Sarawak tropical peat researchers shine at Centennial, IUSS 2024 congress in Italy

Lulie (seventh left) with the Tropi delegation in Florence, Italy to attend IUSS 2024.
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By DayakDaily Team

KUCHING, May 27: Sarawak Tropical Peat Research Institute (Tropi) made an important contribution to the Centennial Celebration and Congress of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) 2024 in Florence, Italy from May 19 to 21 May.

According to a press release, the congress, attended by more than 1,500 scientists worldwide, featured more than 90 sessions addressing various societal needs, including agriculture, forestry, environmental conservation, urban planning, energy and education.

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During the Centennial celebration, Tropi director Datu Dr Lulie Melling and Dr Claudio Zaccone from the University of Verona, Italy, successfully organised a session titled “Peatlands In A Changing World”.

Tropi, under the esteemed leadership of its director Lulie, played a crucial role in representing Malaysia. The ten-member delegation from the institute actively participated in various sessions.

Among them was Nicodemus Ujih Michael Brenden who gave a compelling oral presentation titled “Impact of Liming on Peat Decomposition and Carbon Dioxide Emissions in Oil Oalm Plantations on Tropical Peat Soils in Sarawak, Malaysia”.

Malaysia’s presence was reinforced by six impactful poster presentations by Tropi researchers.

These posters addressed various aspects of peatland research, from greenhouse gas emissions in the soil to the chemical characteristics of tropical peat soil profiles. Notable presentations included:

  • Dr Auldry Chaddy Petrus Rudut: “Examining the Influences and Temporal Variations of Soil Greenhouse Gas Emissions in an Oil Palm Plantation on Tropical Peatland”
  • Dr Faustina Elfrida Sangok: “Chemical Characteristics of Tropical Peat Soil Profiles in Sarawak, Malaysia”
  • Dr Sharon Lau Yu Ling: “Deep Collar Insertion Method for Soil Respiration Component Separation in an Oil Palm Plantation on Tropical Peatland in Sarawak, Malaysia”
  • Kevin Dinggun Kanang: “Effect of Liming on Micronutrients in Tropical Peat Soil: A 5-Year Field Study”
  • Amelia Jackob: “Influence of Peat Humification Degree on Soil CO2 and CH4 Emissions from Different Land Uses and Forest Types in Tropical Peatland”
  • Felicia Unda Anggat: “Comparative Analysis of Long-Term Mineral Fertilizer Impact on Groundwater Nutrients in an Oil Palm Plantation and a Drained Secondary Forest on Tropical Peatland”

Tropi’s active participation in the conference emphasised the institute’s commitment to advancing tropical peat and peatland research, which is critically important to Sarawak.

Peatlands are important carbon sinks that store large amounts of carbon. Restoring degraded peatlands and advancing soil research can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance carbon sequestration, critical to mitigating climate change.

Economically, improved soil management would increase agricultural productivity and ensure higher yields and better crop quality, thus supporting food security and the agricultural economy. — DayakDaily

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