31 January 2019 (Thursday) – Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) welcomes private sector involvement in forest restoration and biodiversity conservation efforts in the country.
|From left: Caroline, Chua and Mohamad Helmy launching the ‘Plant-A-Tree’ book.||FRIM Forest Biodiversity Research Officer Ajla Rafidah Baharom (far right) showing exhibits to visitors.|
“FRIM is ready to collaborate with private sector on reforestation as well as biodiversity enrichment projects in efforts to prevent the loss of precious flora species,” said FRIM Director General Dato’ Dr Abd Latif Mohmod in his speech read by FRIM Forest Biodiversity Director Dr Lillian Chua at the Closing Ceremony of ‘Plant-A-Tree Project’ at Jentar Estate, Pahang yesterday.
In the collaborative project, Sime Darby Plantation (SDP) worked with FRIM to identify and plant the endangered, rare and threatened forest plants species for conservation.
FRIM contributed 188 seedlings from 20 Dipterocarpaceae species for planting at the Bukit Pasir site including six Critically Endangered (CR), four Endangered (EN), five Vulnerable (VU) and one Rare (RA) species.
FRIM and SDP also jointly conducted a flora survey at the forest patch in Bukit Kiab while FRIM zoologists carried out several fauna surveys at Bukit Angin, Bukit Kiab and Bukit Pasir.
“FRIM is pleased to work with SDP in the ex situ conservation of endangered, rare and threatened forest tree species at Jentar Estate. I would also like to thank SDP for their effort in the establishment, management, monitoring and non-commercial use of the ex situ endangered, rare and threatened forest plants species,” said Abd Latif.
FRIM’s contributions towards the biodiversity conservation include:
- Leading the country’s plant conservation efforts and playing an instrumental role in the conservation of fireflies and restoration of its habitats in Kampung Kuantan, Selangor;
- Being the referral centre for the documentation of Malaysia’s biodiversity with its herbarium housing about 300,000 specimens, over 770 type specimens and maintaining a plant reference centre for the nation;
- Leading national floristic projects including the Tree Flora of Malaya (TFM), Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak (TFSS) and Flora of Peninsular Malaysia (FPM) to document the flora biodiversity richness;
- Conducting conservation status assessments on plant species, of which the findings on the Dipterocarpaceae family in 2010 indicated 92 species in Peninsular Malaysia are threatened;
- Undertaking in situ and ex situ conservation efforts with many different stakeholders to conserve and prevent endangered species from extinction, such as, FRIM-Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) collaboration to conserve meranti daun besar (Shorea hemsleyana), a CR species at UTP and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) campus in Seri Iskandar, Perak; and
- Contributing to the establishment of High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF) to protect selected threatened species, eg. the HCVF in Kledang Saiong Forest Reserve (FR), for the protection of Vatica abdulrahmaniana, managed by Perak Forestry Department and the HCVF in Kanching FR for safeguarding the CR as well as the hyper-endemic merawan kanching (Hopea subalata).
|Chua (second from left) briefing the importance of biodiversity conservation to the attendees during site visit.||FRIM and Sime Darby representatives posing for a group photograph at the Bukit Angin planting site.|
Also present at the event were the SDP Deputy to Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer, Upstream, Mohamad Helmy Othman Basha; the Yayasan Sime Darby Governing Council Member, Caroline Christine Russell; New Britain Palm Oil Limited Chairman Dato’ Henry Sackville Barlow; and Pahang Forestry Department Deputy Director Dato’ Samsu Anuar Nawi.