Tree-ting the Environment Right
Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) recently surpassed the 10,000-milestone, planting over 11,000 trees in its Tree for a Tree programme. Malaysia’s largest electricity utility company has been working with NGOs, local authorities and communities to plant trees in various locations in the country since 2015.
Datuk Ir. Mohd Aminuddin Mohd. Amin, TNB’s Senior General Manager of Corporate Affairs, Group Corporate Communications said: “We are proud to announce that we have surpassed our initial target of 11,000 trees. The idea behind the Tree for a Tree programme is not only to rejuvenate forests, but to regreen and reenergize urban public areas.
The species of trees were carefully chosen to suit each location.
The species of trees were carefully chosen to suit each location. Each species has a variety of properties that include filtering pollutants from waterways and anti-erosion. In addition to improving the local environment, providing shade and lowering the temperature of surrounding areas, these efforts will restore and balance ecosystems for animals to return to their habitats, which will in turn drive eco-tourism.”
To date, 75 species of trees have been planted in 13 locations across 11 states in Peninsular Malaysia. The species include the Karas, Merawan Siput Jantan, Bintangor Laut, Bakau Minyak and Berembang, to name just some, and the locations include Kangar, Pendang, Nibong Tebal, Kuala Selangor, Setia Alam, Kuala Lumpur, Port Dickson, Klebang, Permas Jaya, Kuantan, Kuala Berang, Hulu Terengganu, and Lumut.
Working in partnership with local authorities, communities and residents, the trees are being planted in public parks as well as forest areas. The projects represent a TNB Corporate Responsibility investment of RM1.23 million to date.
The planting of trees was also carried out with the help of non-profit organization Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam Malaysia (PEKA), and involved close to 4,000 volunteers from 48 institutions that included local councils, armed forces, universities, colleges, secondary schools and TNB staff.
Saiful Ameen Harun, TNB employee who helped with the programme in his local community in Setia Alam, said: “The first few weeks I returned frequently to water the young trees. Watching them grow gave me such a sense of achievement and satisfaction, knowing that I had made a long lasting positive contribution.”
Mohammad Azfar Jaafar, a 21-year-old student from Universiti Tenaga Nasional, who volunteered with some friends through his university, said: “We had such fun planting trees together but it was also an eye opener for us! Do you know that not all trees will survive and local councils may have to keep replanting them? That’s why it is important to keep up the momentum. In addition to shade and creating a cooler climate, each species of tree also attracts and fosters a diverse ecosystem of flora, fauna, birds and bugs.”
Puan Sri Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil, President of PEKA, said, “The Tree for a Tree programme underlines TNB’s commitment towards rejuvenating the environment. We hope this will motivate more corporates as well as individuals to do the same.”
Ikhlas Rozliham, a 21-year-old student from KDU College seconded that thought: “It’s nice to see a company giving and not just taking. I think we don’t let industrialization and urbanization take over and shape the areas in which we live, I don’t know how many other companies are doing similar re-greening programmes, but I think it’s a good direction to go down and hopefully more companies will follow.”
“Seeing the positive impact of our efforts is very rewarding.”
Datuk Mohd Aminuddin also said: “Seeing the positive impact of our efforts is very rewarding. We will continue the Tree for Tree programme and we’re considering Janda Baik as the next special area of interest – an area that has sadly been ravaged by logging, pollution and industrial activities, upstream. Needless to say, TNB is not responsible for any of those activities and we want to do what we can by helping the communities, clean up the waterways by selecting trees that can naturally help balance man’s impact on the environment. We hope this will also have the added benefit of rejuvenating eco-tourism in Janda Baik.”
He also revealed the campaign’s planned expansion as TNB hopes to intensify its efforts to greening city centers so that urban dwellers can enjoy the many benefits.