Ninety OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Berhad (OCBC Bank) staff led by CEO Dato’ Ong Eng Bin symbolically planted 90 mangrove trees at Tebuk Mendeleng in Sabak Bernam recently, as a commitment to plant 9,000 such trees there that will be monitored and nurtured over the next three years.
OCBC Bank staff, supported by representatives of Global Environment Centre (GEC) representatives, hard at work at the Tebuk Mendeleng mangroves site. In the foreground are GEC Director Mr Faizal Parish (holding bag) and OCBC Bank CEO Dato’ Ong Eng Bin (in yellow cap)
The RM684,538 contribution for the mangrove replanting and management initiative by the Bank, in conjunction with the OCBC Group’s 90th anniversary today (31 October), is expected to give rise to a total carbon sequestration of over 90 tonnes by 2025. Mangrove trees are reputed to have among the highest carbon sequestration levels compared to other trees in the country.
A bird’s eye view of the 90 mangrove trees being planted by the 90 OCBC Bank staff present at Tebuk Mendeleng, Sabak Bernam
The 3-year initiative is in partnership with 2022 Merdeka Award recipient NGO Global Environment Centre (GEC) together with Friends of Kampung Dato Hormat Mangroves, better known locally as Sahabat Hutan Bakau Kampung Dato Hormat (SHBKDH). It is designed to be carried out entirely by the local community under the guidance of GEC and will benefit local residents of Mukim Sungai Air Tawar, Sungai Besar.
SHBKDH was established by the local community with the support of GEC and local authorities to facilitate action to protect and rehabilitate mangroves in their village area. SHBKDH generates income for the local community by establishing a mangrove nursery and undertaking mangrove rehabilitation activities with the support of corporate partners and the state government.
“Restoring mangrove areas directly reduces GHG emissions and guards against the impact of climate change. Mangroves act as storm barriers that strengthen the resilience of coastal and estuary zones from climate-related hazards such as storm surges and sea-level rises, and reduces coastal erosion. In addition, mangroves act as ‘carbon sinks’ by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which helps reduce global warming,” said GEC Director, Mr Faizal Parish.
Speaking for OCBC Bank, CEO Dato’ Ong Eng Bin said the Bank is pleased that the initiative will benefit both the environment and the economy of the local community significantly.
“What excites us about the project is that it is not only about the environment but the community as well. Community involvement has been the theme of our existence these past 90 years and we are actively looking forward to involving the local community of Tebuk Mendeleng in the mangrove tree planting and management exercise in order to develop a sustainable source of livelihood for the local people and contribute to the improved governance of the natural resources around them.
“The project will not only encourage the locals to enhance their efforts in managing the mangrove forests in their locale but also sustain both the newly-planted mangroves and existing ones. This project will increase local participation in mangrove forest protection and development by considering gender equality approaches as well,” he said.
Dato’ Ong added that with 90 years of giving to the communities around it, the Bank is enabling individuals, SMEs and businesses to build a more sustainable future.
“This mangrove tree planting initiative symbolises how we are seeking to engage with all communities for a better tomorrow,” he said.