The Edge Environmental Education for Students at the Mossy Forests of Cameron Highlands 2018/2019  concludes  

by Cheam May Choo

We are pleased to report that this project which was funded by a grant from the Edge Kuala Lumpur Rat Race 2018 was successfully carried out from April 2019 to October 2019.

The Edge Education Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Edge Media Group. The foundation’s mission is to foster, develop and promote education of all kinds. Through the Edge KL Rat Race (which is held annually since 2000) funds are raised from corporate Malaysia and given to the various registered charities and NGOs. In 2018 the event was held at Padang Merbok, KL on the 31st of July . Reach received a grant of RM63,530/=  for environmental education at our mossy forests. Besides educating students on the biodiversity and importance of our highland forests,  lessons on climate change were also conducted.

The objectives of this programme were met.

  1. A total of 553 students and 63 teachers from 22 primary schools in Cameron Highlands participated. Schools were from both the remote and urban areas. The ages of the students ranged from 8 years to 12 years.
  2. Environmental education with emphasis on forest conservation and introduction to climate change were imparted.
  3. A total of 659 endemic trees/orchids were planted. The tree species were kelat, medang serai, medang kemangi, geruk and others. Orchid species included terrestrial orchids such as calanthe and cymbidium while the epiphytic orchids were from bulbophyllum, dendrobium, eria, liparis, oberonia species and others.
  4. As an introduction to climate change, a hands-on approach was used. Students were given hand-held weather measuring instruments such as anemometer, thermometer and hygrometer and tasked to make comparisons between shaded areas under the trees and exposed areas devoid of forest cover and the findings discussed.
  5. Weather data continued to be sent to the local meteorological department monthly, and they included air quality data such as NO nitrogen oxide, NO2 nitrogen dioxide, SO2 sulphur dioxide and NH3 Ammonia.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Implementation of the programme
  1. After obtaining approval from the local education department, schools were notified. Dates for the field trips would be set. For the first time since we commenced reforestation activities in Gunung Brinchang, 4 schools from the interior parts of Cameron Highlands joined in too.
  2. On the day of the field trips, there would be a short briefing at the pick-up point before students are sent by 4-wheel drive vehicles to our Biodiversity site located midway up Gunung Brinchang at an elevation of 1800 metres above sea level. (This was a former illegally cleared site which is now being rehabilitated.)
  3. Once at the site students would be briefed on forest conservation and climate change. Trees and orchids were then planted and weather monitoring activities carried out.
  4. Towards the end of the programme students would be given questionnaires to fill in to gauge the efficacy of the programme.
  5. The programmes would end by 12.30pm.
  6. A total of 22 field trips were conducted and all the participants came down safely.