SHAH ALAM: Local authorities (PBT) are encouraged to employ arborists to improve landscape management in each municipal area, Housing and Local Government Minister Nga Kor Ming said.

He said for this purpose, all PBT landscape employees should attend arborist courses organised by the National Landscape Department to ensure this goal is achieved.

Acknowledging that some PBTs face financial challenges when it comes to tree maintenance, he said the initiative to employ arborists should be accompanied by efforts to streamline tree inventory in their respective administrative areas.

“For instance, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) already has an inventory, so they know which trees, what type and whether they are healthy or need to be pruned according to schedule.

“Tree health care, maintenance and inventory are crucial, especially for older trees,” he said.

He was speaking to newsmen after officiating the closing ceremony of the Green Urban Forum 2024 and in conjunction with National Landscape Day (HLN) 2024 here today.

At the same event, Nga launched the book ‘200 Malaysia’s Native Trees For Street Planning’, which will later be distributed to each PBT as a guide to improve tree management in urban areas.

Nga also said that the Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) is targeting at least RM1 billion in export value involving the sale of landscape products within the country by the end of this year.

He said the organisation of HLN is one of the ministry’s efforts toward achieving this target, where the country can showcase achievements, innovations, technologies and products related to the landscape industry.

“We have identified several high-potential markets such as Singapore, where most of the trees and landscape products used are purchased from Malaysia,” he said.