Galeri Alam Sekitar dan Taman Herba serta Pokok Ubat-Ubatan Galeri Alam Sekitar dan Taman Herba serta Pokok Ubat-Ubatan

On Aug 22, Social Forestry Division of Forest Department Sarawak (FDS) have successfully held a launching ceremony for the project of Galeri Alam Sekitar dan Taman Herba serta Pokok Ubat-ubatan which also known as Environment Gallery and Herbal and Medicinal Plants Garden of SK Kampung Seberang, in Kuala Lawas. This is one of the Department’s initiative projects to carry out environmental education programs that have been carried out previously in several schools throughout Sarawak namely SK Ba'Kelalan (Ba'Kelalan), SMK Bandar Sarikei (Sarikei), SK Adin (Sarikei) and SK Serdeng (Daro).

The construction of the Environment Gallery and Herbal and Medicinal Plants Garden of SK Kampung Seberang is also one of the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) to promote and provide opportunities for logging companies such as Samling Timber Sdn. Bhd., Hup Lee Sawmill Sdn. Bhd., Sing Kie Mi Sawmill, Lawas Lumber Wood Processing Sdn. Bhd., and Lee Ling Timber Sdn. Bhd. to carry out their social corporate responsibility for the communities in the area.

The aim of the project is to raise the awareness of school students, parents and communities on conservation of environment, to enhance their passion on the efforts on managing and conserving the environment and to create a continuous learning process on environmental study for student, their parents and communities in the area.

In line with the objective of the project, all the facilities provided by the department are expected to be utilized by all communities in Kampung Seberang and with the presence of this gallery and herbs garden, the spirit of school students, parents and surrounding communities in managing and preserving the environment are expected to be nurtured for the benefits of the communities, and State in the long run.

The application for the construction of the Gallery was submitted to the FDS on 21 April 2014 by the YDP PIBG of SK Kampung Seberang and was fully completed in August 2017.

During the opening ceremony for the launching of the project in Dewan Masyarakat Kampung Dato’ Kuala Lawas, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said Sarawak practices a prudent balance between pursuing sustainable development and environmental protection and conservation as reflected in its policies, which have avoided pitfalls of choking pollution and its move towards digital economy.

Awang Tengah added that through such practices, the state had managed to sustain and manage its forests, pointing out that the largest state in the country targeted to have over six million hectares of permanent forests and one million hectares of totally protected areas (TPAs).

“We have always been conscious of the need for sustainability and the importance of balancing between development and conservation of the environment – that is why over 60 per cent of our land mass is still covered with forests,” he said.

Also present were Awang Tengah’s wife Datuk Dayang Morliah Datuk Awang Daud, state Forest Department deputy director (enforcement, development and operation) Jack Liam and Lawas District Officer Hussaini Hakim.

“This venture is important in our efforts to safeguard the environment. The Ministry of Urban Development and Natural Resources has allocated over RM50 million over five years under the 10th Malaysia Plan to the Forest Department for community awareness, forest management, researches and development purposes.” said Awang Tengah, who is also Minister of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development of the State.

“We want the aspect of environmental preservation be one of the syllabuses in our education and aim to raise the awareness of the need to conserve the forests from an early age”, he said.

Awang Tengah further said the government had, through the Forest Department in the 11th Malaysia Plan, established the Heart of Borneo (HoB) Interpretation Centre at Kayangeran Forest Reserve in Lawas to create greater awareness of the forest being one huge source of resources for pharmaceuticals and cosmetics besides handicrafts and materials for daily needs.

The forest serves as a major pharmacy; a reservoir of many medicines, a source of raw materials for making handicrafts and many other items to communities. Tapping into traditional knowledge of medicinal resources is also ongoing in Ba Kelalan, including one that has the potential to be used as a cure for cancerwhich is still undergoing clinical studies.

The Environment Gallery displays various information on forest and environment, murals, non-timber forest products, cave replica and others. For the Herbal and Medicinal Plants garden, more than a hundred herbs species and medicinal plants have been planted. Every plants are labeled with information on their local and scientific names, uses and photos for easy identification.