Harnessing Sarawak Peatland Resources for Economic Development

Palm Oil Magazine
Doc. Special /Datuk Dr. Lulie Melling

PALMOILMAGAZINE, SARAWAK – Malaysia boasts numerous tropical peatlands, there exists minimal awareness of their existence and significance among the local population. However, Datuk Dr. Lulie Melling, the President of Masyarakat Gambut Malaysia (MPS) and the Director of the Institut Penelitian Gambut Tropis Sarawak (TROPI), is committed to raising awareness about this invaluable natural resource.

Datuk Lulie has initiated plans for informative sessions with the primary goal of enhancing people’s understanding and awareness of tropical peat areas in Sarawak. On September 23, 2023, Lulie took the lead in presenting a session titled ‘Uncovering Hidden Treasures: Sarawak’s Tropical Peatlands’ at the TROPI complex in Samarahan City. The session aimed to attract approximately 200 experts, plantation professionals, and students.

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The main goals of the presentation were about to educate the people about what peat is, describe the importance of the natural resource in realizing sustainable environmental goals. She thought, many Serawak people do not know what peat is. “The goals of the presentation are about to educate the people about peat,  discuss the significance of commitment to get our peat research in TROPI which the state and MPS support,” she said, as Palmoilmagazine.com quoted from NewSarawakTribune,

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Peat has big potential to contribute in sustainable economic development, particularly in its capacity to absorb natural carbon. Until now 70 percent of the total peat in Malaysia are in Serawak. Besides, 50 percent of palm oil plantations in the state are developing on peat that emphasized to responsibly get developed for now and future generations.

Lulie also emphasized that peat research by MPS and TROPI would be the same agenda with environment conservation which is part of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) consideration. It is supported by Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg. This reflects the commitment of the state toward United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) with the special focus on SDG 13 (climate action) and 15 (life on land) through partnership between MPS and TROPI.

The informative session was supported by Ministry of Education, Innovation, and Talent Development. The participants were hoped to be there until the midday to listen to the presentation, visit laboratory of TROPI that has international scale – standards, explore exhibition that has something to do with peat. (T2)

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