Sabal Forest Reserve
SIMUNJAN: Another 3,000 tree saplings were planted by Sarawak Forestry Department and members of Kembara Anak Sarawak Club.
The tree planting activity was held at the Planted Forest Model Plot located at Sabal Forest Reserve, about 100 kms from Kuching, last Saturday (July 18).
The saplings comprised various local species such as Meranti, Engkabang Jantong, Keruing, Kapor and Belian.
Villagers around the area such as Kampung Sungai Kura, Kampung Sabal Aping, Kampung Sabal Tapang and Kampung Sabal Jaya also took part in the activity.
Director of State Forestry, Datuk Hamden Mohammad said, at the officiating ceremony, that the Sarawak Forestry Department had carried out tree planting activities since the 1990s to restore the degraded forest areas.
“Until now, a total of 635 million trees have been planted covering an area of 528,238 hectares.
“It is part of the Sabal Forest Reserve which has been gazetted as Sabal National Park (4,709 hectares) while the rest is maintained as a Sabal Forest Reserve by the Sarawak Forestry Department. Gazetting is still being carried out by the department,” he said in his speech.
Hamden added that the main focus of the department was to ensure that forests in the state were sustainably managed.
“By 2022, all licensees in the state have to get their respective forest management certification status.
“To date, 10 Forest Management Units (FMU) covering an area of 955,676 hectares have obtained the certification status, and this means that the timber and timber products produced are from legitimate sources,” he explained.
Hamden added that the tree planting programne also received strong support from the state government.
“In June last year, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg launched the Forest Landscape Restoration Programme,” he added.
Hamden also pointed out that Sarawak had 63 percent or 7.79 million hectares of forest cover areas compared to Sarawak’s land area of 12.45 million hectares.
“Sarawak is the largest state that contributes to the forest cover area in Malaysia at 44 percent,” he said.