The Conference On Perak’s Central Forest Spine:
The Offing Of The State’s Biodiversity Bastion Ipoh, Perak
Bismillah hirrahman nirrahim.
Assalamualaikum warahmatullah hiwabarakatuh.
In the name of God most merciful and most benevolent. May peace be upon us all.
1. Congratulations YBhg Dato’ Haji Roslan bin Ariffin, Perak Director of Forestry and your team for organizing this important conference on Perak’s Central Forest Spine: The Offing Of The State’s Biodiversity Bastion, and thank you for inviting me.
My topic today is “Pragmatism Of The Tropical Rainforest The Living Collection.”
2. A translated quote from the holy Quran Surah Ar-‘ad verse 13:3
“And it is he who spread the earth and made in it firm mountains and rivers, and of all fruits he has made in it two kinds he makes the night cover the day; most surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect.”
3. It has taken us a long time to realize the importance of practicing sustainability in the various aspects of land and forest management, including logging, plantations and even development. As populations increase, so too must our cache of nature, for trees,plants and animals are equally important and essential to life as buildings, roads or technology.
Living in the twenty-first-century, we have the resources and the drive to restore our natural world. Now that we know this, it is up to us to do something about it.
4. We are blessed, living in a forest country where our soil is fertile. Reforestation is not an impossible task, and all we really need to begin with is a seed. Therefore, we can start by establishing the living collection or the in-situ.
5. What is a living collection?
A living collection is an area within a specific forest where we replant and reforest from scratch the trees that have existed previously in the said forest, including the rare, endemic and endangered species.
6. We can start with a nursery, which will include seed collection, germination and propagation as most of our seeds are recalcitrant and need to be replanted fast.
7. When the saplings are at the right height, they will be replanted into the degraded areas. This work goes on continously.
8. Establishing the living collection will help reforestation in the long run. Eventually, this area will be filled with a natural rich biodversity and ecosystem, and, most importantly, a collection of mother trees, which can help prevent the extinction of any of our trees.
9. In this living collection, trees for food chain for animals will be prepared, especially for the animal corridors, for example:
- Baccaurea ramiflora – burmase grape
- Syzygium cerinum – (kelat)
And too many more to mention.
10. It can bring back all the high value timber treesm for example belian, meranti, cengal, balau, and keruing to name a few.
11. In addition, ladies and gentlemen, the living collection can increase the potential of tapping into the active compounds of our indigenous flora and fauna which have many natural sought-after properties important in the production of pharmaceuticals. For example:
- Mahogany tree
- Pokok salam
- Ketum (anesthetic)
- Forest floor
- Perfumery – gaharu/kapur.
- Cosmetics – avocado
So much research and development can be done in the biodiversity of this centre.
13. (a) Most importantly, a portion of the seeds collected must be sent to the ex-situ or seed bank for futher R&D.
13. (b) It is also recommended that each living collection centre should have their own herbarium as well.
14. Our rainforest has immense scientific value and many of these potentials have not been realised, utilised or documented.
15. The living collection site can be a training centre for the youth and young foresters,
The Tropical Rainforest Training Programme conducted in Tanjung Malim, Perak opens up an oppurtunity to school leavers to learn about the forest practically. This training focuses on the ‘hands on’ approach to get the younger generation to understand the trees and its ecosystem in the forest.
16. Eco tourism too can also be created to bring more economy to the state. For example: Sabah used to earn MYR240 million per year on timber. But now, Sabah generates MYR5.2 billion annually for not cutting their trees and by practising selective logging.
17. The living collection center can practice exchange of saplings to help other degraded forests in our country and neighbouring countries.
Ladies and gentlemen,
18. Malaysia is blessed because we still have forests like the Danum Valley, Taman Negara Pahang and Endau Rompin to name a few, while the Royal Belum Forest remains the biggest forest reserve in Peninsular Malaysia – a precious asset Perak should be very proud of.
19. It is important that every designated forest, forest reserve, state park or national park has its own living collection. Every state government, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Evironment, and the forestry department should consider putting aside at least 5% of their forest area for the living collection to be kept for as long as the sun and the moon exists.
20. I have confidence that if we succeed, we can assure our future generations a Malaysia with great promise.
21. We have to take concerted actions now before it is too late, and it is my sincerest hope that all of us present here today will begin making that effort because surely, together, we can, and together, we must.
22. Inshaallah this evening the Perak State Government will sign an agreement with TRCRC to establish and operate the Tropical Rainforest Living Collection Banun.
23. On behalf of TRCRC, I would like to thank Yang Amat Berhormat Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, Menteri Besar Perak, and the Perak Forestry Department for their passion and enthusiasm to bring back our natural assets. There is no denying that there is much that needs to be done, but with our combined knowledge, effort and your support, we believe we can make things happen.
24. Allah S.W.T created the earth complete and then he created the human being. All these blessings are for the good of humankind and we as vicegerents (guardians) of the earth are entrusted to save and manage it well for perpetuity.
25. We are grateful to Allah almighty for blessing us with such an immense treasure.
Thank you and wassalam.