Bidor, 14 Sept 2014

More than one thousand nature enthusiast and environmentalist from Malaysia and Japan took part in a tree planting activity – ‘Forest Tree Diversity Planting’, organised by AEON CO. (M) BHD in an effort to create the Malaysia-Japan Friendship Forest in Bidor, Perak. AEON spearheaded this initiative to contribute to FRIM’s continuous effort in rehabilitating and re-greening the ex-tin mine area.

Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) has set up its research station on the ex-tin mine, covering 121.4 ha, which was sanctioned by policy makers and Perak State Government for greening with useful tree species since 1996. Embarking on scientifically-proven tree planting techniques, FRIM has successfully turned the barren land into a lush mixed green forest, housing commercially important timber tree species and a diversity of wildlife.

School children from SMK Bidor, SMJKC Choong Hua and SMK Syeikh Abdul Ghani, local residents, volunteers from Japan, government officials, students from Universiti Malaya, FRIM officers, AEON staffs and business partners and guest of honour, His Royal Highness Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Al-Maghfur-lah, Sultan of Negeri Perak were seen shoveling and planting trees during the event.

To herald AEON’s 30th Anniversary celebration, AEON planted 30 species of trees and shrubs, such as Garcinia homobronia, Melaleuca leucadendron, Hopea odorata and Dryobalanops aromatic at the research station. These plants, with a total of 8,000, were selected in order to maintain and preserve the ecosystem of the area.

“Besides creating a greener planet for our future generations, we truly feel that by conducting this simple act of planting trees together, we will be able to raise awareness among the community that AEON is committed to our on-going mission to assert the importance of environment protection and conservation,” said Takuya Okada, Honourable Chairman & Founder of AEON Environmental Foundation Japan.

Also present at the tree planting ceremony is Dato’ Abdullah Bin Mohd Yusof, Chairman of AEON CO. (M) BHD. and Nur Qamarina Chew, Managing Director of AEON CO. (M) BHD.

“In line with AEON Basic Principles of Peace, People and Community, our corporate social responsibility initiatives and activities have always centred around two key areas, namely environment and community. As part of AEON’s 30th Anniversary celebration, we will continue pursuing various initiatives to express gratitude to the loyal customers especially AEON members and the local community,” said Dato’ Abdullah.

“FRIM is honoured to host this important tree-planting event aimed at reforesting the remaining area of the Bidor Research Station as the activity will contribute to the establishment of a lowland biodiversity depository for future nature recreation and educational activities in future. We have received numerous national and international awards and recognition for our contribution to the country’s efforts in greening degraded areas and conserving forests,” said Dato’ Dr. Abd Latif Mohmod, Director General of FRIM.

According to him, the successful greening effort of FRIM’s main campus in Kepong has resulted in the gazettement of the area as a Natural Heritage Site in 2009 and declaration as a National Heritage in 2012. Abd Latif hopes the work done in Bidor will result in the attainment of similar recognition. The FRIM Bidor research station is the first tin tailing area in the country to be systematically and successfully greened with rainforest species.

“Today, we are proud to announce that AEON has planted approximately 0.5 million trees throughout Malaysia and over 10 million trees worldwide. We made tree-planting during store opening a tradition and AEON Melaka Shopping Centre marks the first store to open with 50,000 trees planted around its vicinity in 1991. Some of our other notable efforts include Paya Indah Wetlands whereby we planted approximately 25,000 trees, a collaboration with World Wildlife Fund to plant 1,000 trees at AEON’s Reforestation & Rehabilitation of Orang Utan’s Habitat in Sabah, and a collaboration with FRIM and Selangor State to preserve the Firefly Park in Kuala Selangor,” said Qamarina.

The event also saw generous support from various sponsors namely AEON TopValu, Milo, DKSH Marketing, Chuan Sin, LB Food, Hup Seng, Lotte, Ajinomoto, Lam Soon, Julie’s and Permanis.

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