Sarawak tops tree planting up to May, says Abang Johari
Posted on : 13 Jun 2022  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari planting a tree to launch SEB’s 10-Year Integrated Tree Planting, Protection and Habitat Restoration Programme, while the others look on. – Photo by Roystein Emmor

KUCHING (June 13): As of May 30, a total of 33,162,534 trees have been planted nationwide with Sarawak topping the list with 12,247,202 trees, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“As Malaysia’s largest territory, Sarawak can serve as a climate action leader by taking the initiative to show how we can balance development with sustainability.

“We are already committed to maintaining our forests through nature-based initiatives such as tree planting. Recognising this, the Sarawak government is committing to planting 35 million trees by 2025,” he said at the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony between Sarawak Energy (SEB) and Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) yesterday.

He also launched SEB’s 10-Year Integrated Tree Planting, Protection and Habitat Restoration Programme after the MOU signing ceremony.

Abang Johari pointed out that the state’s effort supports Malaysia’s ‘Greening Malaysia Programme’, which aims to plant 100 million trees by 2025.

“While companies like Sarawak Energy are making deliberate efforts to balance development with environmental sustainability by adopting international best practices and introducing strategic changes, nature-based solutions are also essential to mitigating climate and safeguarding ecosystems.

“We are at the top of the list. Sarawak Energy’s 10-Year Integrated Tree Planting, Protection and Habitat Restoration Programme will further increase these numbers,” he said.

The MOU signing formalised a partnership for the planting and protection of trees and conducting other biodiversity related research projects across SEB’s assets, facilities, locations and project areas in Sarawak.

Abang Johari pointed out that SEB has the advantage in the programme, as they can get tax deduction.

“You can request for tax deduction, which is 10 per cent of the (total annual) aggregate income of SEB under this programme. So just plant a lot of trees.

“Sarawak is serious in planting trees while at the same time in becoming carbon stock. Planting trees can store carbon. It becomes part of our carbon trading, that is why we have amended our Forest Ordinance and Land Code so that we have the framework on how to manage the question of sustainability,” he said.

He added with that, carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) will become the key in the state’s Post Covid-19 Development Strategies 2030 (PCDS 2030).

He said environmental sustainability is now very much part of the global conversation in the face of climate change, an issue that is compromising natural habitats and communities across the world.

“Malaysia will not be spared from the impact of climate change, with the ‘Climate Change Adaptation Framework for Water Sectors’ report by the National Water Research Institute of Malaysia indicating that we are vulnerable and at risk.

“Because of that, Sarawak is also looking into nature-based climate actions,” he said.

Meanwhile, Abang Johari said the state government will upgrade the Piasau Nature Reserve in Miri with an allocation of RM30 million.

This is among other conservation efforts including gazetting Bukit Siol as a nature reserve, upgrading Bukit Lima Nature Reserve in Sibu, and looking into the urban renewal of Bukit Assek in Sibu.

Among those present were Minister of Utilities and Telecommunications Datuk Julaihi Narawi, Deputy Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh, SEB chairman Datuk Amar Abdul Hamed Sepawi.