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IMU Eco Friends Club Conserves Environment at Tree Planting Project

14 Dec 2015

12 September 2015 – 81 volunteers from the IMU Eco Friends Club participated in the ‘Trees for Life’ event organised by Majlis Bandaraya Shah Alam (MBSA). It was a tree planting project where volunteers plant trees around the state mosque (Masjid Negeri) at Seksyen 14, Shah Alam. The main purpose of the event is to raise awareness on the importance of conserving the environment among IMU students and staff in order to create a greener environment for the next generation. This also provides a golden opportunity for IMU students and staff to take up their responsibilities in conserving the environment in a practical way. The participants took the opportunity to broaden their knowledge in terms of methods and optimum conditions for seed growth. It is also hoped to teamwork and leadership were developed among the participants through this activity.’ TP4 On the day of the event, the participants gathered at IMU bus stop at 6:30am sharp. After taking attendance and head count, two buses with a total of 81 participants departed from IMU to Masjid Negeri at around 6:50am. It takes roughly 45 minutes to reach the destination, so it was 7:30am by the time we arrived at the venue. We were the first group to arrive amongst all the other institutions of higher learning. TP9 When we registered for the event, face masks were distributed by the organiser to protect us from the haze. After registration, we had a light breakfast which was also provided by the organiser. After all the volunteers have taken their breakfast, we were asked to gather for talks and a briefing session. Dr Jean Joseph Weber (Yahya Yusuf Weber) gave a talk on the local species of trees. He enlightened us on how we can care for the ecosystem, for example planting trees, monitoring the trees and mapping the trees. We can map the trees around our housing area using an open database called in order to localise and identify the trees. Our participation permits collection of data that would otherwise not be available for the community. Knowledge about tree diversity at the local, regional and global scale will help to manage residential landscapes in a coordinated way. TP5 The second talk given by Datin Rossiti Aishah Rashidi was entitled ‘The Importance of Trees for Humans and Animals’. She is a writer for children books that illustrate the endangered species in Malaysia. We were told that we used to have 5 different species of turtle coming to our beaches to lay their eggs but now we only have one species left. This is because the turtles cannot differentiate between jellyfish and plastics bags, so they are choked due to ingestion the plastic bags. We are not able to plant trees everyday but we can do our part in our daily life. For example we can reduce the usage of plastic bags by bringing along reusable bag when we go for shopping. We should also start sorting our waste and recycling all the recyclable waste. We then welcomed the Shah Alam mayor, Datuk Ahmad Zaharin Mohd Saad, who is also the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) director. He delivered an appreciation speech to acknowledge the contribution by the sponsors like Projek Lintasan Kota Holdings Sdn Bhd (Prolintas), Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor (PKNS) and Malaysian Electronic Payment System (MEPS). This was followed by the presentation of mock-up cheque by the sponsors to the organiser. TP6 After that, a short briefing and demonstration of tree planting was given by Bernard Eng, an ‘Eco Warrior’ who helps in organising various events related to conservation and preservation of mother Earth. Each institute of higher learning was then assigned to a specific area to plant the trees. The volunteers from IMU were divided into groups of 5 to 8. After grabbing the gardening tools provided by the organiser, each group then proceeded to the designated tree planting location guided by a staff from MBSA. We started digging holes at the marked locations. When the hole was ready, we had to remove the polymer bag and cautiously transfer the root ball of sapling into the hole, making sure that the root ball is not damaged. We had to also make sure that the root ball was either at the same level as the land or higher than the land before covering the hole up with soil. Next, we need to compress the soil around the sapling until it is firm. Lastly, each sapling was then tied to wooden sticks with two ropes in order to ensure its stability.


Lunch and beverages prepared by the organiser were then distributed to all participants. We left Shah Alam at around 11:15am and arrived safely at IMU at 12:00pm. TP1TP2TP3 All the volunteers from different institutions of higher learning, who braved the haze, had successfully planted approximately 400 saplings including Melaka, rambutan, mangosteen, Kundang, Kuini, Pulasan, Cengkih, Bucida, Tecoma, Mahagony, Jambu Laut, Meranti and Jambul Kuning. What is so special about this particular tree planting event is that it is carried out in the city. This serves as a reminder for everyone that we can take the initiative to plant trees around our houses in order to make the city greener. An article on this activity also appeared in the Star. Click here to read the story.

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