Chan posing with a newly-replanted coniferous seedling.
IN the mountain regions of Genting Highlands, Pahang, grows the Dacrydium Comosum, a native species of coniferous plants, small in number and endangered.
Due to rampant development, the number of the coniferous plant has
decreased. The issue is unknown to many as there is little awareness of
the problem. However, through the efforts of Eddie Chan Teck Ling, a
nature conservationist, the coniferous trees are making a comeback as he
works hard to save them.
It all started with a survey led by Chan and his team from Treks Nature Enterprise, which led them to conclude that the dacrydium comosum
was the most endangered, resulting in the launch of a personal project
to protect the trees. The project, he believes, will inspire and
influence the Genting Highlands management to get involved in restoring
“I believe they will, if we do it (the project) right,” said the
58-year-old. “This is why Treks is here.” Chan and his team protect the
trees through resettlement, a process whereby the plants are transported
from an area that endangers them to a safe area for them to grow, away
from any possible threats.
The concept sounds simple enough but the execution proves otherwise.
“It doesn’t just take a little time to resettle these plants but a lot
of effort, especially since these trees are such slow growers.”
It is a race against time as Chan and his team try to save the trees
in time before they become lost. The plants are resettled in the Talking
Garden, which is a conservation effort by Chan and his team.
The Talking Garden is a technology integrated garden that provides
information about the plants within the garden. The garden contains
posters with QR codes and NFC (near-field communication) tags that
provide educational videos about the plants when scanned.
The convergence of nature and technology has provided efficiency as
it is easily accessible on most smart devices. It is also education
on-the-go as the information can be saved to be consumed later. “The
garden saves so much time and effort as tour guides don’t have to repeat
their explanations again and again.”
The Talking Garden provides the stories about the resettled plants,
allowing all those who visit the garden to learn about them. Though
Chan’s efforts seem small, he has already managed to save four seedlings
through settlement. The seedlings are now growing healthily as he keeps
an eye on the plants.
Not only does Chan save the coniferous trees from developing areas,
but he saves them from slopes, as well. As seedlings grow on slopes,
danger creeps up on them due to grass cutting. Therefore, Chan resettles
the plants to areas of habitable environments.
Another way he hopes to protect the trees is through learning about
the plants in order to grow them from spores in a nursery to ensure the
trees grow in quantity.
He is confident that the management at Genting Highlands will do
everything in their power to protect the trees as “there is a general
understanding that Genting has a strict policy of keeping nature
The policy is evident through the many security checkpoints within
Genting Highlands that are set up to prevent problems like poaching.
The dacrydium comosum also serves an ecological purpose. It
is the only nesting tree of the Brown Blue Finch bird that has not been
seen since 1991. The decreased number of trees has resulted in the
disappearance of the birds from Malaysia.
However, Chan remains hopeful. “If we were to resettle and grow them
back in large numbers, we might see them coming back. “I believe that
the coniferous trees will no longer be further endangered as long as
development does not continue surrounding the habitats of those trees.”
As Chan’s efforts continue, he hopes for awareness to grow.
English Gardens (behind Hotel on the Park), Resorts World Genting, Genting Highlands, Pahang. Open daily from 6am-11pm
For more information, call +603 2718 1118 or visit www.rwgenting.com
Source from: http://rage.com.my/teammaylee-captivated-coniferous-trees/
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