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WINNER, THIRD PRIZE: Sukau Rainforest Lodge (Malaysia)

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The Third Prize (Euros 500) will fund a Tree Planting Project by Sukau Rainforest Lodge of Malaysia. (13.3% of the vote).

Third PrizeThe Third Prize Winners, Sukau Rainforest Lodge, proposed to rehabilitate a section of the river bank near their Lodge, by planting a diverse range of tree species, to provide corridor for migrating wildlife and fruiting trees to attract more birds and animals.

Accepting the 3rd Prize, Mr Willie Ki, Marketing Coordinator, said: "We are very blessed to have had this wonderful support from Implementing a Tree Planting Project is not hassle-free and there is always obstacles, including financial support. We truly appreciate this reward of Euros 500 and we shall make full use of these funds to continue our project which we consider imperative to conserve our dear environment".

Project Implementation Report

"The award funds (Euros 500) has been used to plant trees on 64 acres of adopted land at Tenegang in Sukau, Sabah, Malaysia. The project was implemented by Borneo Ecotourism Solutions and Technologies (BEST) our non-profit division that carries out various environmental and community projects in Borneo.

A group of students from Edith Cowan University (ECU), Perth, Australia who planted some trees as part of this project

Between 1996 a total of over RM135,000 has been managed by BEST, with over RM 67,000 from Sukau Rainforest Lodge itself. Funding for BEST projects is primarily through an allocation of US$1 per ever international guest that stays at the Lodge. From time to time we also receive donations from guests for specific projects.The tree species that we are planning on planting are those fruit bearing trees especially liked by wildlife. These include Nauclea subdita (Bangkal Kuning), Octomeles sumatrana (Binuang), Ficus racemsa (Tangkol), Neolamarkia cadambra (Laran), Terminalia copelandii (Talisai paya) and Litsea garciae (Pengolaban).

The tree planting project run by BEST has encountered many problems during the five years or so that it has been operating. To ensure the success of the project we drew up a planning strategy on how best to facilitate the survival of the seedlings, based on lessons learned from past experiences. The main problem with the project was that seedling mortality rates were very high. This was due to a combination of factors, such as poor soil conditions, destruction by feeding pests, and bad planting practices. The strategy we adopted was to standardize planting procedures, which involved pre-digging holes under supervision, to ensure all holes are equally spaced, with 10ft between each seedling to allow for growth of root networks. the holes are all dug to a standard length, width and depth of 2ft which also improves survival rates.

A newly-planted tree surviving its first flood.

Secondly, to improve the soil fertility, we began to add mulched water hyacinth from the river into the holes when the seedlings were planted. This acts as a biofertilizer, rather than using nitrate and phosphate rich chemical fertilizers... an environmentally friendlier approach. One of the more obvious strategies which was taken up was to select only those seedlings which were already big enough to survive the initial planting. this greatly increases the chances of survival for the seedling while it takes root at the site. it also gives them a better chance against damaging pests. The site is usually visited daily by one of our staff whilst visitors plant trees, and a rough visual check is made of the condition of the newly planted seedlings, as well as any evidence of physical disturbance. The annual flooding of the site appears to have no detrimental effect on the seedlings as we have selected species which are water tolerant, and that can survive in oxygen depleted riverine zones. in fact, the flooding in February this year appeared to have a beneficial effect on the seedlings, as we are experiencing our highest survival rates since the project was recommenced at the start of 2006."

Jason Kerschner for
Sukau Rainforest Lodge


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