Malaysian Palm Oil Green Conservation Foundation champions green conservation movement in schools
PARIT BUNTAR - The Malaysian Palm Oil Green Conservation Foundation (MPOGCF) continues its strategic effort in sustainable conservation among schools.
The initiative was set in motion through the Schools' Green Conservation Campaign by selecting 91 Kerian District Education Office (PPD) level schools as project pioneers.
MPOGCF general manager Zamakhsari Muhamad said the foundation sponsored 1,000 red lip (kelat paya) trees and 100 oil palm seedlings to be distributed to all schools involved, covered by RM60,000 fund.
"In this early stage, we will first focus on planting and then the conservation activities.
"We will continue to work with PPD to ensure this pilot project’s success so that it can be used as a model expanded to other places," he said during the Green Conservation Campaign launch for PPD Kerian schools at the Nam Hua Chinese national-type school (SJKC) hall in Tanjung Piandang.
The program was officiated by MPOGCF Board of Trustees member Datuk Abdul Rasyid Idris and also present were Kerian district education officer Mohd Paku Ruzi Min and MPOGCF conservation manager, Ahmad Shahdan Kassim.
Zamakhsari said awareness regarding environmental protection and palm oil sustainability is crucial and should start at the grassroots level, especially among school children.
Therefore, he said the campaign establishment at the school level was seen to be able to sprout the people’s awareness about the importance of palm oil and its industry for economic growth as well as the country's stability.
"These educators have the ability to deliver messages on issues related to sustainability and green conservation so for that reason, we chose the school.
"Sometimes people view palm oil as nothing more than a farm when it is actually significant to the people. Our awareness will help protect and conserve the country's natural biodiversity," he stated.
In the campaign, each school received 10 red lip trees and one palm oil tree.
The red lip tree was chosen because the ornamental tree is easy to care for and maintain without additional maintenance costs, while the palm tree is symbolic of the Malaysian palm industry that has donated funds for this campaign.
MPOGCF also sponsored sign boards displaying the conservation campaign which will be installed at each school involved in the near future.
FULFILLING GOVERNMENT'S WISHES
In the same development, Abdul Rasyid said the Schools' Green Conservation Campaign coincides with the government's desire to use sustainable commodities for the people’s well-being.
In fact, its implementation supports the Greening Malaysia program, launched in January 2021, through planting 100 million trees in five years from 2021 to 2025 period.
"The latest statistics show that 51.19 per cent of the targeted trees have been planted nationwide.
"The Education Department of Perak aims to plant 100,000 trees within five years.
"So, this project initiative is a clear message of our commitment to protecting the environment and the country's palm oil industry," Abdul Rasyid.
He also explained that palm oil in Malaysia is an industry-developed sustainably to meet the 3P criteria namely People (community welfare) Profit (economy) and Planet (environment).
"MPOGCF's role is to improve Malaysian palm oil image as a sustainable product in addition to promoting the palm oil benefits in developing countries.
"MPOGCF is also responsible to promote the ‘environment or planet’ criteria by sponsoring projects restoring damaged forests and programs conserving wild animals, especially elephant, orangutans, and Malayan tigers.
"These three iconic animals are often associated with palm oil plantations," he stated.
"This campaign is beneficial for future generation because the green conservation process involves all parties. It should be done continuously to guarantee a better future for the country." - R Subramaniam, 52, Head Teacher of SJKT Saint Mary, Parit Buntar.
“School involvement in the campaign will become the new trigger for schools to appear more creative in the effort of inducing environmental awareness among students.”- Lee Choy Yan, 58, Headmaster of SJKC Sin Hwa, Parit Buntar.
“All this while, we have overlooked the palm oil importance and environmental conservation, therefore this campaign can foster the school community knowledge to make use of open field around the school.”- Hasan Aghare Mohd Nor, 59, Head Teacher of SK Baru Parit Buntar, Parit Buntar.