WITH a mission to create a safer turtle-landing area, some 130 volunteers from Sirim and the local community came together recently to clean up the beach and plant trees at the Segari Turtle Sanctuary in Lumut, Perak.
The activities were part of the company’s corporate social responsibility to create more awareness among its staff and their family members on the importance of a clean beach especially in the turtle conservation area.
“Not only did we clean up the beach area, we also planted 50 ambung-ambung plants for turtles to lay eggs under,” said Sirim president and group chief executive Prof Dr Ahmad Fadzil Mohamad Hani.
“Even though our company focuses more on technology development, we also believe it is important for us to look after the environment,” he said, adding that the activities were also to enhance teamwork among Sirim employees.
Prof Dr Ahmad Fadzil said that besides CSR programmes for the environment, Sirim has also developed an environment-friendly system that converts food waste into bio-gas.
“We have come up with an anaerobic digestion system in which food waste collected from hawker centres is processed into electricity for local usage. Right now, the system is being implemented in USJ, Subang Jaya, Sepang and Port Dickson.
“We have also created a packaging container that is made from biodegradable materials,” he said.
During the beach clean-up, the rubbish collected by volunteers included plastic bags, bottles, balloons and other plastic items.
“It will take about 450 years for plastic to decompose, which affects our environment and also marine life,” Prof Dr Ahmad Fadzil said.
“Turtles eat jelly fish and often mistake plastic bags as their food. This is why it is important to have beach-cleaning, to prevent plastic waste from going into the sea.”
Zaki Mokri, the Perak Fisheries Department director whose personnel also joined in the clean-up, welcomed the Sirim CSR programme at the turtle sanctuary.
“This shows that public awareness of turtle and habitat protection is increasing.
We get an average of about 20 companies holding their CSR programmes here each year,” he said, adding that as of June, the sanctuary has recorded and collected about 7,000 turtle eggs.
Volunteer Mohamad Syahrul Amir Johar, 25, said he had joined the programme to do his part for turtle conservation.
“I have just started working with Sirim this year and this programme allows me to meet colleagues besides doing my part for Mother Nature. I hope Sirim will in future conduct similar activities so that more staff can join.”
School student Arfan Bukhari Abdullah, 11, who was accompanied by his uncle, is also looking forward to taking part in more of such activities in the future.
“By cleaning up the beach, not only are we providing a better environment for turtles to lay eggs, we also create a more comfortable area for us to enjoy the beach. I hope to see more beach cleaning activities here and also other beaches in Malaysia.”
Prof Dr Ahmad Fadzil said Sirim might conduct another similar activity in the future. “Based on the response we received, we can consider having such a programme again,” he said.
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