SFC joins hands with Korean organisation AFoCO to restore S’wak’s mangroves for climate change mitigation

Len Talif (fourth left) flanked by Abang Arabi (fourth right) on his left and Pham (third left) on his right, with others in a group photo following the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement for mangrove reforestation at Rajang Mangroves National Park on April 5, 2024. Photo credit: SFC

By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, April 9: The Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) is collaborating with the Asian Forest Cooperation Organisation (AFoCO), an intergovernmental organisation based in Seoul, South Korea, to carry out mangrove reforestation efforts at the Rajang Mangroves National Park.

Deputy Natural Resources and Urban Development Minister Datuk Len Talif Salleh, who is also SFC director, commended AFoCO for its dedication to engaging in Sarawak’s community-based programmes.

“AFoCO is an ASEAN Foundation group that is interested in rehabilitation efforts, particularly in the national park area, to replant degraded areas.

“They are a Korean group, and this is their first time coming over to Sarawak to participate in the state’s community-based programmes. So participating in these programmes is a good start for this organisation,” he told DayakDaily during an exclusive interview today.

Last Friday (April 5), Len Talif witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for mangrove reforestation at Rajang Mangroves National Park between SFC chief executive officer (CEO) Abang Arabi Abang Aimran and AFoCO Project and Programme Division director Dr Pham Duc Chien.

The corporate social responsibility (CSR) project’s goals include restoring degraded mangrove areas in Rajang Mangroves National Park, improving rural livelihoods and communities surrounding Rajang Mangroves National Park, and supporting climate change mitigation by restoring degraded mangroves, which are one of the most important carbon sinks and buffers that protect Sarawak’s coasts.

The funding allocated for Phase 1 totals RM342,000, with an estimated completion time of eight months for the project, and involves replanting 2,200 mangrove seedlings across two hectares of degraded sites.

The proposed species are Rhizophora mucronata and Rhizophora apiculata.

“This project is a community-based programme with a small budget, but it is a good start for them to get involved. We are also looking into a long-term collaboration with AFoCO.

“During the event, I suggested to them that they try to connect with large companies in Korea. Hyundai, Samsung, and Kia, for example, can all participate in carbon trading and offsets. So this is a good starting point for us. That is why, while the amount is small, it is a good start,” Len Talif added. — DayakDaily