Report on Cross Visit to Malaysia
There were 7 Thai participants included Dr. Saroj Wattanasuksakul, Ms. Chumnun Piananurak, Mr. Somboon Boon Yeaun, Dr. Suwan Tangmitrchareon, Ms. Phuangphan Yongrattana from RFD Mr. Satang Hussanun and Ms. and Thitinan Hutayanon from EGAT (Figure 1). The team arrived at Kualalumper on 14 November 2016, and stayed at Sunta Putra Hotel.
Figure 1. Participants from Thailand attended the National Workshop on “Domestication of Climax rainforest Species in Problematic Sites” and cross visited to Malaysia during 14-20 November 2016.
On 15-16 November 2016 we attended the National Workshop on “Domestication of Climax rainforest Species in Problematic Sites” held at Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), Kepong. From presentation we learnt the Malaysian way to plant trees in various problematic soils such as ex-tin mine, disturbed mangrove habitat, disturbed peat swamp forest, disturbed mineral soils, landfill and urban soils, and Beach Ridges Interspersed with Swales. Most of the success story is based on 3 principles. The 1st is improvement of original problematic soil by loosening the soil, covering with better soil such as forest soil, digging very big hole and fill with material that can absorb water such as coconut husk in case of dry area, digging ditch to drain excess water in case of flood area. The 2nd is selection of species to match the site or planting pioneer species to improve the site before introducing desired species or high value species. The 3rd is the most important, tending with intensive care by heart.
Figure 2 Group presentation and group photographs of all participants.
We also learnt additional subjects such as nursery practices, selection of quality planting stock, pest control of plants and diseases control of plants which very benefit to Thai participants. The group discussion was very good session. Every participant had a chance to exchange and share their knowledge and idea with each other. Thailand applied this experience to the stakeholder meeting which worked very well.
On the 17th November 2016, we attend the site visit to Tin Tailings Afforestation Centre (TTAC), Bidor. We found that very hard work has been done to improve the impossible site to be the fruitful site by dedicated person. It is very impressive the way Dr. Ang Lai Ho and his team have done in the area. It inspires visitors to do the same in their own jobs. Even though the tree species there are not the same in Thailand, and the problems of the soils are different we still can learn and apply to planting trees in our country.
Figure 3 Site visit to Tin Tailings Afforestation Centre (TTAC), Bidor. Shows that proper soil preparation and well maintenance like on the left resulted in the beautiful forest on the right.
On the 18th November 2016, we attended the 1st Project Coordination Meeting at FRIM until 12.00 pm. The minutes of the meeting appears in Annex XI. In the afternoon, we visited the small botanical garden near the famous twin towers. It is a good example of garden management in such small area for the breath of city residents (Figure 4).
On the 19th November 2016, there was a political demonstration in KL. We avoided the event by traveling by train to the site. Dr. Ang Lai Ho showed us the plantation at a landfill site where the improper soil preparation caused the trees grow slowly, while using proper soil preparation any tree can grow well at the landfill area. Proper soil preparation was done by loosening the soil as deep as 1.5 m and dig a big hole 1x1x1 m3 refill the hole with good soil mix of top soil compost and rice husk ash. There is no weed found in 1 meter radius around the tree base. Very well maintenance at the site was observed. After that we had a brief chance to visit Putrajaya, the new city of Malaysia. In the new city, we went to visit a small man made forest but big story in front of the ministry of Natural Resources and Environment building. It is very impressive small forest planted on concrete floor. The composition of plant species imitate real forest give a natural-looked to such narrow area less than 10×10 m2. Last visit site was Payah Indah Wetland where plantation by Japanese project did not grow well. By properly preparing soil, plants in Dr. Ang Lai Ho’s demonstration plot grow very well. Here is another impressive example of the hard work by Dr. Ang Lai Ho.
Figure 4 Botanical garden near the twin towers.
Figure 5Reclamation at landfill area, stress tree due to improper soil preparation (left) compare to fast growing trees on right hand side where soil preparation and maintenance have been done properly.
Figure 6 Impressive small forest planted on concrete floor in front of the ministry of Natural resources and Environment, Putrajaya city.
Figure 7 Tree stress due to improper soil preparation,.Putrajaya city
Figure 8 Growth performance of trees 1-3 year-old when soil preparation and maintenance have done properly compare to old plantation (upper right) at Paya Indah wetland.