Much About Mangrove


Ricoh (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd

 
A total of 1005 Rhizophora mecronata mangrove saplings were planted in KSNP, with all exhibiting a low mortality rate based on the health checks conducted

INTRODUCTION

As a leader in total office and business solutions, Ricoh (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd’s business operations are inevitably dependent on the earth’s ecological blessings. With a jarring loss of over 52,745 hectares of mangroves between 1980 and 2013, the North-central Selangor Coast Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) was labelled as one of the 2 most threatened crucial sites in Malaysia known for the conservation of migratory water birds and mangroves. These coastal mangroves have now been reduced to key ‘pockets’ such as the Kuala Selangor Nature Park (KSNP) housing 150 species of birds, small animals, fishes and many more. This revelation sparked a tripartite long-term partnership between the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), Ricoh Malaysia (and Japan) as well as BirdLife Asia Division in July 2011, birthing the ‘Much about Mangrove Project’. Forming the ‘pillars’ of the partnership include restoring an alternative high-tide roost for migratory water birds, mangrove planting, monitoring selected biodiversity as well as perform Communication, Education, Participation and Awareness (CEPA) activities, all synergised to catalyse and support local and national mangrove conservation initiatives.

FRAMEWORK AND STRATEGY

The project first identified a suitable area to recreate a high-tide roost for migratory waterbirds with the guidance and assistance from the MNS-BCC Waterbirds Group. The team then began restoring the lake ecosystem in KSNP, which includes monitoring the water quality in order to prevent the mangrove ferns from recolonizing the cleared patch and rendering it unsuitable once more. 3 mangrove replanting sessions were held in 2011, 2012 and 2013, involving over 160 Ricoh Malaysia staff members and customers, who harnessed their energy collectively to restore and plant mangrove saplings around KSNP. In 2014, a team of 56 staff and customers were taken on an edifying journey, “Ricoh Eco Programme-Beyond the Mangroves” revealing the bigger picture – how the wetlands, birds and livelihood are interdependent. Marking the last component of the project is the implementation of CEPA activities – this predominantly carried out in KSNP involving seven schools, 425 students and 22 teachers, exposing them to several environmental activities to promote a better understanding of the importance of mangroves and its biodiversity.

ACHIEVEMENT AND IMPACT

A total of 1005 Rhizophora mecronata mangrove saplings were planted in KSNP, with all exhibiting a low mortality rate based on the health checks conducted. An encouraging increase in sightings of several species of migratory shorebirds such as Whimbrels, Common Redshanks, Greenshanks and sand-plovers were also recorded resting and feeding on the restored lake.

Additionally, KSNP’s lake system and adjacent mangroves not only transformed into a more viable location for Smooth Otters to utilise the area, but also presents a good environment for fireflies to thrive. Since the inception of the project, baseline firefly species identification and population mapping have identified Colophotia praeusta, Pteropytx valida and Pyrocoelia spp. as the three main species populating the KSNP mangrove area.

FUTURE DIRECTION

Looking ahead, Ricoh Malaysia aims to roll out the “Bring Back the Birds Campaign” whereby a perpetual effort to monitor, conserve and enhance areas to enrich the conditions of the lake, and subsequently improving biodiversity through the caring for the mangroves, replanting of more saplings, nursery maintenance and creating a conservation area for the endangered mangrove species in the park.

Strengthening CEPA too has been weaved into Ricoh’s future vision where more CEPA outreach activities to the schools and communities will be carried out including the hosting of local and overseas seminars, allowing the programme to spill over and educate across borders. To further substantiate efforts, a nature booklet series along the Flyway are in the works to be published and disseminated to key stakeholders. Eventually, all efforts of the project are designed to prepare KSNP in its walk towards attaining the world-renowned Ramsar status.
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