KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 6 (Bernama) — More than 12 million trees have been planted nationwide so far under the campaign to plant 26 million trees by 2014, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas disclosed Tuesday.
At the end of the campaign, it was envisaged that a total of 38,470 hectares of degraded forest, logged over forest and coastal areas would be planted with indigenous woody species, he said.
“We realize the potential and opportunity of planted forest. Thus, in the last five years, we aggresively established about 500,000 hectares of planted forest with commercial forest species and timber latex clone.
“This, I believe, will in a small way contribute to the achievement of the goal of increasing forest cover by at least 20 million hectares of all forest types by 2020 in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) region,” he said at the first Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Meeting of Minister Responsible for Forestry in Beijing, China.
His statement was made available to Bernama today.
Uggah Embas told the meeting that the tree planting programme was under the campaign themed “Greening the Earth: One Citizen One Tree” which was launched on April 22 last year in conjunction with the ‘Earth Day’.
The 26 million trees represent the estimated 26 million population of the country. The types of trees planted included the “cengal”, “pulai” “cempaka”, “keruing” and “meranti”.
Uggah Embas told the conference that Malaysia had practiced Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) and committed to maintain its land area covered with forest, of which it had been the government’s aspiration to have a minimum 50 percent of its total land under forest cover.
“We are pleased to inform that currently about 56.4 percent of our land area is under forest cover of which a total of 5.06 million hectares or 15 percent of its land area has been declared as protect forest,” he said.
According to the “Asia Pacific Forest and Forestry to 2020” report published in 2010 by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Malaysia has a per capita forest cover of 0.6 hectares.
He pointed out that the report had recognised that Malaysia accorded high priorities in environmental pretection and forest plantation expansion in the Asia Pacific region.
“In fact, based on 2010 figures, Malaysia has a per capita cover of 0.7 hectares, which is a significant achievement for a rapidly developing economy like Malaysia,” the minister added.