Jan 2017: Logging limited to just 12% of illegally acquired SABL forest

Analysis of government data on log exports reveals that only a relatively small percentage of forests illegally acquired under the Special Agriculture Business Lease scheme, have actually been logged.

Of 77 known SABLs, issued between 2003 and 2011 and covering an area of 5,367,765 hectares, a total of 64 leases were designated for agro-forestry activities.

Of those 64 SABLs, covering an area of 5,150,071 hectares, only 13 are known to have been subject to logging activity.

The 13 SABLs where logging activity has been recorded cover an area of 609,788 hectares.

So, of 5.15 million hectares of land illegally acquired for agro-forestry activities, only 0.61 million hectares, less than 12% has been logged. 

This success is believed to be in large-part due to the very public campaign against the SABL land grab that has scared away potential overseas logging, oil palm and other agriculture companies who might have taken advantage of the leases, or has disuaded their investors, finance sources or shareholders from getting involved in such a high-profile and demonstrably illegal land grab.