Lulie Melling re-elected president of Malaysian Peat Society

Lulie (fifth from left, back row) attending the IPS Annual Convention 2018 in Rotterdam, Netherland.

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KUCHING, May 8: Sarawak Tropical Peat Research Institute (Tropi) director Dr Lulie Melling has been re-elected as the sixth president of the Malaysian Peat Society (MPS) for the 2019-2021 term.

The new committee members were elected during their 9th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held here on Saturday.

Lulie, in her acceptance speech, said the newly elected committee members would continue to live up to expectations and fulfil its objectives on the contribution to the society, industries and the government towards economic development, social progress and environmental protection on both peatland development and conservation.

She firmly believed that with the strong support of both the federal and state governments, the responsible management and wise use of tropical peatland for agriculture development would be in good order.

She said the society was only 10 years old and comparably young to the past experiences that had been shouldered by the society.

The highlights of MPS 2016-2018 activities was the 15th International Peat Congress 2016 and Lulie being the first Asian to be elected onto the Executive Board of the International Peat Society (IPS) in September 2018.

In 2016, the Malaysian Peat Society, together with Tropi, had managed to successfully organise the Peat Congress for the first time in Asia, away from Europe and North America.

It was also hailed as the most successful Peat Congress in its 60 years history. It was a great opportunity to create awareness on the reality of tropical peat development for agriculture.

Several MPS members had the opportunity to attend and participate in seminars, conferences and lectures such as the 10th International Symposium on Plant Soil Interaction at Low pH in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; International Conference on Beneficial Microbes 2018 in Kuching, Sarawak; American Geoscience Union (AGU) 2018 in Washington, USA; IPS Annual Convention 2018 in Rotterdam, Netherland; European Geoscience Union (EGU) 2017 General Assembly in Vienna, Austria; Joint conference of AsiaFlux Workshop 2017 and the 15th Anniversary Celebration of ChinaFLUX in Beijing, China; IPS Annual Convention 2017 in Aberdeen, Scotland; the 5th EUROSOIL International Congress 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey; AsiaFlux Mini Workshop 2016 on Remote Sensing & Ecological/Environmental Monitoring in Taipei, Taiwan; the International Conference on the Oil Palm and Environment (ICOPE) 2016 in Bali, Indonesia and the 14th Meeting of the IOBC-WPRS Working Group on Biological Control of Fungal & Bacterial Plant Pathogens in Berlin, Germany.

MPS will be hosting and organising three major events in the coming years, including hosting the workshop on ‘Haze and biomass burning in Asia — A systems perspective to reveal opportunities with benefits for long-term transformations’, a project in collaboration with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and Academy of Sciences Malaysia (July, 2019).

It will also be organising the 17th ASIAFLUX Workshop in 2020. ASIAFLUX is a regional research network bringing together scientists from universities and institutions in Asia to study the exchanges of carbon dioxide, water vapour, and energy between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere across daily to inter-annual time scales.

The third event is organising the Soil Judging Contest in 2021.

Lulie said MPS is a non-governmental and a non-profit organization that aims to foster national and international co-operation concerning the responsible management and wise use of peat and peatlands.

The society serves all those involved in peatlands and peat through the promotion, gathering, exchange and communication of knowledge and experience, by means of events and projects which address the need for responsible management and conservation. MPS, as a National Committee in the International Peat Society, is also a platform to affiliate with other national and international research organisations.

Membership of the society consists of individual members and corporate members. Both individual and corporate membership are open to all who are interested directly or indirectly in the study, conservation and utilisation of peat and peatlands.

Meanwhile, Lulie will be attending the International Peat Society (IPS) Executive Board and accompanied by Dr Angela Tang to represent the national committee at the Annual Assembly in Bremen, Germany, on May 13 to 15, 2019.

Currently, there are 16 National Committees affiliated to IPS i.e. Canada, China, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the USA.

The IPS is the sole global professional body that deals with the development, protection, management and restoration of peatlands and peat, as well as related research. — DayakDaily