A group of secondary students from Japan has volunteered to come to Sabah for the first time to plant mangroves and even donated RM3,500 in support of the State’s project on rehabilitation of degraded mangroves.
State Forestry Department (SFD) Director Datuk Sam Mannan said the group of students from Ritsumeikan Uji High School in Kyoto was brought by Professor Shigeyuki Baba, Executive Director of the International Society for Mangrove Ecosystem (ISME).
He said the trip to Sabah was in conjunction with the third meeting of the Project Steering Committee on rehabilitation of degraded mangroves that was held in Sandakan yesterday.
It was part of the collaboration between SFD and ISME that was sealed on November 10, 2010 to implement the rehabilitation project.
Sam said the students, led by their teacher Saori Matsuoka, were all excited about the trip and took part in planting mangroves in Sungai Lalasun, Sandakan.
He added that from the funds raised for the trip, the students donated 10,000 Yen (more than RM3,500) to SFD in support of mangrove rehabilitation in the State.
Recognising the importance of cultural exchange and nature education, the students visited SMK Muhibbah Sandakan, the Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre and the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Centre.
Sam said the collaborative project between SFD and ISME is funded by Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. Ltd, and the first phase of the project would be for three years (2011-2014 with an annual target of 50 hectares.
He said the ISME had remitted RM206,300 to SFD to support the expenditures of rehabilitation work for the first year and from October 2011 to March 2012, the project had planted 50 hectares of degraded mangroves in forest reserves of Sandakan and Beaufort.
The PSC was formed and chaired by the Director of SFD to monitor the progress of the project, and thus far, the committee had met three times in Sandakan.
ISME was established in 1990 to promote research, conservation, rational management and sustainable use of mangrove ecosystems. With its Secretariat located at the University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan, the society now has over 1000 members from 90 countries/regions.
During the Society’s 8th General Assembly and Mangrove Workshop in Sandakan in September last year, SFD was awarded an honorary institutional membership of ISME.
Sam said such collaboration presented a great opportunity for SFD to strengthen its capacity in mangrove rehabilitation.
“SFD is honoured to be chosen by the Society for the project implementation.
“Sabah is the first state in Malaysia to have such collaboration with ISME and this may herald the beginning of other collaborative efforts between institutions in Japan and Sabah in the future,” he added.
Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/03/16/japanese-students-plant-mangroves-to-support-rehabilitation-terkini/#ixzz1pdweCdBm