Rainforest Rescue: The Heartfulness Tree Conservation Project is a video of how a group of people in India embarked on a landmark rainforest conservation project.
This inspiring can-do-if-you-care-enough video needs to be watched by everyone in Malaysia who wants to save the nation for the next generation.
It is time to rise, make a stand and get involved in saving Malaysia if we are to win the war against climate change. The media should also do their part to help propagate this call to action.
Ordinary people are too busy grappling with daily bread-and-butter issues, spiralling inflation, rising unemployment, and divisive racial and religious issues to take more than a cursory look at the efforts of NGOs and environmental activists. Many of us seem content to leave the conservation of our nature and environment to the back burner.
Most of our social media activities barely touch on the most critical issue of environmental neglect and the ensuing disasters.
Many wonder whether the government and industrialists are only giving lip service to the war against climate change.
News reports of illegal waste-dumping, the pollution of our fragile rivers, mismanagement of waste disposal and the frenzy to cut down trees overwhelm us. They provide ample testimony of how we have failed to be responsible as a nation.
Littering is so widespread – a clear sign that many in Malaysia do not care for the environment.
The time is overdue for simple, effective steps to be taken by every resident, as governments, local authorities and industrialists seem to have failed to make a difference.
Every resident, every household must step out to do their tiny but significant bit to save and protect the environment.
Is it too much to ask that residents of all neighbourhoods come together and dedicate a few hours on their weekends to plant trees outside their gates or along the road shoulders within their residential areas?
Mosque, temple and church committees could also help to green their respective areas. It is painful to see many places of worship barren of trees. Hence, religious and congregational leaders need to be ‘converted’ to begin with.
All our roads and highways should be lined with trees, even on the central road dividers. Highway and toll operators should plough their profits back into this greening initiative.
Stand firm and demand that schools and universities involve their students in greening programmes. Such programmes could be an integral part of the curriculum. Start first by greening school premises and university campuses. Make every student responsible for the greening programme.
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Examine every new construction and development project that the authorities approve. Demand that developers dedicate and manage larger green lungs in these projects than the token green spaces of the past.
Demand that local authorities see the greening of townships and cities as their top priorities for the next 10 years beginning now.
Call for concrete spaces to be replaced all over the country with parks and trees. Business centres and mall owners must urgently heed this call. Planting trees around buildings should be seen as an integral part of the beautification effort.
The federal and state governments must recognise the work that conservationists and environmental activists undertake. Providing budget allocations to assist NGOs involved in greening activities and environmental awareness-raising would be a step in the right direction.
We need a revolution of minds. If the politicians are incapable of saving our environment, then the people must step forward because climate change has already begun its destructive course in Malaysia.
We cannot save any “bangsa” or “agama” (race or religion) or our collective future if we fail to save the environment.