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World Soil Day highlights importance of protecting soil biodiversity

28th December, 2020

KOTA KINABALU: The World Soil Day 2020 celebration jointly organised by Sabah Wetlands Conservation Society (SWCS) and Repsol Oil & Gas Malaysia Limited here recently highlighted the importance of instilling environmental awareness of maintaining healthy ecosystems and encouraging the public to be proactive in improving soil health.

World Soil Day (WSD) is held as a global event under the auspices of the United Nations on Dec 5 annually as a means to focus on keeping soil alive and advocating for the sustainable management of soil resources.

Two virtual activities were held in Kota Kinabalu to mark the special occasion. One was a family-oriented two-minute video contest to illustrate their understanding the gravity of the issue and relate accordingly via their own actions and behaviours, while the second was a webinar session in which more than 80 families, tertiary students and teenagers participated.

The organisers had invited three speakers from diverse backgrounds to share their knowledge and experience during the webinar. They were Dr Mohamadu Boyie Jalloh, an Associate Professor from Universiti Malaysia Sabah, who spoke on the topic of “Biochar can keep our soils alive and healthy”, Jason Wong, owner and founder of Keningau Nature Farm, who spoke on “Enrichment of soil with good microbe and outcomes of the Avacado farm using natural farming practice”. The third speaker was Susie Doivit, a teacher/nature club advisor from SMK Taman Tun Fuad with her topic on “Creating Greens Around The Vacant Space”.

In his opening remarks, SWCS President, Datuk Haji Zainie Abd Aucasa said 2020 was an extremely difficult year as the COVID –19 pandemic had greatly affected the people all around the world.

“Hence, we are hoping that our initiatives and actions undertaken during the celebration of World Soil Day 2020 can benefit the general public, especially the younger generation in order for them to be more environmentally conscientious and to become stewards of the environment,” he added.

Zainie urged the people to work together to address environmental challenges faced and play a part to support and preserve soil for the benefit of all.

He also thanked Repsol Oil & Gas Malaysia Limited for sponsoring the event.

Meanwhile Repsol Malaysia’s Senior Manager for Stakeholder Relations, Ahmad Fakrurrazi Arshad, who spoke virtually from KL, emphasised the WSD theme of keeping soil alive and protecting soil biodiversity as soil has been an essential factor to human life as “we depend on soil to grow food, filter water and support natural ecosystems”.

He thanked Zainie and his staff for their close cooperation, teamwork and commitment towards the success of the joint programme despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also thanked Datuk Eddie Abdullah, his colleague in Kota Kinabalu for undertaking and ensuring the smooth implementation of the programme on behalf of Repsol Malaysia.

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