Greening CFS Corridor: Aligning Awareness with Action

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

The Greening CFS Corridor, a public awareness programme with the Johor State Forestry Department officially launched

The Improving Connectivity in the Central Forest Spine (IC-CFS) Project on the 6th of December 2021 launched the Greening CFS Corridor, a public awareness programme 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, Johor, 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 be a step in promoting carbon sequestration. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), forests in Peninsular Malaysia provide climate regulation, soil protection, carbon storage and sequestration. Current carbon storage in Peninsular Malaysia stood at over 1.139 billion tons with 85% of it falls within the Central Forest Spine (CFS).

Greening CFS Corridor: Aligning Awareness with Action
Compartment 66 of the Mersing Forest Reserve: tree planting area for the Greening CFS Corridor

As part of the CEPA Programme, 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 recognising the role of the 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 programme in Pahang by early 2022, supported by the Pahang State Forestry Department with the target of ecological linkages enrichment.

The Improving Connectivity in the Central Forest Spine (IC-CFS) is a project seeking to conserve biodiversity and ecosystem services in the priority forest landscapes within the CFS.

Incepted in 2014, the project is led by the Forestry Department of Peninsular Malaysia in collaboration with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) and Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) with the support of The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant.

The main objective of IC-CFS is to strengthen the federal and state capacity in executing the CFS Master Plan to enhance forest connectivity and law enforcement against wildlife and forestry crimes. The project is composed of three components namely planning, compliance monitoring, and enforcement framework for integrated forest landscape management; sustainable forest landscape management of three priority forest landscapes within the CFS; and diversification of financing sources for conservation.

Established under the 2005 National Physical Plan (NPP), the Central Forest Spine (CFS) serves as the backbone of the Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) network in Peninsular Malaysia. It comprises four main forest complexes; Banjaran Titiwangsa – Banjaran Bintang – Banjaran Nakawan; Taman Negara – Banjaran Timur; South-East Pahang, Chini and Bera Wetlands; and Endau Rompin National Park – Kluang Wildlife Reserves.

Spanning over 5.5 million square hectares, the CFS harbours critical mountain watersheds and catchment areas that supply water for 90% of the population. Home to a highly diverse range of flora and fauna species including the endangered Malayan tiger subspecies and Asian elephants, it provides climate regulation, soil protection, and carbon storage.

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