About 60 students and educators from WOU and SM Teknik Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra (STAR Putra) planted 400 mangrove saplings along the riverbank in Malindo Beach, Balik Pulau, as part of a green initiative for coastal preservation.
The project was organised by WOU’s Centre for Foundation Studies (CFS) in collaboration with the Penang State Government, Penang City Council (MBPP) and the State Forestry Department on 21 October 2023, in conjunction with the National Environment Day.
The 31 students and four lecturers from WOU were joined by 20 students and three teachers from STAR Putra in planting the mangrove saplings. On hand to launch the collaborative effort was Penang State Executive Councillor for Housing and Environment, YB Dato’ Seri Sundarajoo Somu.
Also present to show her support was WOU Chief Executive and Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Lily Chan, who participated in the planting activity.
The planting project, costing an estimated RM8,500, was sponsored by the State Government (RM2,500), WOU (RM1,000) and a few local companies in the community.
The objective of this WOU-led collaborative project is to protect the mangrove swamps and conserve the natural environment.
According to Prof Chan, “This venture in preserving our natural world is part of WOU’s service to the community. The project will aid in the restoration of shoreline stabilisation and buffering, which are essential to coastal communities.”
She further added, “It will moreover educate the students on the importance of protecting our environment and creating a more sustainable future for our planet. The students will be encouraged to know that they are making a difference, and bringing a positive impact to climate change through this simple planting of mangrove trees.”
The planting project also aligns with the University’s mission of incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles into its MPU Co-Curriculum course to its students. Mangroves are important for Penang’s coastal communities as they are a valuable source of food and income, besides helping to protect the environment and conserve marine life.
WOU undertook this planting of mangrove saplings in support of the Penang Green Agenda 2030 launched in 2021, where the state government aims to plant a total of 500,000 tree saplings within the next 10 years.
“By participating in this project, we are empowering our students to become good stewards of the environment,” Prof Chan emphasised.