By Fatin Norliyana –
From the 8th to 9th of March 2015, the TRCRC HQ team made a site visit to our site in Lojing, Kelantan. Before heading to our site, we gathered with representatives from Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK), Unit Perancang Ekonomi Negeri Kelantan (UPEN), the Kelantan Forestry Department (Perhutanan) and the Lojing District and Land Office (Pejabat Tanah Jajahan Kecil Lojing)
After short refreshment, we had a briefing at the Lojing District and Land Office. A short speech was given by the Director of UMK Jeli Campus, Prof Dr. Ibrahim Che Omar. He intends to cooperate with TRCRC, UPEN and Kelantan Forestry Department to realize our main objective which is to establish a living collection.
Before starting the trip, representatives from UMK gave us a briefing about our journey and areas to be traversed through the map provided as well as some safety points that had to be prioritized. Approximately 20 people accompanied us on our trip and we were guided by a local community of orang asli people (aboriginal people) along with representatives from Lojing District and Land Office.
On our journey to the site we came across degraded and open sites, also different types of vegetation that was mainly caused by the different levels of disturbance. We also found suitable sites for establishing our seedling nurseries and to operate our seed collection program. After going through some terrain, we noticed that the surrounding area is quite shady and vegetation density has increased. However, the vegetation still consists of lower valued species such as found in a secondary forest. We also passed some vegetable nurseries and found that the wild bamboo can potentially be used as building materials.
After arriving our site, there were many interesting plants, fungi and arthropods such as the Narceus spp. This site provide suitable living condition for a variety of plants and animal. In addition, wild Rafflesia populations are found in our site because the host plants are found together with ideal living conditions enabling them to thrive.
Upon finishing the site visit, we had the opportunity to discuss with representatives from UMK and UPEN on the possible areas of collaboration between parties. In conclusion, we had a great productive visit and are looking forward to the establishment of our site.