35 million trees to be planted by 2025

Dr Annuar (second from right) presenting Pansar Holding Bhd managing director Datuk Jason Tai with a tree sapling at the launch of Le Tour De Restoration.

SARAWAK is planting at least seven million trees a year to meet its target of 35 million trees in the state in the next four years.

State Forest Department director Datuk Hamden Mohammad said the move was in line with the national “100 Million Tree Planting Campaign” by the Federal Government that started this year.

“Based on this commitment, the Sarawak Forest Department (SFD) has proposed to the state government to further strengthen the implementation of the Forest Landscape Restoration Programme in the state,” he said.

He added that Sarawak had from January to Oct 18 this year planted 6,790,809 trees throughout the state.

Last year the number of trees planted was 10,452,607.

Hamden said this in his speech during the Sibu launch of Le Tour De Restoration, also known as Greening Sarawak Campaign.

His speech was read by his deputy Happysupina Sait.

The Greening Sarawak Campaign, which has taken place in Kuching, Kapit and Sarikei, will later head to Miri, Bintulu and Lawas in November.

Sarawak Housing and Local Government Assistant Minister Dr Annuar Rapaee, who launched the campaign, wanted housing developers in the state to also plant trees around their development projects.

Based on his observation, he said most new housing projects were concrete jungles without a single tree in sight.

“I am very sad to see many housing developers building lots of houses, but not planting even one tree around the area,” he said, adding that that was what he noticed at the construction of 800 units of the People’s Housing Project in Kemuyang.

“That is why I have suggested to Happysupina to plant trees at the Kemuyang housing project,” said Dr Annuar.

SFD, he said, would need to start planting trees there now as the seedlings would need between 10 and 20 years to mature.

He said more trees were needed as the air was polluted with harmful gases from factories and automobiles.

“We need to restore our forest now as we do not want our future generation to see a state without any forest.

“If we do not restore our trees now, our oxygen supply will be depleted,” he said.

He advised those involved in reforestation not to plant trees for profit but to think of it as an investment for health.

Dr Annuar also said he would work with the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) and Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) to ensure Sibu would have two national parks.

“This will include the 121.4ha Taman Rimba.”

Such effort, he said, was in response to the Chief Minister’s vision as he had emphasised on greening the state.

“Today is the starting point.

“We have a long way to go but I am sure we can do it.

“We need to plant trees for recreational purposes as well,” he added.

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