KUALA SELANGOR: Tree saplings were planted in a bid to rehabilitate a section of the Raja Muda Musa Forest Reserve here by volunteers from Putrajaya’s Economic Planning Unit (EPU) recently.
The 80 volunteers were among participants of a two-day corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme organised by Tourism Selangor and the Selangor Forestry Department on April 20 and April 21.
Mission accomplished... the 80 participants trekked through the swamp and planted 400 young trees.
“The programme is important as it replants trees that were lost during land encroachment in the late 1990s and early 2000s,” said Global Environment Centre (GEC) programme officer Nagarajan Rengasamy.
Nagarajan had earlier briefed the volunteers on the 24,000-hectare forest reserve in Bestari Jaya which is part of the North Selangor Peat Swamp Forest (NSPSF) system.
Together with the Sungai Karang Forest Reserve, the site is home to many species of plants, insects and other animals.
“Because swamp land is made up of almost 65 per cent organic material such as rotting trees, mud soil and water, the area is rich with biodiversity,” said Nagarajan.
The swamp forest serves as a natural flood mitigation system that is almost 16,000 years old.
Deep depressions in the ground trap rain water and prevent flood waters from reaching urban areas.
Gazetted in 1990 by the state, the peat swamp forest is jointly managed by the Kuala Selangor District Council (MDKS) and the Selangor Forestry Department.
Each participant trekked for some 15 minutes through the soft swampy ground before planting the burung enggah saplings.
“It’s good to be able to plant a tree that will last for many decades more,” said EPU staff Norainie Ismail during the event.
Besides planting saplings, GEC also organisers CSR programmes which include building canals to prevent water from flowing out of the swamps.
The project is equally important as it maintains the water level so that the peat swamp does not catch fire during the drier parts of the year.