Digital technology for planting more trees

Abang Johari plants and waters the Belian (eusideroxylon zwageri) tree.

BINTULU: Sarawak is adopting digital technology to plant more trees and ensure that they grow faster.

“For instance, the Sarawak Forest Department (SFD) is using the throw and grow approach with the use of drones to drop the seed balls onto the soil, and from there, they will grow naturally,” said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg. 

He was officiating at the launch of the “Le Tour De Restoration” (Greening Sarawak’s Campaign) for Bintulu Division level and the Drone Seeding Project held at the Taman Medan Bintulu Centre here today (Nov 9).

“In line with this, I have also informed SFD I will give it a big allocation under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12 MP) for it to buy seed balls from local villagers.

“This is so that more trees can be planted and, at the same time, we can help the locals to generate incomes,” he explained.

Abang Johari said the Sarawak government had clear policies on managing and sustaining the state’s forest resources.

The two main policies of the government were replanting trees on degraded land and having sustainable resources from planted forests.

“As we develop our wood-based industry, we must also have a balanced policy to conserve the forest.

“This means that each tree cut must be replaced. Not only does it give focus to the industry but, at the same time, helps to reduce climate change and provides sufficient oxygen for the people,” he said.

Abang Johari acknowledged there were not many trees left in the northern area of the state.

“This time, under my government, those who cut the trees and do not replant them will have their forest licences revoked,” he warned.

The chief minister also urged the Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) to identify areas to be developed as urban parks, just like the Piasau Nature Park in Miri, Stutong Park in Kuching and Bukit Lima Park in Sibu.

Later, Abang Johari also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between SFD and BDA to implement various restoration activities through planting, conservation and protection of trees in areas under the BDA’s jurisdiction.

Under the MoU, SFD will also supply high-quality plant species to be planted around Bintulu.

Earlier, the chief minister also planted a Belian (eusideroxylon zwageri) tree and dropped the Sarawak Bomb (Sarabom) seed ball to mark the launch of the event.

Also present were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, SFD director Datuk Hamden Mohammad and BDA general manager Datuk Muhammad Yakup Kari.