SISFEC Forest Conservators Bear The Great Challenge Of Curbing Encroachment Activities | Universiti Putra Malaysia
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SISFEC forest conservators bear the great challenge of curbing encroachment activities

By: Nurul Ezzaty Mohd Azhari
Photo: Saleha Haron

SERDANG, July 29 – The task of a forest conservator is not easy as it requires preparedness in facing upcoming dangers such as the threat of wild animals, forest fires, water sources, and so on.

According to the Head of Natural Resources Section, Faculty of Forestry and Environment (FHAS), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Mohd Farhan Shahrin, the responsibility of ensuring the continued preservation of the forest ecosystem as well as the saving of the national treasure for future generations is indeed great.

He began serving as a forest conservator in 2009 at the Sultan Idris Shah Forestry Education Center (SISFEC). He said the main challenge in preserving the forest, which is also a Permanent Forest Reserve (HSK) is to combat the illegal encroachment of the public in this area.

“This is a closed forest, but encroachment by the public often occurs. Although their reason for entry is for recreational and health activities, it is still illegal.

“The public who trespass here do not know the ins and outs of this area, causing them to damage the habitat here, including our research plots. Some litter, leave behind papers used to mark track routes and the likes, which directly impact the environment here,” he said.  

As a result of this stubbornness, he said the Fire and Rescue Department recorded that the forest was an area with the most number of astray climbers in the whole country.

“The forest landscape changes due to rain, fallen trees, floods, water sources, forest fires, and so on, making search and rescue missions difficult. This forest is not for recreational activities,” he said.

SISFEC offers educational, research, extension, and reforestation activities with the corporate industry and community to maintain the sustainability of flora and fauna in the area.

He added that the 1182.07-hectare forest located in the middle of Puchong city is also constantly hampered by development in all corners of the forest.

“Some have even sent proposals to build houses in this area, and this too is a pressure and challenge for me and the other 12 staff working at SISFEC,” he said.

He explained that SISFEC has the Merawan meranti, an endemic plant type, however, if the area is used for development activities, then the plant will become extinct in the state of Selangor.

“Therefore, we are putting forth the effort to plant these trees and other trees through a sapling planting programme with the community to maintain the sustainability of the trees and SISFEC.

“If this forest area is encroached on, causing this valuable natural treasure to be lost and it will harm all of us as a community. The destruction of forests is also the cause of natural disasters,” he said. -UPM

Date of Input: 31/07/2023 | Updated: 02/08/2023 | hairul_nizam


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