By: Dr. Siti Suriawati Isa
LANGKAWI, Sept 26 - The Faculty of Forestry, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) organised an integrated practical programme for Year Three undergraduate students taking the Bachelor of Parks and Recreation Science programme offered by the Department of Recreation and Ecotourism.
The programme, which incorporated activities on Awareness and Conservation of Limestone Forests 2018 in Langkawi and Pendang, Kedah between the Faculty of Forestry, UPM and Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia, received supports from the Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) and Penarak Nature Center Sdn Bhd.
Also involved were six secondary schools selected across the state, namely, SMK Ayer Hangat, SMK Dato' Syed Ahmad, SMK Mahsuri, SMK Merbok, SMK Naka and SMK Sri Gunong and a primary school, SK Hujung Keton, Pendang.
The programme was officiated by LADA Executive Officer, Dato' Haji Azizan Noordin, on September 17 at LADA Auditorium.
A senior Lecturer at the Department of Recreation and Ecotourism, Faculty of Forestry, UPM, Dr. Siti Suriawati Isa, said that the objective of the programme was to instill awareness on the importance of limestone forests for the environment especially in Langkawi as its foundation is made of limestone which is now facing extinction.
"The issues involving limestone forests are rarely discussed in any medium though its existence is important for the ecosystems, and it provides a good breeding ground for birds, butterflies and reptiles," she said.
She said awareness and conservation programmes need to be introduced to students at the school level as they will become the future leaders of the country.
"Early exposure is essential to educate the students on environmental protection. They are expected to be the little ambassadors to issues involving the environment," she added.
The programme was divided into four parts. The first part involved 46 students, two lecturers and four support staff from UPM and 15 students and two lecturers from QUT. They conducted scientific as well as social science research in limestone areas under the management of Penarak Nature Center Sdn Bhd.
The second part is an integrated practical activity by Year Three students from BSTR around Langkawi.
The third part involves students from the Faculty of Forestry and QUT who joined forces to participate in the awareness and conservation of limestone competition which was also participated by the selected six secondary schools across the state of Kedah.
SMK Merbok was announced as the winner of the competition, SMK Ayer Hangat as the first runner-up and SMK Naka as the second runner up.
The Kedah State Education Department also showed their support for the programme by sending seven officers from its Education Technology Division to film the entire programme.
The final part of the programme is also part of the inbound programme by QUT, Australia which involved 88 students, from the pre-school level up to standard five from SK Hujung Keton, Pendang.
Meanwhile, 53 students from UPM and five students from QUT, Australia were involved in the programme which also received cooperation from the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of SK Hujung Keton and KEDA. The students were exposed to environmental education using the English language. - UPM
Date of Input: 19/10/2018 | Updated: 19/10/2018 | hairul_nizam
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