AEON Co. (M) Bhd, the leading supermarket in Malaysia and Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) today have combine their efforts in transforming a former tin-mining area in Bidor by planting 10,000 trees from 35 different species here in conjunction with its 35th anniversary.
The effort is aimed at preserving and protecting the environment and the surrounding ecosystem while supporting reforestation efforts in the 67.9ha land.
This would also provide a lowland, biodiversity depository providing nature recreation and educational activities for the future generation.
A total of 1,000 people, consisting of representatives from the federal and state-level government agencies, 350 volunteers from Japan, 200 AEON customers, and 200 students from five schools took part in the programme at FRIM Research Station here.
The event was launched by Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.
Also present were Water, Land and Natural Resources deputy minister Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji, FRIM director-general Datuk Dr Abd Latif Mahmod, AEON Environmental Foundation executive director Naoki Hayashi and AEON chairman Datuk Iskandar Sarudin.
Saifuddin congratulated AEON for celebrating its 35th anniversary and described the event as unique and that such an effort would help preserve and protect the environment and the surrounding ecosystem.
“Besides that, it will support the reforestation efforts in a former mining area that covers a whopping 67.9ha. This in return will provide a lowland biodiversity depository that provides nature recreation and educational activities for children,” he said.
Hayashi said as to date, 66,200 trees had been planted in Malaysia – 57,400 trees in Paya Indah Wetlands between 2004 and 2009, 800 trees in Borneo Island in 2008, and 8,000 trees in Bidor in 2014.
“These trees have been successfully restored into a vast forest, sustaining various species including insects and birds. AEON engaged in planting on the company property with our customers before we opened the store in 1991.
“Plants are important to avoid global warming. A total of 10,000 more trees will be planted today and we hope these trees will grow and turn into a vast forest and preserve our environment,” he said, adding that globally, AEON has planted over 11 million trees.
Meanwhile, Tengku Zulpuri Shah said the ministry was committed to protecting the natural resources and effort in the reforestation of ex-tin mine started as early as 1920 in FRIM, Kepong, which has been gazetted as National Heritage.
“This is an abandoned tin mining area and with the support of the federal and the state governments, local and international organisations, the once unproductive area is now covered with lush green and has become an attractive habitat for wild animals and birds.
“This place has been recognised as ‘The largest Man-made Forest Established on Ex-tin Mine’ by the Malaysia Book of Research in 2016 with over 90 species planted.
“As of 2018, a total of 97 species of birds from 44 families have been observed here including migratory birds like Chinese Sparrow Hawks and Blue-throated Bee-eaters,” he added.