Swathed in Rainforests Rich in Biodiversity, Malaysia has Lost about 29% of Tree Cover Since 2001

Environmental News from Asia: 

Alarmed by Malaysia’s loss of plant species to deforestation, photographer Suzairi Zakaria decided he needed to take direct action to conserve them in his home state of Terengganu.

Swathed in rainforests rich in biodiversity, the southeast Asian nation has lost about 29 percent of tree cover since 2001 because of activities such as palm cultivation and logging, data from U.S.-based Global Forest Watch shows.

Suzairi, wearing a blue floppy hat and T-shirt with a slogan calling the loss of biodiversity “a silent killer”, said he had converted his backyard into a conservatory for endangered species to safeguard thousands of plants, chiefly wild orchids.

“One of the reasons I help to save orchid species in logging areas is because, when I go there, I find that many species of orchids or plants are dying out,” the 46-year-old told Reuters.

“I thought it would be better for me to save the plants and bring them back and replant them at home,” he added, after crouching in a forest clearing to photograph some tiny white flowers.

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Source: Reuters

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