KUALA LUMPUR: The coming 2017 SEA Games will leave a legacy beyond sporting achievements – more than 5,000 trees will be planted to commemorate the event.
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said as part of the One Medal, One Tree programme, the Malaysian Organising Committee (MASOC) would plant 5,249 trees.
This matches the total number of gold, silver and bronze medals offered at the 29th SEA Games and the 9th Asean Para Games.
“We must leave a legacy from these games – not just a sporting legacy but one that will live on for generations to come,” Khairy said during the programme’s launch at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil here yesterday.
Instead of the traditional bouquet presented during the prize-giving ceremonies, the winning athletes, he said, would be handed a sapling that would be planted along Peninsula Malaysia’s Central Forest Spine.
That stretch is a series of reserve forests in Perak, Kelantan and Terengganu.
The trees – made up of various native Malaysian jungle species –will be planted between October and March next year. These will be grown below the viaducts where animals safely cross highways that run through the forests.
Khairy said this would not only help the Green Innitiative by off-setting part of the carbon footprint caused by the SEA Games but also act as a symbol of friendship between nations for decades.
Malaysian gold medalists, he said, would have the honour of having trees named after them. These, he added, would be planted around the National Stadium.
“This would surely contribute to public awareness on the importance of restoration of forests and preservation of biodiversity, which are priceless national treasures,” he said.
Non-profit organisation Landskap Malaysia has been appointed the Green Innitiative Partner to execute the project. Both Tenaga Nasional Berhad and SCGM Berhad are also sponsors of the initiative.
Other Green Innitiatives for the Games include encouraging attendees to use public transport and free-to-use bicycles, recycle their trash and even compost food waste.
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