Sarawak ID|Register


On track towards planting 35 million trees under 12MP
Tarikh : 22 Mar 2021  Sumber Berita: The Borneo Post

WWF-Malaysia is collaborating with JADC to plant 1,000 native tree species in the secondary forest section of the Jagoi Heritage Forest in Bau. — Photo by Ezen Chan

KUCHING: Sarawak appears to be on track towards achieving the goal of planting 35 million trees under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) 2021-2025.

It was reported that from June 2019 to December last year, a total of 10,452,607 trees from 50 species had been planted in Sarawak, covering an area of ​​9,732.14 hectares.

Still, Forest Department Sarawak – the lead agency of this restoration project – would require solid cooperation from all the relevant sectors towards attaining its 35-million-tree target, which represents about one-third of Malaysia’s own target under the ‘100-million Tree Planting Campaign’.

“Our forests occur in different levels of intactness and degradation. Undeniably, degraded patches occur within our permanent forest estates (PFAs) and totally protected areas (TPAs),” said Worldwide Fund For Nature (WWF)-Malaysia Sarawak conservation programme head Dr Jason Hon, in a statement released in connection with ‘International Day of Forests 2021’.

Adding on, he stressed that these degraded areas must be restored to improve the connectivity for wildlife and nature’s resilience, and also to provide the ecosystem services such as water provision and climate regulation.

“Let’s take cue from this year’s theme for ‘International Day of Forests’ – to chart an ambitious path towards forest restoration for the well-being of human and nature.

“All parties from government, private sectors, civil societies and the public should play their roles.

“Forests enhance the atmospheric moisture, which then provide us rain that gives us our water.

“We are fortunate to live in the tropics, which are blessed with abundant forests and rain that give us water. These forests help regulate our climate – degrading them would lead to climate change.”

WWF-Malaysia is collaborating with Jagoi Area Development Committee (JADC) to plant 1,000 native tree species in the secondary forest section of the Jagoi Heritage Forest in Bau – where 1.8 hectares of degraded and landslide areas had been restored.

Funded by Peterson and Control Union, with the 1,000 saplings sponsored by the Forest Department Sarawak, the project is leveraging on the department’s drive towards forest landscape restoration.

“This ‘Heritage Forest’ does not only provide for the needs of the local community, but it is also a popular hiking spot for the public. It is through the efforts of the community that the public can have such beautiful mountains and forests for their enjoyment.

“Over time, some areas have become degraded; thus, this project aims to improve and restore the mountain’s forest cover,” said JADC chairman Prof Gabriel Tonga Noweg.

He added that being one of the five sites in Malaysia that had applied for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas, the committee strove to demonstrate the efforts of the Bung Jagoi community in serving as ‘the stewards of the forests in Sarawak’.

“Successful listing would serve as a great recognition for these efforts,” said Gabriel.

Since 2017, WWF-Malaysia has been partnering with Forest Department Sarawak in facilitating the planting of 11,000 ‘gaharu’ (Aquilaria microcarpa) seedlings, and engaging the communities from Rumah Manggat in Ulu Sungai Menyang, Batang Ai in this endeavour.

Funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany, this project not only contributes to the restoration of 5.5 hectares of degraded land in that area, but also keeps the forested landscape – the natural habitat of the orang-utans – intact.

The project also helps local communities generate additional income through the production of ‘gaharu’ tea.

The ‘International Day of Forests’ is celebrated in March every year to spread awareness of the importance of forests.

This year’s theme, ‘Forest Restoration: A Path to Recovery and Well-Being’, is meant to encourage people undertake local, national and international efforts in running activities involving forests and trees towards helping to mitigate climate change.

Forest restoration refers to the process of restoring the ecological functions of an area that has become degraded due to human or natural causes, and to bring the benefits back to human, wildlife and nature.

Restoration efforts may include simple steps such as planting of trees, to a large scale ecosystem rehabilitation programme.

Nowadays, forest restoration generates a lot of attention and is being implemented almost everywhere.

According to Hon, the forests in Sarawak occur in different levels of intactness and degradation. — Photo by Mazidi Abd Gani