On the 26th of April 2013, 44 students and four teachers from Dalat International School worked together with Langkawi Coral in our fourth annual Mangrove Planting project. Coupled with our passion to aid nature in her struggle and the dedication of the youth involved, we carried out this activity at Sungai Kilim Nature Park.
Why mangroves? Unbeknownst to many, this humble “swamp” tree plays a vital role in numerous areas pertaining to the environment. For starters, mangroves are nature’s natural barricade against tsunamis and the like. They provide a layer of defense that helps protect those on the other side. Mangroves are also essential in preventing soil erosion; their complex roots hold steadfast to the ground and the soil with them. Mangroves, with their tangled roots, help filter out contaminants from the sea.
Mangrove swamps are an ecosystem in themselves. They play hosts to a wide range of species; many of which would be left without a habitat if not for the mangrove. Invertebrates such as insects are plentiful among mangrove swamps. Their presence provides a burgeoning habitat for other species such as fish and birds. Together, mangrove swamps are a blooming example of strong biodiversity.
Yet, like every other aspect of our fragile environment, mangroves face their threat. Human activities reduce mangrove swamps to mere nothing –salt extraction, agriculture and aquaculture –all these activities disrupt the growth and wellbeing of our mangroves. Climate change, a side effect of human activity, has the potential of bringing untold dangers to mangroves. The lack of mangroves presents a serious harm to biodiversity and the stability of our environment. Without mangroves, a good chunk of marine life would be deprived of a food source.
With that in mind, we were proud to lead our ban of dedicated youth on a project to restore the stability that mangroves bring. Together, we planted mangroves across the shores. Besides the tangible benefits the project has brought to the environment, our youth have learned an important environment lesson. Through this project they have received an actual experience in conserving the environment. Their actions translate to awareness, and awareness is important in itself.
We believe that simple actions, such as planting a mangrove, can accrue big differences in the long run. With projects such as our annual Mangrove Planting, we can create a generation of environmentally-conscious youth which are aware of the need to conserve the environment. The environment needs us to change our mindset, and changing mindsets are what we do at Langkawi Coral.