Day 7: The Mangroves Service Project in Kuching

By Carol Chan

Environmental stewardship is a topic that I hold close to my heart. Today, I was able to put my passion into action by participating in the planting of mangrove seedlings. We were invited by the Forest Department of Sarawak to the new Kuching National Wetland Park to kick off the replanting of the mangrove forest.

During the briefing before planting, the State Chief Commissioner of Sarawak, Sudaryo Bin Osman, spoke to us about the importance of mangrove forests. He told us that mangroves are unique because they serve as a buffer between the land and sea. They are catalysts for reclaiming land from the ocean and are crucial for effective combat against sea levels rising due to climate change. The roots of the trees prevent soil erosion, maintains water quality, and protects marine wildlife. One of the most important reasons for replanting the mangroves is to re-establish a habitat capable of supporting wild crocodiles. In addition, the river in the National Park protects the city against flooding during monsoon season.

4845-iProj2015

Additionally, Scouter John announced that with support from Scouts Canada through the Brotherhood Fund, he would commit to donating another 5000 saplings to the replanting and conservation efforts at the Kuching Wetland National Park. Our hope is that by providing these seedlings, local rover scouts and youth will be able to continue the mangrove restoration efforts in Kuching even when we are long gone. Based on the information given to us, these 5000 saplings are the equivalent of two years worth of planting. Scouter Daniel’s scout group has agreed to continue our work and encourage others to join in on environmental stewardship. We hope that these efforts will be a foundation for growth in awareness of global environmental concerns and the importance of the mangrove forest.

5164-iProj2015

Together with the Kuching scouts, we enjoyed a serene morning hike to the mangrove planting site and were able to converse with them along the way. Working together, we planted over 300 saplings. Although this work was the most strenuous during our trip thus far, we did not want to stop planting. The landscape was beautiful and restoring it to its former glory was very meaningful to us. However, due to our tight schedule, we had to leave. With the Kuching scouts we ensured that every sapling was planted with utmost care to ensure that they stood strong and upright. You can check out Cecilia’s vlog that comes out tomorrow to see how we accomplished this feat! We look forward to seeing the Kuching scouts again tomorrow during our sharing session where different topics will be presented by our group and theirs.

5540-iProj2015
4934-iProj2015

After planting mangroves, we had a chance to return to our hostel to wash up before heading to the Kuching South City Hall to meet Dato James Chan Khay Syn, Mayor of Kuching City South. Upon hearing about our work from local newspapers, the mayor reached out to us to arrange a meeting.

IMG_9358-2IMG_9370-2
He told us that he is a very informal and loving Mayor who used to be a scouter and shared a few scouting stories with us. He spoke to us in a welcoming and humorous manner. The Mayor listened to our story and praised us for our work; wishing we could stay in Kuching for longer to experience the culture further and do more service projects. Through the press, he hopes that he will be able to spread the news about environmental stewardship to younger people through our work in Kuching. Awareness about environmental issues is slow and painful, and he appreciates our efforts. Lastly, we were able to plant another 2 trees in a park outside city hall to symbolize our new friendship. The Mayor told us that the relationship between Kuching and Canada will continue to grow like the trees we’ve planted.

IMG_3027-2

MarkBurge

3 Responses to “Day 7: The Mangroves Service Project in Kuching

  • Henry Tan
    3 years ago

    When you visit Singapore on the later day, you may have the opportunity to visit one of the similar wetland which sustain both flora amd fauna life like otter, crocodile, monitor lizard and many other kind of bird life and land animal such as monkey and wild boer.

    • Mostafa Nejati
      3 years ago

      Thank you Scouter Tan for the suggestion. Given the tight schedule we did not manage to visit the suggested wetland, but we’ll sure keep that in mind for future visits. Though we are very glad that we managed to do some other meaningful projects in Singapore. Please read out our stories of our visits to Singapore on our blog.

  • Bill Chow
    3 years ago

    This project is very meaningful!!! It sends a positive message to both parties involved.

Leave a Reply Text

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *