The launching of the book, which provides revisions for nine families, 21 genera and 100 species of fern and lycophytes that occur in Peninsular Malaysia, was officiated by the Malaysian Forestry Research and Development Board Chairman, YBhg. Datuk Suboh Mohd Yassin at the Auditorium, FRIM, Kepong.
In his speech, Suboh congratulated FRIM on its achievements in producing two Floras (documentation and compilation all plants in a particular region)—Flora of Peninsular Malaysia and Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak, which are of great significance to the country, through the cooperation of various local and foreign botanists and institutions.
He said the documentation of Flora is crucial as it provides decision-makers with information required for the fulfillment of the country’s commitments in line with the National Biological Diversity Policy.
Among others, he also expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) for its continued support of the flora projects.
Also present were MOSTI representative, Evaluation and Monitoring Section Head Mat Yaacob Mohamad, FRIM Director General (DG) Dato’ Dr Abd Latif Mohmod and some MFRDB members.
In conjunction with this, a seminar on “Flora of Malaysia” was also held, where four of the leading researchers of the Flora of Peninsular Malaysia and Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak projects shared updates on the project status, findings, challenges and achievements.
In his presentation titled, “Towards the Flora of Malaysia – Is this possible?”, FRIM’s Forest Biodiversity Division Director Dr Saw Leng Guan provided an overview of the botanical research and some of the earlier and significant publications by pioneering botanists and naturalists.
He also discussed the various challenges encountered, the need for substantial increase in manpower and funds, and projected it would take more than 20 years to complete both the projects.
Dr E. Soepadmo presented the current status and future plans of the Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak Project, while Dr Ruth Kiew talked about the new Flora of Peninsular Malaysia Project, the discovery of a significant number of new species and newly recorded for Peninsular Malaysia.
Dr Lillian Chua in her presentation entitled, “Malaysian Threatened Plants – From Assessment to Conservation”, disclosed the results of assessment on Malaysian species using the IUCN Red List categories and criteria, and the measures undertaken to develop a Malaysia Plant Red List and conduct conservation monitoring of selected critically threatened plants.