1% for the Planet
We are glad to be able to support and fund a 1% For The Planet approved NGO, Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) for a wetland conservation project.
Preserving home for precious local habitat
There is a need to highlight and raise awareness on the unique ecology and high diversity of wetland in the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, in particular, the remaining mangrove forest reserves in Sungai Sepang Besar and Sepang Kecil, South Selangor; where 19 out of 25 locally known mangrove species are found here. The mudflats of Sepang coast forms part of a great bird migration route called the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. Other interesting fauna found in this area includes Smooth Otters, waterbirds and congregating fireflies (found only in the South-east Asian region).
The wetland project is called “WETLANDS WANDERER” – a program for wetlands education and conservation. Phase I of the project involves developing an interpretive trail and habitat gardens along an unused mangrove canal behind the Sepang Gold Coast Environmental Interpretive Centre (EIC), ideally located right beside Sungai Sepang Besar, as well as enhancing the Exhibition Centre. This is part of the effort in conserving the remaining mangroves in the area and improving the public’s awareness of its importance.
EIC was established on 9th April 2009. It is an eco-friendly project which is jointly managed by Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) and Sepang Goldcoast (SGC) focusing on the conservation of mangroves and the Sepang rivers. This centre also plays an important role in promoting eco-tourism. Eco-tourism is defined as minimizing impact on environmental interaction with nature, community involvement, environmental activity and economics sustainability. In this respect, EIC acts as the center point in promoting the entire existing eco-tourism products in Sepang.
Wetlands are areas of land that are covered with water at least part of the year and contain plants and animals that are adapted to these conditions. Wetlands are one of the most biologically diverse systems in the world and can be compared to tropical rainforests and coral reefs in the diversity of species they support.
Wetlands, also called bogs, swamps and marshes, are vital to ecology system. Wetlands provide many benefits including: water quality improvements; food and habitat for fish and wildlife; flood control and shoreline erosion control; and as a recreational area.
Another project under Justlife 1% for the Planet is Mangrove Tree planting which we work together with MNS. Justlife realize that a sustainable mangrove tree planting is more that just setting sapling on the ground. The survival rate of the mangrove seedlings is only 33 per cent, and this necessitates continuous inspection, replanting and care as mangroves take more than 10 years to mature.
Why Mangrove Tree
Mangrove trees are well-known and scientifically proven to have good carbon absorption and storage capacity of carbon dioxide. They act as natural flood retention “sponge” to hold heavy rainfall, thus reducing the occurrence and severity of flooding. Mangrove trees help to recycle nutrients and remove toxins and sediments. They also play the role of holding sediment along riverbanks to prevent erosion, and help to reduce pollution to the coral reefs and marine life. In addition, mangroves provide breeding and nursery grounds for birds, young marine fish, seashells, prawns, mud lobster, crabs, and other wildlife.
Mangrove planting is one of the important activities at Sepang aimed at conserving the various species of mangroves and restoring the deteriorated area to its former glory, retaining the original characteristics of the mangrove forest. Mangrove planting will give participants hands-on experience on mangrove conservation and a great opportunity to explore and to know better the importance and function of the mangrove ecosystem. We also believe that this programme will have a very positive messaging on environmental impact and we envisage the habitat rehabilitation will also enrich the local fisheries resource as well as to safeguard the coastline from erosion and tsunamis.
The Malaysian Nature Society has been contributing towards the protection of Malaysia’s natural heritage since 1940. Being a membership-based organization, MNS has been the reason behind the protection of many key habitats as well as national and state parks in Malaysia.
Some updates and photos of justlife staffs volunteering at a tree planting activity here.