Sunday, 19 June 2022 == Kuala Lumpur: CIMB Foundation has committed to plant 7,000 mangroves through its Mangrove Conservation Initiative, restoring mangrove canopy gap areas in the Kuala Selangor Nature Park over the next two years.
In collaboration with the Institute for Environment and Development of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (LESTARI-UKM) and The Malaysian Mangrove Research Alliance and Network (MyMangrove), the project will be further enriched through the efforts of volunteers combined with resources and research by conservation experts and environmental NGOs, which will help increase the awareness on the importance of building healthy mangrove biodiversity and ecosystems.
Mangroves play an important function in producing and providing ecosystems which benefit the fauna and surrounding communities. They also act as an agent in protecting key environmental and climate cycles, as well as its rich biodiversity.
The Foundation is taking an active step in mitigating effects of climate change through the CIMB - UKM Mangrove Conservation Initiative which consists of three parts which are Education and Awareness, Habitat Restoration, as well as Research and Development.
The programmes include mangrove planting, nursery, biodiversity, and ecosystem services, as well as research on carbon stock and carbon sequestration in developing mechanisms for carbon financing.
The initiative will provide sustainable impact on approximately 40% of the 200,000-strong population of the Kuala Selangor district, through protection against effects of land erosion, storms, and tidal surges.
Conservation and recreation
In addition to expanding mangrove forests, the project will aid the restoration of abandoned aquaculture ponds, and it is also expected to a have a spillover effect on the Kuala Selangor district community, offering an additional economic venture for five fishing communities through the creation of marketed and commercialised products.
This includes tourism, trails and recreational excursions, traditional food, drinks and delicacies from the mangrove fruits as well as alternative timber products such as high-quality furniture and handicraft.
Rafe Haneef, Chief Executive Officer, CIMB Foundation, Prof. Dato' Dr Wan Kamal Mujani, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation) of University Kebangsaan Malaysia and Dr Ahmad Aldrie Amir, Head of Research Centre for Environment, Economic and Social of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Head of the CIMB – UKM Mangrove Conservation Initiative were on hand to plant the first batch of mangrove seedlings, together with a team of 100 initial volunteers from CIMB Group and programme partners.
Rafe Haneef said, “We are pleased to partner with LESTARI-UKM and MyMangrove to officially kick-start our Mangrove Conservation Initiative in the Kuala Selangor Nature Park. It is indeed timely and much needed and reinforces one of our key pillars which is climate and environment.
This initiative supports impactful education, research as well as conservation efforts in sustaining the environment through rehabilitation of mangroves, whilst enhancing the livelihoods of the surrounding community.
In line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this is aligned with CIMB Foundation’s ongoing commitment towards playing an active role as a responsible corporate citizen in mitigating the effects of global climate change, promoting sustainability, and supporting environmental concerns.”
Prof. Dato' Dr. Wan Kamal Mujani said, “We play a significant role in the Mangrove Conservation Initiative through this partnership with CIMB Foundation. The meeting of common objectives brings us all forward in mobilising all available resources to promote a sustainable environment, in this case through the far-reaching effects of mangrove conservation.
“This supports the larger vision of LESTARI-UKM and MyMangrove, which includes education and research activities that aim to increase knowledge, skills and awareness pertaining to the issue. We look forward to receiving continued support and assistance from scientists, researchers, conservation authorities, corporate entities as well as the general public in ensuring that mangroves and their complex inter-dependent habitats continue to thrive, play their natural roles and functions, as well as remain as a natural heritage of national, regional and global importance.”
LESTARI-UKM was established to realise the goal of sustainable development through research and capacity development, whilst serving as a reference centre for environment and development issues. Previously, CIMB Foundation has partnered with UKM for several community empowerment initiatives, namely the establishment of a school and the rolling-out of educational programmes for the Orang Asli community in Kelantan, as well as the CIMB Young ASEAN leaders programme, an initiative aimed at enhancing the quality of life of ASEAN citizens through activities that promote sustainable development.
Celebrating its 15th anniversary this October, CIMB Foundation has always been at the forefront of enhancing the lives of communities that it operates in. T
hrough various initiatives, it has always been the Foundation’s highest priority to ensure that it consistently builds trust and empowers those in need to scale up their livelihoods to achieve long-term and sustainable growth.