Sarawak Forest Department using new ‘seed ball technology’ to create greener environment

Abang Johari (centre) holding a seedling during the launch of the campaign while Len Talif (left) and Awang Tengah (right) look on. Photo Credit: Information Department of Sarawak.

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KUCHING, Sept 30: The Sarawak Forest Department will use an innovative approach to plant more trees using a new ‘seed ball’ technology.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the approach was a result of the research and development (R&D) by the department towards creating a greener environment following a briefing on the application of the new technology today.

“The seed ball will be dropped from a drone onto the soil. From there onwards, it will grow on its own as the minerals are in the seeds.

“Within the seed ball, there is fertiliser and this seed ball will planted and grow.

“I am sure the staff will pursue new ways to improve our green environment,” he said during a press conference after launching the Le Tour De Restoration Greening Sarawak’s Campaign at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) Complex here today.

On R&D to create a greener and sustainable environment in Sarawak, Abang Johari said the State government has forged a collaboration with Universiti Putra Malaysia Bintulu branch.

He outlined that one of the focuses of the Sarawak Post Covid-19 Development Strategy towards 2030 is to create a sustainable environment.

As such, he said the Sarawak government will plant more trees at the degraded forest areas in the State using new technology while at the same time conserving the environment.

Abang Johari disclosed that the State government has provided RM10 million to Sarawak Forest Department for the restoration programme this year while the Federal government through the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry has allocated RM10.37 million for the greening programme in Malaysia out of which RM6.37 million was for the planting of mangroves.

He added RM62 million has been allocated for Sarawak Forest Department under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) for restoration programmes throughout the State.

Abang Johari who is also Urban Development and Resources Minister said the Sarawak government aims to plant 35 million trees for five years from 2021 to 2025.

As of today (Sept 30), Abang Johari disclosed that the State has planted 6.78 million of trees this year while a total of 10.45 million of trees were planted last year.

As for the greening Sarawak’s campaign, he said the Sarawak Forest Department will distribute local species of forest saplings and fruit trees to 15 agencies and other departments.

It is aimed at encouraging the public to create a greener environment while the Sarawak Forest Department has prepared 50,000 seedlings to be distributed to participants of the campaign.

The campaign will be implemented in a few locations throughout the State such as in Sri Aman, Sarikei, Sibu, Kapit, Bintulu, Miri and Lawas according to schedule.

Among those present at the launching of the Le Tour De Restoration Greening Sarawak’s Campaign were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, Assistant Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh, Federal Secretary of Sarawak Datuk Amir Omar, Deputy State Secretary (Socio Economic Transformation) Dato Sri Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki, Deputy State Secretary (Rural Transformation) Datu Ik Pahon Joyik, Deputy State Secretary (Performance and Service Delivery Transformation) Datu Dr Sabariah Putit, Urban Development and Natural Resources Ministry’s permanent secretary Datu Zaidi Mahdi and Sarawak Forest Department director Datu Hamden Mohammad. — DayakDaily