23 May 2015 – International Medical University (IMU) Eco Friends Club organised a visit to Raja Musa Forest Reserve (RMFR) under the IMU Cares Environmental Issues, Tree Planting Project. The RMFR consists of an area of 23,486 hectares which has suffered intensive logging activities since the 1950’s. The forest area has also been encroached and degraded due to illegal clearing and burning for farming activities and has caused major environmental hazards such as haze and forest fire. The Raja Musa Forest Rehabilitation Programme is a collaborative programme between the Selangor Forestry Department and Global Environment Centre (GEC) which aims to rehabilitate more than 1,000 hectares of degraded forest through community participation. The IMU Eco Friends Club has been actively participating in tree planting activities at RMFR. The main objective of the tree planting event is to replenish the forest density of RMFR. Through this project, students will also be able to appreciate the need to preserve our native forests for a greener tomorrow. We believe that this activity encourages students to participate in a fun inter-professional team building outdoor activity. On the day of the event, student and staff gathered at the IMU Driveway at 6:30am. After the registration and head count, two buses with 88 participants departed for Raja Musa Forest Reserve at 7:00am. Although our group from IMU reached the destination at 8:30am, we had to wait until 9:ooam for groups from other organisations to gather for the common briefing. Once the other groups arrived, a short appreciation speech and briefing on the groupings and method of tree planting was given by a Raja Musa staff. Following the briefing, participants from IMU were divided into 7 groups. They then proceeded to their designated tree planting location. Each group had about 12 members who worked together to dig holes into the swampy peat land and plant the saplings. The saplings that were given to us, were of native medicinal tree Kedondong. Team members consisting of students and staff took turns to do the heavy duty digging that made us sweat and become hungry. Finally each sapling was securely tired with to wooden sticks to ensure stability. IMU volunteers successfully planted approximately 180 saplings in that visit. We were fortunate that the day was cooler than usual and after the hard work, participants gathered back to wash up and have lunch. Lunch and beverages arranged by the IMU Eco Friends Club were distributed to all participants. To our surprise, an ice cream man showed up on his bike, just in time to cool us off with ice blocks. All is well that ends well and the participants arrived safely at IMU at 2:45pm. The overall feedback from participants was that they enjoyed their time spent playing their part in achieving a greener environment. Participants felt that it was a very meaningful activity which allowed them to spend quality time with other likeminded volunteers who are concerned about the environment. Participants were able to practice teamwork through this experience as they had to divide out their jobs for example some were in charge of digging the soil, planting the saplings and tying the saplings to a stick for identification purposes. From this experience, participants were able to learn hands-on method of planting saplings. Ultimately, main objective of this event which was to replenish the forest density of the Raja Musa forest reserve was achieved. IMU participants together with participants from different organisations worked together successfully to plant saplings in a total area of 5km2.