ABOUT 100 volunteers took part in a mangrove tree planting event at the Lekir Forest Reserve in Sitiawan.
Comprising local community members, school students, non-governmental organisation members and government officials, the event saw some 1,000 mangrove saplings (Rhizophora apiculata) being planted in a degraded area earlier this month. Spearheaded by Friends of Lekir Sitiawan Mangrove Forest, the event was a collaboration with the state Forestry Department and Global Environment Centre (GEC).
Pasir Panjang assemblyman Yahya Mad Nor launched the event.
Society chairman A. Hadi Kamil Ismail said the event was meant to raise awareness on the importance of the mangrove forest.
He said it was also part of efforts to restore and conserve 100ha of degraded mangrove forest in the area.
“It is part of the Restoration and Conservation of Mangrove Programme which began in 2014.
“Participants relished the opportunity to experience hands-on mangrove planting,” he said, adding that it was held in conjunction with the 61st Merdeka Day celebration.
“Participants also learnt about the importance of the mangrove forest eco-system to its surrounding areas and its link to issues such as climate change.
“The awareness is crucial to bring about change and events like these are an important avenue to educate the masses about biodiversity and sustainable development,” he added.
Hadi said mangrove forests in Malaysia not only benefited the local community and supported their livelihood but also supported a wide range of eco-system services.
“Therefore, it is the civic duty of every citizen to play a part in conserving and protecting our priceless natural resources,” he said.
“Another goal was to raise awareness among stakeholders and show them that they can contribute to mangrove protection and sustainability through simple actions in their daily lives,” he added.
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