IC-CFS continues public awareness program with the Johor State Forestry Department as part of the 100 Million Tree-Planting Campaign

The Improving Connectivity in the Central Forest Spine (IC-CFS) Project today launched Greening CFS Corridor, a public awareness program with the Johor State Forestry Department following the first Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) programme in Perak last November. The Greening CFS Corridor commemorates the 100 Million Tree-Planting Campaign under the Greening Malaysia Programme by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (KeTSA).

Through the Greening CFS Corridor, over 3,000 tree saplings consisting of native species mainly wild food tree plants and non-dipterocarps species will be planted including Merbau, Tampoi, and Kerdas. The Mersing Forest Reserve which is a part of the IC-CFS ecological corridor and a subset to the Endau Rompin- Ulu Sedili Forest Complex is home to many wildlife and Orang Asli Community.

The tree planting activities would not only benefit the wildlife around the ecological corridor but also a step in promoting carbon sequestration. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), forests in Peninsular Malaysia provide climate regulation, soil protection, carbon storage and sequestration. Current carbon storage of Peninsular Malaysia stood at over 1.139 billions tons with 85% of it falls within the Central Forest Spine (CFS).

Compartment 66 of the Mersing Forest Reserve: tree planting area for the Greening CFS Corridor

As part of the CEPA Program, the Greening CFS Corridor will cover a total of 1.0 hectares and involve multiple parties including Orang Asli Community, FELDA representatives and IC-CFS Partners, Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP), and Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM). With funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), it provides an extension of biodiversity conservation and wildlife rehabilitation efforts especially in improving the ecological linkages of IC-CFS around the Forest Reserve of Labis Timur - Lenggor - Mersing.

Following a commitment made by over 100 world leaders including Malaysia at the recent 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26), Malaysia is committed to conserving the affected areas and recognizing the role of Indigenous community in protecting the forest. With Endau Rompin Forest Reserve being the second largest mega-microbial diversity area in Malaysia, this is an added value towards the conservation of IC-CFS critical linkages Endau Rompin-Ulu Sedili Forest Complex, which is also home to Orang Asli communities.

“As a country rich in tropical forest biodiversity with over 55.3% forested area, conservation plays a crucial role in the national carbon balance. We hope the Greening CFS Corridor could strengthen the IC-CFS Project especially in implementing sustainable land use and forest management that will not only support but also preserve its biodiversity and ecosystem services,” said Dato’ Hj. Salim bin Aman, the Johor State Forestry Director.

IC-CFS is planning to conduct the next CEPA program in Pahang by early 2022, supported by the Pahang State Forestry Department with the target of ecological linkages enrichment.