NREB releases guidelines affecting swiftlet farming, bird nest processing, livestock farming

Lab participants visiting the site of a batching plant.

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KUCHING, March 2: Unauthorised activities especially those involving small-scale swiftlet farming, bird nest processing, cemetery establishment, open dump site, batching plant, livestock farming and abattoir operations in Sarawak are not only nuisances to the community but cause harm to the environment if left unaddressed.

Taking this issue seriously and given the importance of environmental pollution prevention, the Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) has released two sets of guidelines to prevent environmental damage from these non-prescribed activities under the Board.

The guidelines are the Environmental Guidelines for Non-prescribed Activities and Guidelines on the Requirements for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Environmental Management Plan (EMP) and Environmental Management Guidelines (EMG).


NREB, in a statement today, pointed out that such activities, despite not directly governed by existing environmental laws under the purview of the Board, is more of a nuisance to the community as its accumulated impact, if not properly addressed by the relevant authority, may be detrimental to the environment.

The guidelines were formulated following an in-house lab which was attended by 32 NREB staff throughout the State.

The NREB hoped that these guidelines could be useful to business operators, local councils, enforcement agencies and all relevant stakeholders as an official reference for establishment of swiftlet bird farming, bird nest processing, cemetery establishment, open dump site, batching plant, livestock farming and abattoir operations in the State.

However, these guidelines will not be applicable for any large and environmentally impactful business establishment such as big-scale plantations, reforestation and logging, mining and construction which are under Prescribed Activities that are governed by the First Schedule of Natural Resources and Environment (Prescribed Activities) Order 1994.

NREB warned that commencement of any prescribed project without EIA approval from the NREB is an offence punishable under these rules with penalties of up to RM10,000 and five years’ imprisonment.

Prior to the lab, participants visited a batching plant, swiftlet and poultry farm and abattoir to gain better understanding of the affected activities. — DayakDaily