Planting to protect peat swamp forest in Selangor

Foo (right) planting trees together with programme partners, BOH team members and volunteers at the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve in Selangor.

Some 130 volunteers turned up at the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve (KLNFR) in Kuala Langat, Selangor, to plant 600 trees to help restore peat swamp forest and make a difference for future generations.

Their efforts, which were part of an ongoing programme, were carried out under a collaboration between Sahabat Gambut Asli Temuan (SGAT), Global Environment Centre (GEC) and the Selangor Forestry Department (SFD).

The event was also held in conjunction with the International Day for Biological Diversity celebrated annually on May 22.

The theme this year is “From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity”.

Peatland plays 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).

This includes the long-running Monthly Tree Planting programme jointly conducted by GEC, SFD, 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 extension 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 ongoing care and maintenance of these trees.

BOH Plantations Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Jason Foo 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,” he said.

“At BOH’s Bukit Cheeding plantation, which is adjacent to the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve, 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.

“We are pleased to play a role in raising awareness on the restoration and sustainability of our peat swamp forests,” said Foo.

Commenting on peatland restoration of the KLNFR, GEC director Faizal Parish said, “Over the last few years, collaborative efforts to restore our peat swamp forests have resulted in positive developments.

“With the strong support of Selangor Forestry Department, active involvement of SGAT, private-public partnerships as well as enhanced public engagement, we have been able to establish a sustainable peatland management approach that helps in conserving peatland value, preserving our rich biodiversity, maintaining ecosystem services and controlling climate change.”

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