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More than 3 million rainforest trees replanted

5th December, 2018

KOTA KINABALU: More than three million rainforest trees at Luasong in Kalabakan have been successfully replanted. The effort initiated in 1998 by Swedish furniture retailer IKEA, was in collaboration with Yayasan Sabah and Swedish University, as part of the efforts to rehabilitate the degraded forest.

Speaking to reporters here yesterday, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences’ lecturer Jon Faulk, who has been involved since the beginning of the project, described it as successful as it involved a focus on rehabilitation in putting back the diversity of the rainforest.

“It is a unique rainforest rehabilitation project … now we’re seeing the wildlife returning to the areas,” Jon told reporters after joining IKEA of Sweden Global Wood Supply and Forestry manager Ulf Johansson in paying a courtesy call on Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal here yesterday.

According to Jon, a lot of research was done by scientists from Sweden, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and also from Australia.

He added that as the forest recovers, they believe there will more opportunity for further research, and more universities would be interested to come.

“Research here complements studies on untouched rainforests in the Maliau Basin. It is a gift from IKEA. All over the world, they have shops selling furniture. It is only here in Sabah they are doing rehabilitation. There is no revenue back,” Jon said, adding that project involved hiring 150 people working round the clock for the past 20 years.

The main replanting exercise which has been completed will remain a place for research as the forest is now fully protected.

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