SAEYLS committee members Hana Suraya, 17, (left) and Ayrahani, 15, posing with the Rambai tree they planted.
IN AN effort to preserve the environment and enhance their leadership skills, students who took part in the Sri Aman Environmental Youth Leadership Summit (SAEYLS) planted seven species of fruit trees in Taman Rimba Riang, Kota Damansara.
SAEYLS is an international event conducted annually by SMK (P) Sri Aman students.
“This is our sixth year organising the programme and this year, SAEYLS has a total of 10 schools from Malaysia and other countries including Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, and China,” said the school’s senior assistant of co-curriculum Suhafna A. Rahman.
SAEYLS will be working closely with Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) with the theme “Youth The Roots Of Change” aimed at making youths more environmentally conscious and helping them embrace environmentally friendly lifestyles.
“Most of the students have never planted a tree before, so by providing an opportunity like this they will be more engaged with nature, and at the same time, get to know local fruits,” said MBPJ landscape and urban green department assistant director Alya Syaheera Amran.
Sixty trees were planted, ranging from local tropical fruit trees such as durian, rambutan, mangosteen, mango, rambai and dukong (similar to langsat) and beruas (similar to mangosteen).
Other activities planned this year include visiting Bukit Gasing forest, and the 1Utama shopping centre rainforest to instil an appreciation for nature.
Several competitions such as Young Eco Innovation Challenge, Smart City Challenge and a poetry workshop are also planned for this year.
Student Hana Suraya said, “This is my second year with SAEYLS, and I have learnt so much about leadership skills and the environment through my participation in this annual event.
“The tree planting activity has given me the chance to give back to the community and the environment, which I believe most youths neglect,” she added.
SAEYLS participant from Indonesia Eksanti said planting trees was exciting, and as teenagers, they had to develop their own interest towards preserving the environment.
“What SAEYLS does is very helpful and I am glad that they are exposing youths to become more understanding towards the environment,” said Mica Jaen, a participant from the Philippines.
Visitors to Taman Rimba Riang will soon be able to enjoy these local fruits and the place will also be a platform to educate youths.