Stop burning the Raub Forest Tiger habitat to grow Durian fruit

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The forests of Raub in Malaysia, which have become a popular destination for Chinese and Singapore tourists on “Durian tours”, are being burned and cleared to make way for plantations to grow the Musang King variety of the spiky but stinky Durian fruit.

This land is home to the critically endangered Malayan Tiger and as demand continues to grow for the divisively pungent fruit, the risk to the Tigers grows exponentially.

The value of China’s imports of durians has climbed an average of 26 per cent a year over the past decade, reaching US$1.1 billion in 2016 so the old “5 a day” is big business in China and big business is rarely good for the environment or its inhabitants.

Siti Zuraidah Abidin from WWF Malaysia said the Hulu Sempan area, where new plantations are planned, had been designated an “expected tiger habitat”. The area is adjacent to a protected area where the tigers live, she said. Malayan tigers are found only on the Malay Peninsula and in the southern tip of Thailand.

“Land clearing at Hulu Sempam can cause the wider forests to be fragmented, which in turn can affect the wildlife movement,” she said.

It is believed 1,213 hectares of land in Hulu Sempan will eventually be be cut down for the durian plantation by Perbadanan Setiausaha Kerajaan, a company linked to the government.

“The project on that site does not need permission from the forestry department,” confirmed the Pahang Forestry Department.