Malaysian Peat Society
Department of Agrilculture Sarawak
Dr. Lulie Melling
Tropical Peat Research Laboratory
Soil Management Branch
Chief Minister's Department
E-mail: lulie_melling (at) yahoo.com
Annual Report 2012
In the year 2012, the Malaysian Peat Society (MPS) had put forth an effort and successfully undertaken activities as described below.
New Chair of MPS
Peter Sawal, Controller of the Natural Resources and Environment Board Sarawak has been the new Chair of the MPS since January 2012, while former President of the Society, YB Dato’ Dr. James Dawos Mamit is now advisor to the Society.
The Society held its three committee meetings in 2012 to discuss on the matters pertaining to amendments to the rules and constitution, the position of the President, IPS EB election, attendance at IPS EB Meetings, the annual membership fee to IPS, the Society logo, participation at IPC 2012 and future events.
The 2nd Annual General Meeting of the MPS was convened in Kuching, Sarawak on 30 June 2012 to review and discuss the reports of the Secretary and Treasurer, the proposed budget, proposed plan of activities for 2012 and to appoint auditors for the financial year 2012.
International Peat Congress
A significant activity of the Society in 2012 was active participation at the IPC 2012 in Stockholm in June, where our members delivered several oral and poster presentations at the session on tropical peatlands. In addition, we held an exhibition booth and gave a cultural performance for promoting the next IPC which is scheduled to take place in Sarawak, Malaysia on 15 – 19 August 2016.
In the meantime, the Committee submitted a nomination for its candidate for the positions of IPS EB. The candidate was, however, not elected during the Annual Assembly of IPS at the IPC in Stockholm on 8 June 2012. However, in connection with the 15th IPC to be hosted by MPS in 2016, it was agreed that Lulie Melling would be co-opted onto the IPS EB with no voting rights. Preparations continue for the 15th IPC in Malaysia “Peatlands in Harmony – Agriculture, Industry & Nature” in partnership with IPS.
Symposium & Workshops
MPS members have also taken part in other events of related organizations:
1) JST-JICA International Symposium on Wild Fire and Carbon Management in Peat-Forest in Indonesia, Bogor, Indonesia, 13 - 14 September
2) International Workshop on an “Assessment of Wetland Change in West Kalimantan Province: Does It Enhance Sustainability?” Pontianak, Indonesia, 17 - 20 September
3) Annual Roundtable Meeting on Sustainable Palm Oil, Singapore, 30 October - 1 November 2012
Peat Soil Correlation
A peat soil correlation held in Mukah, Sarawak on 11 - 16 June 2012 was also attended by MPS members. The principal organizer was COMSSSEM together with the Department of Agriculture Sarawak. The objective of this correlation was to improve the Malaysian Unified Peat Soil Classification. The second peat soil correlation organized by Tropical Peat Research Laboratory Unit was held latterly on 22 – 24 October 2012. Peat profiles for five peat pedons located in three different ecosystems in Sarawak were described in terms of texture, structure and color.
Annual Report 2011
In the year 2011, the Malaysian Peat Society had put forth an effort and successfully recruited new members mainly from academia, industry and government sectors. As of 31 December 2011, the Society membership comprised a total of 44 active members, of which 32 are individual ordinary members, seven individual life members, four corporate ordinary members and one corporate life member.
A committee meeting was held on 25 March 2011 to resolve matters pertaining to membership, amendment to rules and constitution, bank account and Annual General Meeting. The 1st Annual General Meeting of Malaysian Peat Society was convened on 25 June 2011 to review and discuss the reports of Secretary and Treasurer, appoint auditors for the financial year and officers to deal with immovable property of the Society, and approve the proposed amendments of Rules and Constitution. A new Management Committee was also elected at the AGM for the term 2011-2013. The office-bearers are:
President : Datu Len Talif Salleh
Vice-President : Philip Ho Kian Sin
Secretary-General : Frederick Haili Teck
Assistant Secretary-General : Annie Ting
Treasurer-General : Dr. Lulie Melling
Assistant Treasurer-General : Angela Tang Che Ing
Ordinary Committee Members : Sharon Lau Yu Ling, Sulim Lumong, Jin Kee Mou,
Lim Choo Tad
Additionally, a number of future activities and plans were discussed during the meeting:
• Society logo and student sponsorship
• To participate in the Annual Conference of Malaysian Society of Soil Science
• To participate in the Annual Seminar of Incorporated Society of Planters (ISP) to provide scientific updates in relation to characterization and management of tropical peatland
• Embarking on a 3-year hydrological study of tropical peatland with University of Technology Malaysia
• Participation in the 14th International Peat Congress 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden
• Participate with the plantation industries on sustainable management of tropical peatland
Prior to the AGM, Dr. Lulie Melling had represented the national committee at the Annual Assembly of IPS held in Quebec, Canada on 14 June 2011. She also presented a paper, “Soil CO2 fluxes from different ages of oil palm in tropical peatland of Sarawak, Malaysia” at the International Symposium on Responsible Peatland Management and Growing Media Production on 13-17 June 2011.
In late September, an awareness campaign on tropical peatland was successfully conducted in conjunction with Sarawak Chief Minister’s Department’s Innovation and Integrity Day held at the old State Legislative Assembly complex, Kuching, Sarawak, with several hundreds of secondary students visited the scientific exhibition and demonstration booth of Tropical Peat Research Laboratory Unit. The one-day campaign was indeed fruitful and enlightening that has inspired the students’ interests and enthusiasm in science as well as disseminating scientific information to the public.
Also, several members of MPS have submitted their abstracts for the 14th International Peat Congress. By then, there will be a delegation of members participating at the Congress to deliver their presentations. The work of organizing the 15th International Peat Congress “Peatland Resources: Agriculture, Industry, Society and Environment – Harmonisation, Integration and Mitigation (PRAISE-HIM)” in Kuching, Malaysia has been started off in cooperation with Sarawak Convention Bureau. We are currently initiating our efforts to establish sponsorship and boosting activities at the forthcoming congress in Stockholm, Sweden.
Annual Report 2010
The Malaysian Peat Society (MPS) was officially registered with the Registrar of Society Malaysia under the governance of Rules and Constitution of Persatuan Gambut Malaysia (Malaysian Peat Society). The Management Committee of the MPS in the period of 2009-2011 consists of the President: Dr. James Dawos Mamit, Vice-President: Mr. Ho Kian Sin, Secretary-General: Mr. Frederick Haili Teck, Treasurer-General: Dr. Lulie Melling and Assistant Treasurer-General: Mr. Sulim Lumong.
The society held its two committee meetings on 4th September 2010 and 17th December 2010 to discuss on the various issues pertaining to the formation of the society. The meetings discussed on the formation of the society’s bank account, appointment of panel lawyers, internal and external auditors and membership recruitment exercise plan. During the meeting, it was agreed upon that those who attended the pro-tem committee meeting be accepted as the immediate members of MPS and a membership drive will proceed immediately. The next Annual General Meeting of MPS was tentatively fixed on 26th March 2011.
One of the highlighted events of the year was MPS won the bidding to host the International Peat Congress 2016 in Malaysia. The bidding event was held in Jyvaskyla, Finland on the 16th of June 2010 and the winning bid was a credit to the collaborative efforts of MPS and Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB). The President of MPS shall automatically become the chair of IPS if MPS resume the chair country to head IPS. Therefore, Dr. Lulie Melling is to be elected as President of MPS during the same tenure because she is a candidate to President to 2016 IPS.
In November, a 2-day workshop on Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for oil palm cultivation on peat was co-organized with the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) in Sibu, Sarawak. The workshop was organized to address the issues relating to oil palm development on peat because focus has been placed on the sustainability of plantation crops developed on peatlands. New emerging issues have been raised in relation to peatland management including the need to prevent peatland fires and also the issues of carbon storage and climate change. A sustainable and wise use of these peatlands is essential in order to ensure that sufficient areas still remain to carry out their vital natural resources functions while satisfying the essential requirements of present and future generations.