Sunday, April 21, 2013

UMS aims to become a ‘Low Carbon City’

In line with the government’s aspiration to reduce the carbon footprint by 40 per cent in 2020, more than 60 per cent of the land area in Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) is made up of landscaping plants and natural forests to allow for the natural absorption of carbon.

UMS vice chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Mohd Harun Abdullah said the carbon absorption process would make UMS to be known as a ‘Low Carbon City’ since each road is surrounded with shady trees.

In addition to this effort, the School of International Tropical Forestry (SPTA) at UMS has started stocking and absorption of carbon by tree planting in the university grounds since 2006.

The forest and agricultural trees were planted as carbon absorbers, not only serving as Plants Bank but also used as learning and teaching location besides being a source of income for SPTA. Meanwhile, the agro-forestry at SPTA was seen as a model for sustainable development.

SPTA was praised for its courageous move in choosing Dryobalanops lanceolata (or pokok kapur paji in Malay) as the school’s official tree. Pokok kapur form the rainforest tree community that contributed to Sabah’s economic development in the early 80s whereby Sabah exported logs as construction material to Japan and Europe. However, as the number of pokok kapur is on a decline, the awareness of its importance in terms of economic value and ecosystem function drove SPTA to choose pokok kapur.

Harun also added that in 2012, all first-year students planted their own ‘foster tree’ as a symbolic gesture during the orientation week.


Anonymous said...

Increasing urbanisation and climate change are two of the great challenges of the 21st century. Thus this is a very good idea indeed. This could help in achieving the government's target to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 40% by 2020.

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