Minister: Mangroves identified as key ‘blue carbon’ sinks with high potential for carbon trading initiatives

Len Talif speaking to DayakDaily during an exclusive interview on April 9, 2024.

By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, April 9: Mangroves are about five times more efficient carbon sequesters than mixed dipterocarp forests (MDF) in terms of both terrestrial and underground carbon, making them excellent carbon sinks and hence the name ‘blue carbon’, said Datuk Len Talif Salleh.

The Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Urban Development stated that a portion of the Rajang mangroves has been designated for carbon trading initiatives, with approximately 15,000 hectares attracting interest from various parties.


“Sarawak has the largest mangrove forest conservation area in Malaysia, with the Rajang mangroves being the largest in Sarawak.

“The Rajang mangroves cover almost 60,000 hectares, with 10,700 hectares designated as part of the Rajang Mangroves National Park.

“Not all of them are under the national park. Only 10,700 hectares were constituted under the national park in the year 2000. And the balance of that is still state land,” he told DayakDaily during an exclusive interview today.

He went on to say that the Rajang mangroves are rich in biodiversity, with dolphins, proboscis monkeys, birds, and crocodiles.

“So, Rajang Mangroves National Park is one of the areas we’ve already identified as a crocodile sanctuary. We’ve identified the location, the river, and the system in that national park where we can set up a sanctuary for them,” he remarked.

Len Talif also expressed an interest in sustainable economic activities in the mangrove area, such as crab farming and ‘kuyung’ cultivation, while balancing conservation efforts and development.

“When we talk about the Tagang system, we mention fish. We are now looking into the Tagang system for ‘kuyung’ and other marine life. So there is a lot of potential,” he added.

The minister further raised concerns about balancing development, conservation, and the preservation of mangrove ecosystems, given their importance as a natural defense against erosion and tsunamis. — DayakDaily