Category Archives: Mossy Forest Visits and Reforestation

Summary of REACH Reforestation Programme for the year 2017

by Cheam May Choo

For the year 2017, reforestation activities were mainly carried out  in a new site in Batu Gangan, Kuala Terla while the site in Gunung Brinchang, our biodiversity centre was used for research.

1. Batu Gangan site in Kuala Terla

On 24th of May 2017  REACH was awarded a grant of RM 50,000 to restore 2 hectares of reclaimed forest in the Batu Gangan forest reserves under the Greening of Cameron Highlands project. The site was located at the far reaches of our largest water catchment area, the Sungai Terla water catchment area.For this grant we had to plant 1200 endemic trees in 6 months from July to December 2017.

The Greening of Cameron Highlands project is basically a project formed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment NRE (which also includes involvement of NGOs) to undertake rehabilitation and  restoration of encroached forests reclaimed by the Government  following the crackdown on illegal land clearings and foreign workers which started in 2014.

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The first few visits in May and June 2017 were mainly to recee the area. Subsequently  we constructed a toilet and a covered area for participants. As this site was already a secondary forest we had to clear some undergrowth in order to plant the trees. We made many visits in June and July 2017 and we were assisted by 3 French volunteers namely Tom, Aurelien and Pablo and our local volunteers Dr Liau Tai Leong, Siva Das, Utaya Kumar, Roy Margaret, Encik Khairil Anwar, Ros Benjamin, Saraswathi Munusamy, Geogina Khong, Gopindran, Danial Harikh,Rajeswaran, Amizal and Kahfi.

In October and November 2017, schools joined in and they included SKConvent, SJKC Bertam Valley, SJKC Tanah Rata and SMK Ringlet. In all we made a total of 17 visits. Every visit was documented.

A video depicting these efforts can be viewed at  Restoration of disturbed forests in Cameron Highlands

The trees planted were mainly from seeds propagated many months earlier. Some were from wildings. The species include Ara,Geruk, Merpauh,Medang Serai, Medang Payung, Kelat, Ratsamala, Eugenia and Rhododendrons.

2.Gunung Brinchang site

Only one group Data Dimension came to do reforestation at this site ( 13th August 2017)as the area is almost entirely reforested. Data Dimension has been supporting us for many years and 2017 was no different.

For the coming years we hope to continue our work with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmnent to restore our highland forests.

 

 

Reforestation at Batu Gangan concludes

by Cheam May Choo

In the months of August and September 2017,  due to logistic difficulties our reforestation programme slowed . However we managed to complete the toilets and the covered rest area in time for the students who would be coming in the following months.  Site preparation continued with undergrowth being cleared.

Date: 3rd October 2017

31 students and 3 teachers from SK Convent, Tanah Rata planted 100 saplings. The facilitators were Mr Satya from EcoCameron , Saras and Vebry. Trees included Ara, Rhododendrons and Eugenia. At 8 am students were picked up from Tanah Rata and they reached the site around 9 am. After a briefing by Mr Satya , they planted the trees. Light refreshments were served and by 12 noon they headed back. This programme would be similar for all the other schools.

Volunteering experience in Bio D Research Centre Reforestation Program on the 20th September 2016

by Ng Sue Sze

The tour to the Mossy forest and the reforestation program was participated by 24 standard 6 students and two teachers from SJK (C) Bertam Valley, 3 volunteers, which included me and our facilitator from REACH, Melody. It was a rainy morning. Before we departed, we were given questionnaires to test our understanding of the importance of the Mossy forest.

The journey up to the watchtower, which is the highest point of Gunung Brinchang forest was quite winding. Luckily our tour guide drove steadily and we reached our destination safely. When we reached the watchtower, the scenery around us was misty due to the rain. Despite being misty, windy and chilly, we managed to clamber up the watchtower safely with the students and was able to snap a few decent pictures of the misty view. However, we had to take extra precaution because the staircase up to the tower was very steep.dscn0001dscn0001-6

Our next point was jungle trekking at the primary forest of the Mossy forest. Before we entered the forest, our tour guide, Uncle Francis and Melody did a good job by explaining the importance of the Mossy forest. dscn2219dscn2208The Mossy forest is named thus  because  the tree trunks and branches in the forest are covered  with moss. Since the weather in Cameron is humid and damp, the moss would capture/absorb the moisture in the air which accumulated becomes one of the main sources of water to the locals.dscn0001-8dscn0001-5 It was quite interesting to know that, the Mossy forest is the oldest mossy forest in the world and it even existed during the time of the dinosaurs.  Although it was still drizzling, all the students were able to complete the boardwalk safely. A few scenes in the forest gave us the feeling of being on the set of “The Lord of the Rings” because of the mist. It was a beautiful trail. dscn2249dscn2263dscn2274dscn2277