Making a green impact

Youths are empowered to exchange ideas, develop leadership capabilities and drive solutions for issues.

CLEANING up the mess left by others may be one way to save the environment, but Muhammad Adzmin Ab Fatta recognises there are more sustainable ways of getting the job done.

With Asean’s threatened mangroves on his mind, Muhammad Adzmin is bent on educating the public to stop causing harm to these fragile ecosystems in the first place.

Last December, he launched #Mangrove4U.

“It is one of the initiatives under the Project Rebuilding Asean Wall or simply known as Project RAW,” says the 23-year-old project leader from Semporna, Sabah.

Muhammad Adzmin chose Pulau Omadal, located off Semporna, on the eastern coast of Sabah, as the launch point for #Mangrove4U. He plans to replicate the project throughout Asean with the experience he gained from Pulau Omadal, populated mainly by the Bajau.

His vision for mangroves was given a huge boost when he was recognised as one of the few promising young leaders by the Young Southeasat Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI), a three-year-old effort by the American government.

The inspiration for #Mangrove4U came when he attended the YSEALI Generation Ocean Workshop in Jakarta last March.

There, he says, he realised how interconnected the mangroves are with the marine ecosystem, and how important it is to preserve them.

“They may look like other trees, but they are very unique and highly important in their own way. “Mangroves are the feeding, breeding, and nursery grounds of many different flora and fauna meaning they’re home to both marine and terrestrial wildlife,” he says, adding that mangroves are “coastal protectors”.

“It has been proven in some Southeast Asian countries that the presence of mangroves has reduced the impact of natural disasters such as typhoons and storm surges. Also, mangrove forests are the most efficient carbon sink compared to other vegetation,” he says.

He says this is because mangrove forests absorb and store a large amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, effectively making them key weapons in the war against global warming.

“Sadly mangroves are now in danger of extinction due to coastal and unsustainable development, aquaculture industry and human disturbance.”

by REBECCA RAJAENDRAM

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2017/02/05/making-a-green-impact/#HatkpjxAFSP00Xy5.99

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