World Wetlands Day 2006 in Malaysia

World Wetlands Day 2006 in Malaysia

13 February 2006
Ford Mangrove Tree Planting by the Children and Youth
at Kota Kinabalu City Bird Sanctuary

KOTA KINABALU, 28th January 2006:

Ms. Ainon Salam as the only Sabahan recipient for the Kota Kinabalu City Bird Sanctuary successfully received the Ford Motor Company Conservation & Environmental Grants for 2005 worth RM 10,000 which led to a one-day event entitled Ford Mangrove Tree Planting by Children and Youth programme, in conjunction with the coming World Wetland Day on 2nd February 2006. This grant was solely meant for the wetland conservation works such as mangrove replanting and monitoring in the 24-hectare mangrove area within the Bird Sanctuary for a period of six months.

About more than 500 mangrove seedlings and mangrove young trees have been planted by 355 green-hearted students, mostly first timers to the Bird Sanctuary from 4 primary and 7 secondary schools around Kota Kinabalu, accompanied by their teachers. The students' participation in this event gave them hands-on experience on mangrove conservation and a great opportunity to explore and to know better the importance and function of the Bird Sanctuary. This event also attended by a representative from Ford Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. and was helped out by staff members from Sabah Department of Environment.

Mangrove replanting is one of the important activities at KKCBS aimed at conserving the various species of mangroves and restoring the deteriorated area to its former glory, retaining the original characteristics of the mangrove forest. With the centre located within a mangrove patch which is adjacent about 4 km to the city, KKCBS also serve as an Environmental Education Centre in Kota Kinabalu City that is accessible, safe and suitable for children and youth to involve in learning about and conserving wetlands in particular mangroves ecosystems.

Mangroves act as natural flood retention "sponge" to hold heavy rainfall, thus reducing the occurrence and severity of flooding. They help to recycle nutrients and remove toxins and sediments. Mangroves also play the role of holding sediment along riverbanks to prevent erosion, and help to reduce pollution to the coral reefs and marine life. In addition, mangroves provide breeding and nursery grounds for birds, young marine fish, seashells, prawns, mud lobster, crabs, and other wildlife.

Prepared by:

Miss Jocelyn Maluda and Miss Callie Ajik
Kota Kinabalu City Bird Sanctuary

Let us conserve our mangrove forest... Some of the participants planting young mangrove trees at KKCBS.

Students enjoy planting mangrove seedlings during the event. KKCBS is accessible, safe and suitable for children and youth to involve in doing their role in conserving our natural environment.

Briefing being carried out for students before the replanting activities