The Sabah state government aims to boost its 100-million tree planting campaign with 36 million trees to be planted within a period of five years in conserving and regreening areas that have been exploited, according to Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor.
The project would cover five categories including forest plantation, forest restoration, rubber plantation development, and fruit trees.
Hajiji also said that the initiative would assist the government in the sustainable management of forests in the state, at the same time encourage people to plant trees on their own plots of land. The project also aims to showcase Sabah’s tourism assets based on its fauna and flora.
In a related development, the Federal Government has approved the Monsoon Season Aid (BMT) of more than RM37 million to 61,762 rubber smallholders in Sabah affected by the rainy weather, according to Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.
Each smallholder would receive RM600 and the payment process, helmed by the Sabah Rubber Industry Board (LIGS), began on Dec 23, with payments via electronic funds transfer, he informed.
The year-end rainy season affected rubber tapping activities, which consequently affected smallholders’ source of income, besides global rubber commodity prices are still low, he said.