Sunday, April 1, 2012

Care for the nature

A campaign to create environmental awareness is gaining momentum although some consumers appeared not too keen on doing their bit.

Several ventures to help create a healthier environment and ensure its sustainability have met with some encouraging results.

The Malaysian government is hoping to ensure greater success in keeping the landscape not only intact but also enhanced.

For starters, Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) has planted exactly 1,000 trees under the country’s first ever environmental programme for business tourism.

The campaign, aptly named “Let’s Meet & Green”, was launched by MyCEB in November 2011 in support of the government’s commitment to offset carbon emissions by 40% by 2020.

This programme was launched in line with the Tourism Ministry’s “1Malaysia Green, 1Malaysia Clean” campaign. Under this programme, participants contribute a minimum of RM31.

The contributions will be channelled to the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) for its tree-planting activity. This is part of an overall strategy being formulated by the government to ensure that there is a steady decline in the amount of carbon emissions until 2020.

The 1,000 trees planted came from the contributions of the 18th World Congress of Accountants 2010 (600 trees), Institute of Internal Auditors Association International Conference 2011 (250), Malaysia Meetings Innovation Day 2011 (100) and MyCEB’s internal staff (50).

Early this year, 25 MyCEB’s employees, accompained by FRIM representatives, gathered at FRIM in Kuala Lumpur for a tree-planting activity and the installation of a plaque. The event is among a number of activities lined up by MyCEB for this year to plant more trees around the country.

MyCEB CEO Zulkefli Sharif said that by participating in this campaign, planners and event organisers can leave a lasting environmental legacy in Malaysia by preserving, conserving and protecting nature.

Zulkefli hopes to plant thousands more trees in the future as part of efforts to educate business partners about this campaign.

Reducing plastic bags

However, in Sabah, a green campaign launched last year to reduce the use of plastic bags has fallen short of its target.

Kota Kinabalu City Hall had launched the “No Plastic Bag” campaign with the noble intention of protecting the environment, convincing 225 outlets to join in to raise public awareness in cutting down the use of plastic bags.

Under the campaign, customers were encouraged to bring their own shopping bags, and would be charged 20 sen by participating outlets, for each plastic bag used on a Monday. Later, it was extended to include Saturdays and Sundays.

However, Kota Kinabalu residents were not too keen on curtailing the use of plastic bags judging from the high number of the bags purchased, said Mayor Abidin Madingkir.

Abidin added that this showed environmental awareness is very low in the city and he appealed to all residents to participate vigorously in the campaign.

As adviser to the KK Environmental Action Centre, Abidin said KK City Hall would strive to persuade business operators to join in the campaign including night market hawkers.

KK City Hall hoped to meet the participating outlets to discuss problems faced by them in implementing the campaign, including dealing with customers who were upset at having to pay for the plastic bags.

Change for the better

Back to the Peninsula, students of SMK Bandar Sunway Special Class Alumnus were overjoyed to paint green-themed murals in their classrooms using paint sponsored from a paint company, Mr Paint Man Sdn Bhd. The students were doing their bit for the environment.

The students painted eight classrooms in striking colours such as Bloo Blue, Dino Rex, Stitch, Pink Panther and Sweet Lilo.

This initiative was organised in conjunction with the official launch of the “Paint a Greener Future for Our World” campaign by Mr Paint Man.

Under this programme, Mr Paint Man will continue to collaborate with various schools to provide them with a sustainable, healthy and hygienic environment.

These initiatives are a good start on educating and creating awareness of the environment. But more Malaysians should make it a point to learn and participate in these programmes.

Only then will these initiatives bear fruit. Only then will there be a change for the better in the environment and Malaysians can look forward to an enhanced quality of life.

Christopher Fernandez has been teaching and writing throughout Asia since 1984.


Green Sabah says: It is quite disappointing to find that awareness campaign about the use of plastic bags has not received encouraging response from the community. Authorities and NGOs must do more to bring awareness to the public. Emphasis on the importance of protecting the environment should be taught from the school. Early exposure could bring awareness to the younger generation. We are able to change it.


Mohd Ishak said...

Semua lapisan masyarakat bertanggungjawab untuk memainkan peranan masing-masing untuk memelihara alam sekitar.

Mohd Ishak said...

Diharapkan lebih ramai rakyat Sabah akan mengambil inisiatif untuk mengurangkan penggunaan beg plastik bila membeli belah. Kempen tanpa beg plastik ini wajar mendapat sokongan daripada orang ramai.

evan medhousky said...

jika hanya kerajaan dan NGO sahaja yang terlibat, sedangkan orang awam tidak memberikan kerjasama, usaha mewujudkan persekitaran tanpa sebarang pencemaran tidak akan berhasil.. golongan muda diperingkat sekolah masa kini perlu lebih diberikan pendedahan..

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