Sunday January 6, 2013
Doing their bit for Mother Nature
UNIVERSITI Putra Malaysia (UPM) recently organised a tree planting ceremony at its Bintulu campus, Sarawak in collaboration with Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan.
Sarawak Assistant Tourism Minister Datuk Talib Zulpilip said the effort in forest rehabilitation would contribute towards a sustainable environment.
“I believe this project is important for our community to not only show awareness in terms of environmental protection, but also to gain new knowledge in forest rehabilitation in Malaysia,” he said.
He believed that through the gathering of experts and the younger generation, the event will provide a platform to develop and share forest rehabilitation techniques.
Over 300 participants from Mitsubishi Corporation, the local government, varsity staff and students took part in the annual event to show their commitment in planting forest trees.
In 2008, a reconstruction of a tropical forest model at the same location covered an area of 27ha and involved 3,000 seedlings.
Besides Mitsubishi Corporation, the Yokohama National University (YNU) in Japan had previously worked with UPM on the tree planting programme in 1990.
Since 1991, a total of 350,000 forest trees from 128 species have been planted at the campus, covering an area of 47ha.
UPM’s deputy vice-chancellor (Industry and Community Relations) Prof Dr Renuganth Varatharajoo said the 21 years of research collaboration between the varsity and Mitsubishi will benefit the campus community.
“I believe this is a part of the social corporate responsibility project for both UPM and Mitsubishi Corporation, and it will potentially pave a way for many improvements and knowledge sharing in terms of environmental protection,” he said.
The scientific basis for the success of the project is based on the concept of vegetation association introduced by Prof Dr Akira Miyawaki of YNU.
The project is carried out in combination with the concept of accelerating natural regeneration which was introduced by Prof Datuk Dr Nik Muhamad Nik Ab Majid, the former dean of UPM’s Faculty of Agriculture and Food Science, Bintulu campus.
The establishment of these projects in Serdang, Selangor and Bintulu allowed many research projects to be conducted not only by the scientists from Japan, but also UPM students and lecturers.