Bring Back the Rainforest Project

‘Bring Back the Rainforest’ (BBtRF) Project is an initiative by SARAWAK FORESTRY Corporation (SFC) as part of the habitat rehabilitation efforts to bring back the rainforest landscape to Piasau Nature Reserve (PNR). The project aims to rehabilitate degraded forest areas in the Nature Reserve through the two following components:

Enrichment Planting

Various native plant species will be planted at PNR to provide sufficient food sources and a conducive environment for the wildlife residing within the Nature Reserve when the trees grow and start bearing fruits in years to come. An experimental plot with a total area of 0.22 hectare was initially set up at PNR to identify plant species that could suitably grow on the soils of PNR and the suitable methods to plant them.  Several tree planting activities had been carried out at the Nature Reserve to commemorate the following occasions;

a) Piasau Nature Reserve’s Earth Breaking Ceremony (May 2014)
b) Sarawak Tourism Board’s Borneo Jazz Festival (May 2015)
c) Sarawak Tourism Board’s Borneo Jazz Festival (May 2016)
d) Naim Cendera-Forest Department Sarawak Tree Planting Activity (April 2016)

Under the BBtRF Project, five gardens, namely, Piasau Garden, Mixed Species Garden, Fruit Tree Garden, Ficus Garden and Herbal Garden have been established and these gardens are located in Zone 2 (Visitors Use) and Zone 3 (High Density Use) based on the zoning specifications described in the Gensler’s Masterplan for Piasau Nature Reserve.  The ‘Bring Back the Rainforest’ project was launched on 11 September 2016 will be graced by Tuan Yang Terutama Tun Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud, the Governor of Sarawak.

Adoption Programme

The adoption programme has been developed to provide a platform to engage stakeholders, i.e., general public, NGOs, learning institutions, government agencies, private companies and others to participate and contribute in the habitat restoration and wildlife conservation efforts at PNR. Apart from that, the programme is envisaged to promote awareness on wild life conservation and foster a sense of environmental stewardship amongst adopters. Details of the programme are as follows:

Corporate AdoptionIndividual Adoption
RM 50, 000 per plot RM 3, 000 per tree
Plot Size: 0.25 hectare (per plot)
Notes:
1. All adopters are entitled for lifetime adoption.
2. Number of plots/ trees offered for adoption: Corporate- 20 plots, Individual- 200 trees

Desired Result

  • Sufficient food supply and a conducive environment for wildlife species residing in PNR
  • Evolving PNR as a major birding spot in Sarawak
  • Increase in visitors’ arrival to PNR which offers opportunities for visitors to experience rainforest landscape in an urban setting

Project Deliverables

The project is expected to deliver the followings:

a) Gardens (Piasau Garden, Mixed Species Garden, Fruit Tree Garden, Ficus Garden and Herbal Garden)

These gardens serve similar roles as the botanic garden in plant conservation and education such as:

  • Develop Horticultural and Cultivation Skills
    Species diversity can be conserved in the gardens as horticultural and cultivation skills allow original species that were once at Piasau to be planted back. Apart from that, restoration and rehabilitation of degraded habitats would be made possible through the development of these skills.
  • Living Collections of Plants
    The collections of the various plant species in the gardens will serve as gene pools where plant genetic materials are conserved.
  • Education
    The gardens would provide avenues for outdoor learning experiences through thematic interpretation.

b) Providing a Suitable Habitat for Hornbills

PNR is now renowned for the breeding Oriental-pied hornbills (OPH) residing within the Nature Reserve. The planting of food trees will provide shelter and supply sufficient food to not only hornbills but also other wildlife species at the Nature Reserve.

 

c) Transforming Piasau Nature Reserve as a Major Birding Area

When the trees mature and produce fruits, PNR will be a haven for the birds and other wildlife species. The congregation of the birds and other wildlife will be a sight to behold and this will surely attract birders and nature lovers to the Nature Reserve.

Piasau Nature Reserve (PNR)

Piasau Nature Reserve was previously part of the Piasau Camp, an area owned by Sarawak Shell Berhad (SSB). Driven strong public support, PNR was gazetted on 31st December 2013. Following the gazettement, SSB agreed to undertake the cost of demolishing old buildings at the site. The demolition works were carried out in three phases starting in December 2014 and PNR was formally handed over to SFC on 17th May 2016 in a simple handing-over ceremony after all the demolition works had been completed. Facilities such as trails for cycling and jogging will be gradually developed at the Nature Reserve subsequent to the handing-over. Apart from that, SFC has also outlined nature restoration and recreation development initiatives to further develop PNR. ‘Bring Back the Rainforest’ Project is part of the bigger nature restoration initiative where various native plant species would be planted on the barren areas in PNR.

Studies on PNR and its biodiversity components were carried out by SFC, UNIMAS and Malaysian Nature Society (MNS). Despite being located within the urban area of Miri city, studies recorded a notable number of plant and animal species at PNR; 107 plant species and 75 fauna species. More importantly, PNR has been known to have a small population of Oriental-pied hornbill (OPH) and the first written record of the species at Nature Reserve dated back to 2005 (site known as Piasau Camp then) when the famous pair, Jimmy and the late Faridah were first photographed by Dominique Wan. Sightings of OPH at the camp attracted a lot of interest amongst members of the public which spurred monitoring efforts into the particular avian species. Some examples are;

  • 2007 – A resident of Piasau Camp, Dr. Giana Minton started monitoring the hornbills and the nesting site at House 58.
  • 2008 – A small interest group, the Piasau Camp Miri Nature Park Society (PCMNPS) began working closely with SFC to monitor the small population of OPH at the then Piasau Camp.

For further information, please contact us

SARAWAK FORESTRY Corporation
Lot 218, KCLD, Jalan Tapang, Kota Sentosa
93250 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.
Tel: (+6) 082 610 088 Fax: (+6) 082 629 450
E-mail: asmahmusa@sarawakforestry.com
www.sarawakforestry.com

Piasau Nature Reserve
Tel: (+6) 085 644 487 (Ms Samantha Kwan – Park Warden)