DBKL and other local councils must invest in more arborists, more sustainable arboreal policies
The latest news that two policemen killed by an uprooted tree in Kg Attap is both regrettable and a cause for great concern, amidst the increase in sudden intense wind and storm activities in the Klang Valley.
This incident also calls to question whether KL City Hall (DBKL) has sufficient expertise (particularly arborists) to handle trees in the city and who are able to ensure that trees in this metropolis are not only beautiful but also grow safely.
Until May 2014, according to news reports, there are only 75 certified arborists in Malaysia; 9 are in Putrajaya, and only 4 in DBKL. (As a comparison, Singapore has 400 arborists.) This low figure is absolutely abysmal and calls to question claims of making Kuala Lumpur a “green city”.
DBKL and its “green-conscious” mayor, Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal must not only take the kind of immediate actions to mitigate this matter as they already have, such as by identifying the three locations with trees that may be hazardous to the public, but also review current by-laws and policies to put in place a more holistic arboreal policy, and not one where trees are lobbed off and butchered with little care as we have seen all this while.
As such, I call on DBKL to immediately increase the total number of arborists in its employ. This will put in place the basic resources that will help, alongside other sustainable policies, ensure that Kuala Lumpur possesses a sustainable approach to handling trees vis-a-vis rapid development is also firmly in place.
Trees are not only our heritage, but also an important resource for the future.
AMK Vice Chief
AMK Lembah Pantai Chief
20 October 2014