Sustainability Of Our Peat Swamp Forests A Priority On International Day For Biological Diversity 2023

In conjunction with the International Day for Biological Diversity celebrated annually on May 22, some 130 volunteers, both young and old, turned up at the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve (KLNFR) here in Selangor on May 20, to plant a total of 600 trees to help restore our peat swamp forest and make a difference for future generations.

Planting trees in the peatlands is important to preserve our biodiversity as peatlands are an important ecosystem that support a unique and diverse range of plants, trees and wildlife species. Peatlands play a critical role in curbing climate change, storing carbon and water, and preserving biodiversity.

Planting trees can restore degraded peatlands that are under threat. In KLNFR, a fragile peat swamp forest in need of restoration, efforts have been underway since 2015 to restore it through rewetting (hydrology management), revegetation (planting trees) and reduction of fire (community based fire patrolling) in collaboration with Sahabat Gambut Asli Temuan (SGAT), Global Environment Centre (GEC) and the Selangor State Forestry Department (SSFD).

This includes the long-running Monthly Tree Planting programme jointly conducted by GEC, SSFD, Friends of North Selangor Peat Swamp Forest and SGAT which also supports the Greening Malaysia Programme through the National 100 Million Tree Planting Campaign. This revegetation initiative has been successful in enhancing awareness on peatland restoration through public engagement.

BOH Plantations (BOH) has been involved in GEC’s Peatland Water Management and Forest Rehabilitation Work in KLNFR since 2015. Now, as an expression of BOH’s long-term sustainability programme themed, ‘BOH, A Cup of Sustainabili-tea’, the company has also sponsored a tree planting exercise along with the on-going care and maintenance of these trees.

Jason Foo, CEO of BOH Plantations Sdn Bhd, said, “As a company that owes much of our success and legacy to the environment, sustainability is non-negotiable to realise our goal to be a fully sustainable tea grower in the near future.

“We prioritise a balanced ecosystem for surrounding forest lands at all our plantations. At BOH’s Bukit Cheeding plantation, which is uniquely adjacent to the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve (KLNFR), we maintain a buffer zone between our planted area to preserve the biodiversity and soil integrity.

“This tree planting exercise is part of our long-term Sustainability Programme, themed ‘BOH, A Cup of Sustainabili-tea’. We are pleased to play a role in raising awareness on the restoration and sustainability of our peat swamp forests.”

Commenting on peatland restoration of the KLNFR, Faizal Parish, Director of the Global Environment Centre (GEC), said, “Over the last few years, collaborative multi-stakeholder efforts to restore our peat swamp forests have resulted in positive developments. With the strong support of SSFD, active involvement of SGAT, supportive private-public partnerships as well as enhanced public engagement, we have been able to establish a sustainable peatland management approach that help in conserving peatland value, preserving our rich biodiversity and maintaining ecosystem services as well as controlling climate change.”

The theme of the International Day for Biological Diversity 2023,’ From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity’, is a timely reminder to do our part to restore and rebuild our peatland to preserve our biodiversity and contribute to a better planet.

To participate in future Tree Planting initiatives with GEC, please log on to www.gec.org.my

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