Innovative Flotilla Method to Restore Lotus Population in Tasik Chini

TASIK CHINI, 1 AUGUST 2023: The conservation and rehabilitation of the iconic lotus by the East Coast Economic Region Development Council’s (ECERDC), in collaboration with the Forestry Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) and Tasik Chini Research Centre, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (PPTC-UKM) have seen the return of the pink lotus (Nelumbo nucifera), which is native to Tasik Chini.

Rehabilitation efforts to maintain the sustainability of lotus population in Tasik Chini has proven successful by utilizing the floating lotus cultivation or the “flotilla” method. The flotilla method involves lotus seeds being planted on land before they are transferred to the flotilla and later released to their natural habitat.

The Lotus Flotilla project has won several accolades including Gold Award for International Innovation Award at the Malaysia Technology Expo 2023 (MTE2023) and Silver Award at the International Invention, Innovation and Technology Exhibition (ITEX2023).

“The lotus in Tasik Chini is often affected by floods and dry seasons and over the years, the population dwindled. ECERDC together with FRIM and PPTC-UKM have spearheaded efforts to conserve the lotus population and the biosphere at Tasik Chini. Apart from conservation efforts, training for stakeholders and the local communities on the new lotus planting method, conservation and maintenance were also conducted to ensure the project’s sustainability in the long run,” said YBhg. Dato’ Baidzawi Che Mat, Chief Executive Officer of ECERDC.

On 1st August 2023, ECERDC handed over the Sustainable Lotus Conservation Project in Tasik Chini to PPTC-UKM to be managed and maintained as part of their edutourism and conservation efforts. ECERDC was represented by Cik Salida Azizi, General Manager of Corporate Strategic Planning Division while PPTC-UKM was represented by Assoc. Prof Dr Wan Mohd Aizat Wan Kamaruddin, Director, Centre for Natural and Physical Laboratory Management (ALAF-UKM). Also present was Dr. Wan Mohd Shukri Wan Ahmad, Director, Forestry and Environment Division (FRIM) who was present for the signing asset of handover between FRIM and UKM.

Tasik Chini was recognised as Malaysia’s first biosphere reserve in 2009 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and successfully retained its status on 13 June 2023 at the 35th Session of the International Coordinating Council of Man and the Biosphere Programme (ICC MAB35) 2023 in Paris, France. ICC MAB35 found that the periodic review of Tasik Chini fulfilled the criteria of the Statutory Framework of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) and the recommendations of the International Advisory Committee on Biosphere Reserves (IACBR), taking into account efforts made to improve the management of the site.

ECERDC is committed to develop ecotourism in the East Coast Economic Region in a sustainable manner. Its other projects include the upgrading of the solar hybrid system in Pulau Kapas, Terengganu, Kampungstay@Teluk Buih in Air Papan, Mersing, and the PETA Rainforest Discovery Centre in Taman Negara Johor Endau-Rompin which is expected to be complete by year end.