BINTULU, Feb 13 (UPM)
– For more than two decades, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and Mitsubishi Corporation, have once again collaborated in a conservation programme at UPM Bintulu Campus in the effort to conserve the green of the flora.
Sarawak Asistant Tourism Minister, Datuk Talib Zulpilip, said the continuous UPM-Mitsubishi efforts in forest conservation will not only benefit UPM students and researchers, but also the community .
"I hope that all parties will continue to work together in protecting the forest in order to appreciate the environment and make this country a green city towards a more sustainable future," he said at the opening of the 23rd year of planting forest trees UPMKB with Mitsubishi Corporation, here.
According to Datuk Talib, the programme is also a platform for UPM students, researchers and stakeholders to share knowledge and develop conservation techniques to preserve the beauty of the forest.
Project pioneer, Prof. Dato' Dr. Nik Muhamad Nik Ab. Majid, said the 23-year old collaboration between UPM and Mitsubishi Corporation to conserve tropical rainforest ecosystem and encourage more research on global climate change, should as well benefit the campus community.
"This corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative between Mitsubishi and UPM will open up more room for improvement for the community and also help in the dissemination of knowledge, especially on natural environment," he said.
Meanwhile, a total of 350 volunteers from Mitsubishi Corporation, local agencies, senior lecturers and UPMKB students participated in the annual event of tree-planting at UPM-Mitsubishi conservation area, UPM Bintulu Campus, Sarawak.
The first year of this collaborative project in 1991, 500,000 seedlings representing 126 species native to Sarawak, were planted here and now the area has become a mature ecosystem, also a total of 100 plots of research land were also built in the area.
In 2008, the cultivation of tropical forest model took place in the same area of 27 hectares involving 3,000 seedlings of forest main species.
Previously, UPM and Yokohama National University (YNU), Japan collaborated through a tree-planting project at UPM Bintulu Campus, Sarawak in 1990. This project was fully funded by Mitsubishi Corporation with an initial amount of RM5 million for the first four years.
The pioneering concept of forest model that was developed in Serdang, was based on the concept of vegetarian at UPMKB, introduced by Prof. Dr. Akira Miyawaki from YNM, combined with the concept of accelerating natural vegetation by Dato' Prof. Ir. Dr. Nik Muhamad Abdul Majid, former UPMKB Dean.
The establishment of the project in Serdang and Bintulu has enabled various research projects to be carried out, not only by scientists from Japan, but also UPM students (undergraduate and postgraduate programmes) and lecturers (from Bintulu and Serdang campus). Among the main researches conducted were on soil science, water quality, entomology, climate change, wildlife, biodiversity, economics, physiology and pathology. - UPM