Taman Bukit Siol becomes Sarawak’s newest gazetted nature reserve

Abang Johari (centre) and Awang Tengah (first right) listening to a briefing on machinery with new technology.

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By Ling Hui and Cornelius Kadir Edison

KUCHING, March 26: Taman Bukit Siol at Petra Jaya has received blessings from the Sarawak government to become a gazetted nature reserve.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said he saw its potential to become “a forest in a city” with various species of trees, where it could someday be a fine place for recording local films.

“This is a good location for movie-making, like what we see on TV Sarawak (TVS) where many people visit the bridge.

“What I’m saying here is that this recreational space has a lot of benefits,” he said during the celebration of the state-level International Forest Day 2021 at Bukit Siol, Petra Jaya.

Adding on, he said if development and management are done properly at the park, it could be better than one of the renowned nature reserves in Kuala Lumpur.

This nature reserve is only part of the forest restoration programme undertaken by the state government.

Abang Johari said it is a policy the Sarawak has to remember the environment when developing the state towards becoming a fully developed region by 2030.

He said there is also new technology being explored and discovered by the Sarawak Forestry Department (SFD) together with Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) on developing machinery that could help increase the accuracy and speed of planting trees.

“Just now, I was briefed that there are machines that can dig soil and plant at the same time.

“Actually I suggested to them that instead of wheels, we should also use caterpillar tracks because of our landscape, and that can be controlled remotely through a device, meaning that you can plant at a faster speed and more accurate in terms of measurement,” he said.

With that, he congratulated SFD for its efforts in cooperation with UPM to implement new technology in Sarawak’s forest restoration initiatives.

During the ceremony, SFD also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB), Sime Darby Plantation (SDP) and UPM to establish cooperation in environmental restoration and conservation especially in water catchment areas and research.

Also present at the event were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan and SFD director Datu Hamden Mohammad.—DayakDaily