KUANTAN (June 13): A total of 34.275 million trees comprising more than 1,000 species have been planted across the country as of June 13 as part of the “Greening Malaysia: Our Trees, Our Lives” campaign, said the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan.
He said that number equated to 34.28% of the 100 million tree target to be reached by 2025 through the campaign, which was officially launched in January last year, and he hoped to see more parties get involved.
“I call on more community associations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector and individuals to get involved and play a more active role, as tax exemption incentives have been provided for contributions to Malaysia’s conservation and greening activities,” he said.
Takiyuddin was speaking at the opening ceremony of the 19th Malaysian Forestry Conference on ‘Adapting Forestry to the New Reality’ on Monday, June 13, chaired by Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail.
Also present were Peninsular Malaysia (JPSM) Director General Datuk Mohd Ridza Awang, Sabah Forestry Department Chief Conservator Datuk Frederick Kugan, Sarawak Forestry Department Director Datu’ Hamden Mohammad, and Pahang Forestry Department Director Datuk Dr Mohd Hizamri Mohd Yasin.
Meanwhile, Takiyuddin advised all parties to reduce reliance on logging activities and continue to strengthen the implementation of the “Forest Beyond Timber” concept through ecotourism, herbal and pharmaceutical industries.
He said this was in line with the community’s focus on ecotourism following the Covid-19 pandemic, and that his ministry was also actively promoting natural resource-based recreation programs through an allocation of RM 9 million for refresher and refresher training programs, which were to make forestry departments experts in tropical and natural resource recreation.
Regarding the three-day conference which started on Sunday, June 13, Takiyuddin said he hoped it would be a platform used by JPSM, as well as the forestry departments of Sabah and Sarawak to share best practices and experiences in areas such as sustainable forest management. , biodiversity conservation, climate change, ecotourism and timber industries.
Meanwhile, Wan Rosdy, in his speech, said that Pahang had 1.6 million hectares of permanent forest reserve (HSK) land with 2.04 million hectares of forest land which made up 57% of the land area. of the state, making Pahang the largest contributor of forested areas in Peninsular Malaysia.
Of the 2.04 million hectares, Wan Rosdy said 32% or 645,751 hectares had been classified as protected forests which could not be touched or altered, while the state government had pledged to classify forest lands along rivers, as HSK involving more than 2,000 rivers stretching 12,000 kilometers.
“All efforts made by the Pahang government should not be taken lightly or underestimated. It is a great sacrifice that should be taken seriously and duly appreciated by the federal government.
“The Pahang government hopes that the federal government can develop a fair and simple formula to expedite the process of compensation for each type of forest maintained, whether it is an ecological protection forest, a catchment forest water or wildlife protection habitat,” he said.
At the ceremony, Takiyuddin and Wan Rosdy also launched a book titled “Thriving Our Green Heritage” in conjunction with JPSM’s 120th anniversary celebration.