval e.g. quarterly basis;

The Contractors to submit health certificates / medical reports for all foreign workers to
the Project Proponent on a regular interval, e.g. quarterly.

The Contractors to submit report or evidence to show that all workers have basic safety
gears and that the workers are using the safety gears provided.

The Project Proponent and the contractors to provide potable water supply for their
workers.

The Project Proponent to carry out internal environmental audit or random checks in all
the base camps, logging coupes and development blocks for any non-compliance.

The Project Proponent to engage external environmental consultant to carry


environmental compliance monitoring and the schedule will be recommended upon.

The Project Proponent to engage external environmental consultant to carry out water
testing and the samples should be analysed by an accredited laboratory. The duration
for the monitoring will be recommended upon.
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4.4

The external environmental consultant to submit environmental compliance report to


the Project Proponent and the Environmental Conservation Department (ECD), Sabah
and the duration will be recommended upon.

Residual Impacts Monitoring


The key potential residual impact monitoring activity that will be recommended for this study is
as follows:

5.

The Project Proponent to engage external environmental consultant to carry out water
testing and the samples should be analysed by an accredited laboratory. The duration
for the monitoring will be recommended upon.

The external environmental consultant to submit environmental compliance report to


the Project Proponent and the Environmental Conservation Department (ECD), Sabah
and the duration will be recommended upon.

WORK SCHEDULE
The proposed schedule for the SEIA is attached below:

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