Story and photos by YIP YOKE TENG
MORE than 33,000 people from around the country have become the guardians of Mother Nature by registering themselves as Rakan Alam Sekitar (Friends of the Environment).
It was the good news heard at the Mini Environmental Carnival held recently at the Malawati Stadium, Shah Alam, jointly organised by Selangor Environment Department and the state tourism, consumer affairs and environment committee.
Department director Datin Paduka Hajah Che Asmah Ibrahim said it was heartening that 10% of the programme’s participants were from Selangor.
“Through Rakan Alam Sekitar, the public will be physically involved or ‘hands-on’ in helping the relevant government agencies tackle activities that harm or pollute the environment,” she said, adding that the programme was launched by the Prime Minister in 2009.
She urged participants to join the programme which aimed to create more awareness and instil a sense of responsibility among the public, making them the eyes and ears of the relevant departments.
Selangor executive councillor Elizabeth Wong, who heads the committee, launched the event that spread the message “Forest: Nature at Your Service” — the theme chosen for this year’s United Nations Environmental Programme.
She commended private companies and non-governmental organisations for supporting the state government in its environmental conservation efforts, adding that such active participation had reflected their commitment in protecting nature’s rich resources.
She also highlighted the state government’s achievements in the field, adding that one of the major achievements was the amendment to the National Forestry Act (Application) Enactment 1985 that made public inquiry compulsory before the degazettment of forest reserve.
The mini carnival featured about 20 booths set up by government and private agencies to introduce various recycling methods, some using advance technology while others merely require initiative to make small changes in one’s daily life.