@Green March/April 2022 | Page 29

Remedial action involves restoration efforts by local communities
March-April , 2022 | @ Forest



YAYASAN Sime Darby ( YSD ) and Global Environment Centre ( GEC ) are collaborating on community-based mangrove conservation and a sustainable livelihood programme to preserve and conserve the threatened mangrove coastlines from climate change and build sustainable livelihoods among the community members by restoring and maintaining mangrove forests in coastal landscapes .

The programme was launched on Mar 18 , 2022 , at the Sime Darby Plantation Chersonese Estate , Kuala Gula in Kerian , Perak , by the Chief Operations Services Officer of Sime Darby Plantation Berhad , Adi Wira Abd Razak . It was in conjunction with the World Planting Day and International Day of Forests celebrated annually on Mar 21 .
The event was also attended by Head of Projects Yayasan Sime Darby ( YSD ), Rozilah Abdul Rahman , and GEC ' s Manager of Forest and Coastal Programme , Nagarajan Rengasamy .
The community-based mangrove conservation project is intended to benefit the B40 fishing communities in Kuala Gula and Sitiawan through a sustainable livelihood programme in both areas .
The remedial action through this project involves mangrove restoration efforts by local communities to address coastal erosion within specific areas classified under the Risk 2 category for coastal erosion identified in the Perak State Structure Plan and by the Federal Town and Country Planning Department in Perak ( PLANMalaysia @ Perak ).
YSD ' s support will enable GEC to strengthen the sustainable management and use of mangrove and coastal resources to improve the community ' s livelihood in the long run .
It will also enhance the institutional capacity of two local community organisations empowered to be guardians of the local mangrove and coastal resources , namely Sahabat Hutan Bakau Kuala Gula ( SHBKG ) and Sahabat Hutan Bakau Pasir Panjang Laut ( SHBPPL ).
Connecting people to nature
CEO of YSD , Yatela Zainal Abidin , shared : “ Coastal communities in Kuala Gula and Sitiawan have become some of the most vulnerable to the impacts of global climate breakdown , as the areas they live in are at high risk of coastal erosion .
“ This programme is vital to address the threatened mangrove coastlines and enable the sustainable livelihoods of the residents in these two areas , mostly from the B40 group .
“ By connecting people to nature , the programme will be able to fight climate change and assist the community in earning a good living .”
She added they previously collaborated with GEC to build the sustainable livelihoods of residents nearby the Raja Musa Forest Reserve in Selangor while restoring 20 hectares of peat swamp forest and reducing peatland fire incidences significantly .
Similarly , Sime Darby Plantation remained a critical collaboration partner in both projects . YSD is confident this community-based mangrove conservation programme in Perak would be successful for both the environment and the community .
Adi Wira added : “ Sime Darby Plantation is honoured to be once again

RM1.2m for mangrove conservation

Remedial action involves restoration efforts by local communities
At the launch were from left : Nagarajan Rengasamy , Rozilah Abdul Rahman , Adi Wira Abd Razak , Ramlan Ramle and Mohd Idzaruddin Hasan .
Puji Astuti Chairperson of SHBKG with Adi Wirai from SD Plantation .
a part of the collaboration between GEC and Yayasan Sime Darby . In line with our commitment to sustainable practices , environmental conservation , and climate action , we believe in supporting similar efforts by communities surrounding our operations .
Adi Wira Abd Razak
“ We applaud this initiative by GEC and the community-based organisations to rehabilitate the degraded mangrove areas adjacent to our Chersonese Estate .
“ With the strong commitment demonstrated by all project partners , we are confident that this conservation initiative will bear positive results in the long run .”
The programme implementation integrates climate change adaptation and risk mitigation at State and local levels . It equips rural communities with the necessary skills to protect themselves from increased coastal problems such as coastal flooding , high winds and waves , tsunami and rising sea levels due to climate change .
Awareness amongst the stakeholders
Faizal Parish , Director of GEC , said : “ Mangrove forests play a critical role in coastal protection , as healthy mangroves minimise coastal erosion and reduce flood risks .
“ However , unsustainable human activities , increasing sea levels , and coastal erosion pose a real threat to mangrove forests in Malaysia .
“ One of the main contributing factors toward mangrove degradation in Kuala Gula and Sitiawan , Perak , is the lack of awareness amongst the stakeholders on the importance of mangroves .
“ Through ongoing support from YSD and government , GEC can foster multistakeholder partnerships to initiate and implement a community-based mangrove management programme with the local communities SHBKG and SHBPPL .”
He pointed out that the communities have planted more than 15,000 mangrove trees at eight hectares of degraded mangroves in Kuala Gula and Pasir Panjang Laut areas . The trees recorded a survival rate of more than 75 per cent .
Through the programme , the communities are empowered to restore the health of the ecosystems in the local mangrove areas while enabling them to benefit from sustainable ecosystem services .
“ Besides , GEC and YSD also collaborate with the communities to explore and develop social entrepreneurship opportunities involving sustainable mangrove-based food products to generate additional income for community members .
“ I am confident that with the great commitment shown by YSD , SHBKG , SHBPPL and government agencies since the commencement of this project in the year 2020 , we can continue to create a positive impact on mangrove ecosystems here ,” added Faizal .
A practical model to establish social entrepreneurship involving the networks of local groups and communities will also be developed to empower the womenfolk , especially homemakers , to find alternative livelihood through Non- Timber Forest Product , or NTFP-based cottage industry such as mangrovebased food products , salted fish , shrimp paste , and dried shrimp .
The launch also featured an episode from the Layar Liar Malaysia documentary series by Nuvista Media on the community-based organisation SHBKG .
Layar Liar Malaysia is an online documentary series launched last year with the World Wildlife Conservation Day to create and increase awareness of Malaysia ' s rich biodiversity through clear and visually striking videos . — @ Forest