100 Students Enhance Langkawi Bird Haven Site
DiGi’s The Jungle-Wallah of Langkawi environment project enters fifth month
LANGKAWI, 20 October 2007: The 100 primary and secondaryschool children participating inThe Jungle-Wallah of Langkawi have been thoroughly immersed in the DiGi's Amazing Malaysians environment project since it started in June. Today, as part of a community component of the project, they came out in full force to plant salaam, fig and flowering trees around Tasik Telawak, a haven for ducks and water birds in Langkawi.
The project, led by naturalist Irshad Mobarak, aims to instill a love for nature among the youth, while highlighting critical issues that can affect the island's ecosystem and the locals' livelihood. Through specially designed activities, the students are being introduced to the importance of preserving wildlife.
"The best way to get children to love the environment is to take them out into the jungles, the hills and the mangrove swamps, and show them the wonders of nature. The beauty of nature speaks its own universal language, which cuts across all barriers, and has the power of uniting people," said Irshad.
In this seven-month project, the children are divided into three groups:
- Wildlife Rangers: after collecting soil and water samples from various locations around Langkawi, the children compare levels of bio-indicators, such as dissolved oxygen, phosphates, nitrates and pH levels in natural as opposed to man-made environments.
- Tree Doctors: these children are collecting seeds from the jungles and nurturing them in a nursery, to be planted eventually along strategic stretches of roads to create wildlife corridors. The aim is to plant some 5,000 trees.
- Nature's Scribes: this group is documenting the range of animal and plant species found in Langkawi, and will publish information-based brochures for tourists and other visitors.
Today's activity at Tasik Telawak involved all 100 children from the three groups. "We believe in encouraging children from the island to get their hands 'dirty', so to speak, and develop a sense of ownership and appreciation of the rich natural heritage found in their surroundings," explained Stefan Carlsson, Chief Financial Officer of DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd. "This simple exercise of tree planting by the children makes the marshland of Tasik Telawak more attractive to birds and other wildlife, which in turn encourages more bird enthusiasts to visit."
Later in the afternoon, the Wildlife Rangers carried out an audit of local folk in Tanjung Rhu, questioning them about the flora and fauna in the area, and getting their views on how the area could be better managed to improve its eco-viability. "These children have been carrying out environmental audits all over the island to understand and find solutions for the environmental issues facing Langkawi," explained Irshad.
Since the launch of this project, the students - from SK Kedawang, SK Sri Negeri, SK Ladang Sungai Raya, SMK Langkawi and SMK Tunku Putra - have been attending regular workshops organised by Irshad and his facilitators from MNS (Malaysian Nature Society).
Each DiGi's Amazing Malaysians project is adopted by a particular division in DiGi. The Jungle-Wallah of Langkawi is taken on by the Finance Division, headed by Carlsson. "I'm impressed by the children's enthusiasm and commitment to learn as much as they can to protect their environmental heritage. If we can reach out to at least a handful of them, then we would have achieved something significant. Based on today's activities, I think we have more than a handful of budding naturalists," he noted.
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About DiGi's Amazing Malaysians
DiGi's Amazing Malaysians is a corporate responsibility (CR) programme, launched in January 2005, which identifies passionate individuals who, quietly but with dedication, work towards preserving Malaysia's natural, social, art, cultural or built heritage. DiGi provides resources for these ordinary people doing extraordinary things to share their knowledge and skills with groups of 50-100 children or youth. Most of the projects are centred in rural locations, and the children involved come from the surrounding areas. This way, DiGi is able both to support commendable heritage work, and to introduce children to the rich tapestry of culture and tradition that makes up Malaysia's unique heritage.
For more info, go to www.digi.com.my/aboutdigi/community/amazing.jsp
Corporate Communications Department
DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd