Timber firms to receive soft loans a.k.a. subsidies

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Timber firms are set to receive millions of ringgit in soft loans from the government under a “reforestation” programme.

In this article for IPS, I discussed two questions:

  • Why should profitable timber firms receive soft loans, which in effect are subsidies?
  • Is this really a reforestation programme or will such commercial tree plantations actually cause the deforestation of logged-over (but still viable) rainforests?


ENVIRONMENT-MALAYSIA: Soft Loans for Reforestation or Deforestation?
By Anil Netto


PENANG, Sep 6 (IPS) – With a dozen timber firms set to receive new government soft loans to finance ‘reforestation’ projects, critics are saying that the money will translate into logging subsidies for the timber lobby.

Six of these firms are from timber-rich Sarawak state in North Borneo. Five other firms have already signed up for loans making a total of over a dozen firms so far under a forest replanting programme that aims to create plantations of latex timber clone (LTC) rubber trees and acacia. Full article

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