Tree planting plan gets thumbs up

Sivakumar says among trees that can be planted include mangrove trees that could help to protect coastal areas from erosion.

ENVIRONMENTAL non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Johor are lauding the state government’s initiative to plant four million trees by the end of 2025.

Kelab Alami principal adviser Dr Serina Rahman said it was a good move that would help to combat climate change and bring urban and rural biodiversity.

“It is a great initiative that can help maintain greenery.

“The target can be achieved if the state government works closely with NGOs, including providing funds.

“It will be better if the state government purchases tree seedlings from local communities instead of big entities.

“This can help those struggling from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, to earn an income from tree sales,” she said.

Dr Serina also said that funds should be allocated for the monitoring of trees and their maintenance for them to grow healthily.

“This will be far more effective than a one-off tree planting event that may be forgotten easily.

“It is also important for us to know the reasons for planting more trees, to ensure the true purpose is achieved,” she added.

Johor Green Earth Society president P. Sivakumar said the initiative should be carried out strategically, including planning the best locations to plant trees for the desired outcome.

“We need more information on the right areas to plant trees as well as the type of species that should be planted in the various locations.

“Among the trees that can be planted are mangrove trees as they protect coastal areas from erosion.

“Many marine lives also reproduce in these areas and a lack of trees endangers their existence in the long run,” he said.

He also urged for more trees to be grown in urban areas.

Sivakumar said putting a stop to logging activities in Johor would benefit both the environment and the people.

Malaysian Nature Society vice-president Vincent Chow said more details on the tree planting initiative was needed so that more people could participate to help achieve the objective.

“It is crucial that we know the type of trees the state government wants to plant and suitable areas to plant them.

“This is because the type of trees that can be planted in one area may not be suitable in another place,” he said.

He hopes that the state government focuses on planting local trees as there is a wide variety in the forest.

During the recent state assembly sitting, state health and environment committee chairman R. Vidyananthan said the state government was targeting to plant four million trees by the end of 2025 or 800,000 trees per year in Johor.

He had said that the programme was important as it would help retain green areas, in addition to preserving forests.

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