Timber industry: Kelampayan tree clone to undergo field trials soon as part of forest landscape restoration initiative

Dato Henry Lau Lee Kong

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By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, Sept 30: A new mutant clone of an indigenous tree species, the Kelampayan KESTAMAS-22, will undergo field trials soon in an attempt to unlock its potential for forest plantation development and forest landscape restoration (FLR).

Sarawak Timber Association (STA) secretary Dato Henry Lau Lee Kong said the association is currently funding three research and development (R&D) projects on Kelampayan and Batai trees.

These projects, he said, are now in full swing after being delayed by the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic and had produced some significant results.

“For example, another new mutant Kelampayan clone, KESTAMAS-22 was produced from a candidate plus tree in March this year by the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), following the discovery of the first mutant clone KESTAMAS-19 in August 2019.

“The new mutant clone shall be undergoing field trials soon,” he said when presenting the STA Workings Report at the STA Annual General Meeting held at Wisma STA here today.

At the same time, Lau mentioned that the STA is also part of the task force committee formed by the Sarawak government following the floating wood debris incident at Baleh River in August 2021.

“As part of the task force, the association had, throughout 2022, participated in briefing on salvage logging guidelines for areas that will be inundated by the Baleh Hydroelectric Plant (HEP) project as well as engagement workshop on biomass removal plan for Baleh HEP.

“In both of these engagements, the association had raised their hope for the Sarawak government to consider economic viability for the operators to continue ground operations when making decisions,” he added.

Also present was STA chairman Datuk Wong Kie Yik. — DayakDaily