3,000 saplings add to sustainability drive

Posted on 09 Mar 2024
Source of News: New Sarawak Tribune

by Nura V Lorna, 9 March 2024

Dr Hazland (third right) watering a tree sapling

SIMUNJAN: A total of 3,000 mixed indigenous tree saplings have been planted in the Sabal Forest Reserve in the continuing effort to maintain over 50 per cent forest cover in Sarawak.

Deputy Minister of Energy and Environmental Sustainability Datuk Dr Hazland Abang Hipni lauded the initiative, which was organised by the Natural Resources and Environment Board Sarawak (NREB).

He said the tree planting programme, which is part of the 30th anniversary celebration of NREB Sarawak, is a significant step towards securing a sustainable future for generations to come.

“Through initiatives like this, we align ourselves with sustainable development principles and fortify our commitments towards climate adaptation.

“Each sapling we plant today is a living pledge, a pledge to our children and the generations to come that we will not compromise the health of our planet for short-term gains,” he said.

He said this when officiating at the tree planting programme at Sabal Forest Reserve on today (March 9).

Despite their importance, Dr Hazland said forests face unprecedented threats such as deforestation and habitat destruction, leading to the loss of precious ecosystems and exacerbating the adverse effects of climate change.

Dr Hazland (seated, third left) during a photocall with others

Participants from involved agencies join in planting tree saplings

As such, he emphasised the crucial role trees play in the ecosystem.

“Trees are not only the providers of oxygen and clean air but also serve as a source of food, medicine, and shelter for wildlife. Furthermore, they play a crucial role in climate regulation, soil erosion prevention, and biodiversity preservation.”

“This initiative transcends mere tree planting; it signifies the cultivation of an ethos of environmental consciousness and a sense of responsibility towards our planet.

“It epitomises the spirit of collaboration and partnership across sectors to effectuate meaningful change,” he added.

On the same note, Sarawak Environmental Quality Controller Jack Liam highlighted the increasing impact of climate change on Sarawak, emphasising that it is a global threat affecting lives worldwide.

He noted that Sarawak is not immune to these effects, with occurrences of natural disasters such as landslides, floods, and prolonged droughts becoming more frequent.

As such, he stressed the importance of taking action, even at the individual level, to mitigate activities related to the emission of greenhouse gases.

“Therefore, the tree planting initiative we are carrying out today is not only a step towards preserving the local environment but also our small contribution to reducing the impact of climate change and cooling the planet.

“In addition to trees playing a role in absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, they also help maintain ecosystem balance and reduce the adverse effects of global warming,” he said.

The programme was made possible with the collaboration of the Sarawak Forestry Department, which contributed by providing the venue, seedlings, tents, staff, and various forms of support.

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