|Page: Plant Mangrove Saplings in Port Dickson|
December 30, 2011
By SARBAN SINGH
SOME 100 employees of ExxonMobil subsidiaries in Malaysia spent an evening recently planting 1,000 mangrove saplings along a coastal stretch in Kampung Balak in Port Dickson to create awareness on the importance of a healthy mangrove ecosystem among the local community.
The programme, aimed at increasing the density of mangrove trees in the Pasir Panjang area and jointly carried out with Landscape Malaysia and the Port Dickson Municipal Council, was also to educate the people on the biodiversity value of the mangrove and its role in protecting areas along the coast.
Landscape Malaysia chairman Tun Jeanne Abdullah, who also participated in the programme, commended the organisers for their effort and stressed that mangrove forests need to be preserved as they served many purposes which include being wave breakers to the country’s shores.
“We should also learn lessons from the tsunami that hit our country in 2004 and how it impacted on our country and people,” she said, adding that although Peninsular Malaysia had 106,104ha of mangrove area, only 1.8% was in its original state.
Hands-on: Jeanne joining some 100 employees from the ExxonMobil subsidiaries in Malaysia to plant mangrove saplings.
Jeanne said on its part, Landscape Malaysia had planted 32,367 trees nationwide through its “My Forest” programme since its launch in February 2009.
“This effort is also important as most places including urban parks, schools, hospitals and degraded areas do not have many trees anymore,” she said.
Jeanne added that Malaysians were fortunate as they could still breathe fresh air, enjoy clean water supply and use natural resources for a living, but these would not be permanent without efforts to conserve them.
Esso Malaysia retail business director Faridah Ali said the mangrove planting project was a channel for ExxonMobil employees to contribute in a meaningful way to the community where it operates.
She said as a responsible corporate citizen, ExxonMobil also encouraged volunteerism among its employees and would provide the required support to enable them to organise community projects.
“This project will not only reinforce the sustainability of Pasir Panjang but will also enhance the tourism potential of the area, thus improve the livelihood of the local community,” she said, adding that 20 orphans from a home here were also invited to participate in the programme to educate them on its importance.
Prior to the sapling planting programme, the children were taken to the Eagle Ranch Resort for telematches and a treasure hunt.
ExxonMobil employees had also carried out four other environment-related community projects this year.
These included restoring the riparian landscape at the Ayer Hitam forest reserve in Puchong, sprucing up areas at the National Zoo, planting a herb garden at the Sungai Buloh Forestry development and training unit as well as tree planting in Likas Bay in Kota Kinabalu.