RAUB: The Pahang Forestry Department (JPNP) has replanted 2,000 forest and fruit tree saplings of various species in an area covering eight hectares at the Batu Talam permanent forest reserve previously occupied by illegal Musang King durian farms.

JPNP deputy director (Development) Datuk Samsu Anuar Nawi said among the trees planted were Meranti Temak Nipis, Merawan Siput Jantan, Beruas and Sentul, with the assistance of over 130 volunteers from 23 non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

The programme was a part of the Five Million Trees @ Pahang Planting campaign, which aims to re-green deforested areas in the state.

“For today, the planting area is divided into 38 lots with each NGO acting as a foster parent to the planted trees so they can return to see their growth.

“Besides Batu Talam, the programme will be expanded to other places that need rehabilitation and conservation such as Tasik Chini and coastal areas in Pekan district that face erosion,” he told reporters when met after the programme today.

Samsu Anuar said JPNP also welcomed more NGOs to support the department’s efforts by getting involved in various rehabilitation programmes in Pahang.

Meanwhile, a 65-year-old government retiree, P. Kanjanahmalar, who lives in Air Putih, Kuantan, described her involvement with other six members of the Malaysian Nature Society in the programme as ‘their legacy to future generations.

“We know that forests are important to prevent natural disasters such as floods and landslides, especially in hilly areas such as the Batu Talam permanent forest reserve.

“Hopefully the trees that are planted will survive and the forest reserve will return to the way it was,” she added.

Also taking part in the programme were seven members of the Pahang Kelana Scout Council, with its chairman Asmawi Sulaiman saying that the team left Kuantan last night so the participants can attend the early morning briefing session.

“We will always support the state government’s effort to replant the forests,” he added.-Bernama