BESTARI JAYA: A total of 95 students from 12 primary schools in Kuala Selangor District participated in an environmental camp entitled Junior Peatland Forest Ranger Programme (JPFR), an environmental education programme that aims to instil environmental awareness and educate younger generations on the importance of conserving and protecting peat swamp forest.
The 3 days 2 nights camp held from August 1 until 3, was organised by Global Environment Center (GEC), Selangor State Forestry Department (SSFD) and Friends of North Selangor Peat Swamp Forest; in partnership with Selangor State Education Department and Kuala Selangor District Education Office; and funded by Yayasan Sime Darby. The schools that took part in this JPFR Camp were SK Bukit Belimbing, SK Berjaya, SK Sungai Sireh, SK Seri Gambut, SK Sawah Sempadan, SK Jalan Raja Musa, SK Rantau Panjang, SK Jaya Setia, SK Batu 9 Jalan Bomba, SK Bestari Jaya, SK Sungai Burung, and SJK (T) Ladang Raja Musa. This camp was carried out successfully at Pusat Kokurikulum Kem Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Gambut.
The students ranging from 10 to 12 years of age had a chance to listen to different lectures related to peat swamp forest in Malaysia, participated in hands-on rehabilitation activities at Peat Swamp Forest Interpretative Trail in Forest Compartment 126 of Raja Musa Forest Reserve and visited Selangor Fruit Valley Park.
GEC Forest and Coastal Programme Manager, Nagarajan Rengasamy said “The environmental camp is intended for young generations to enhance their knowledge and raise awareness on the importance of peat swamp forest through open classroom activities. For many of these students, the Raja Musa peat swamp forest is their home. We hope that they will be able to gain the scientific knowledge learned through this camp and integrate with their local knowledge to protect the peat swamp forest”.
“At Yayasan Sime Darby, not only are we committed towards protecting and preserving the environment but also enriching the surrounding communities with knowledge of conservation. This camp enables the students and teachers to understand how their decisions and actions will affect the environment. It builds their knowledge and necessary skills to address complex environmental issues while providing feasible solutions to keep the environment healthy and sustainable for the future”, said Tunku Putri Afifah Tunku Anor, Head of Projects, Environment, Sports, Arts and Culture of Yayasan Sime Darby who was present to officiate the opening ceremony of the camp.
The Junior Peatland Forest Ranger camp is one of many activities implemented under the Rehabilitation Programme of North Selangor Peat Swamp Forest that is currently spearheaded by GEC in partnership with Selangor State Forestry Department. Since commencement of the rehabilitation programme in 2010, GEC and SSFD have raise awareness and built capacity of 95 students and 24 school teachers from 12 schools on peat swamp forest in Malaysia.
GEC and SSFD are anticipated to organise two more peat-eco camp targeting secondary students in Kuala Selangor District and indegenious students in Kuala Langat District.