One tree for one Malaysia in Earth Day campaign.
PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia has launched a nationwide campaign to plant 26 million trees by 2014 to commemorate Earth Day on Thursday.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas launched the campaign, carrying the theme "Green the Earth: One Citizen, One Tree", here.
The 26 million trees represent the estimated 26 million population of the country.
Some 16,200 saplings were planted during the launch, with 500 planted at a site in Precinct 5 opposite the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) here.
The other trees were planted at selected sites in Alor Star (Kedah), Kangar (Perlis), Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Seri Iskandar (Perak), Bachok (Kelantan), Kemaman (Terengganu), Pulau Melaka (Melaka), Seremban (Negeri Sembilan), Kulai (Johor), Temerloh (Pahang), Esplanade (Penang), Hulu Selangor (Selangor), Kota Kinabalu (Sabah) and Petra Jaya (Sarawak).
The types of tree planted include the cengal, cempaka, keruing, balau and kalumpang.
Uggah said the 26 million trees would be planted in stages and the process would be monitored by the relevant departments and agencies under the ministry.
"It is estimated that 38,470 hectares of denuded and logged forests, coastal areas and urban centres will be planted by 2014," he said during the launch, which was also attended by Deputy Natural Resources and Environment Minister Tan Sri Joseph Kurup.
Uggah said the campaign was in line with the Government's efforts to ensure that at least 50% of the country had forest cover in accordance with Malaysia's commitment made at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992.
The forest cover currently was 56.4%, but if agricultural areas were taken into account, the acreage would rise to 75% of the total land area, he said.
Uggah said it was estimated that at the end of the campaign, in 2014, some 200,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide would have been absorbed due to the trees planted.
This figure was expected to rise if the planting continued nationwide, he added.
In KANGAR, Perlis State Secretary Datuk Mohd Zabidi Zainal represented Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Md Isa Sabu in leading the people at planting karas saplings in Sungai Batu Pahat near the state capital.
Going by the population of Perlis, more than 250,000 trees will be planted in the state by the end of the campaign period in 2014.
In reading out the Menteri Besar's speech at the event, Mohd Zabidi asked for the people's cooperation in the tree-planting campaign to make it a success.