World Environment Day - Reef and beach cleaning with Sarawak Forestry and Sarawak Shell
Jun 22, 2013
Sarawak Shell Berhad, in partnership with the Sarawak Forestry Corporation commemorated World Environment Day with a reef and beach cleaning activity today at Piasau Beach in front of the company’s Piasau Camp area. More than 200 volunteers gave up their Saturday morning to take part in the activity aimed at highlighting the necessity to conserve biodiversity and create a cleaner environment.
Fifty divers from Shell, the public and the Maritime Enforcement Agency departed from the Miri River jetty to collect rubbish and damaging objects at biodiversity-dense sites within the Miri-Sibuti Coral Reefs National Park. The biggest Marine Protected Area in Sarawak, at 180,000 hectares of water bodies, this park was gazetted in 2007, to protect, conserve and manage in perpetuity, its unique marine environment.
One hundred and fifty volunteers from Shell and the Miri public joined forces to clean up the Piasau Beach area.
Datu Haji Ali Yusop, Sarawak Forestry Corporation’s managing director and CEO officiated the event on behalf of Yang Berhormat Datu Len Talif Salleh, Sarawak’s Assistant Minister of Environment. Chok Chee Tsong, General Manager of Sarawak Shell Berhad represented the company.
Speaking at the event on behalf of the government, Ali highlighted that the Miri-Sibuti Coral Reefs National Park was under immediate and constant threat from fishing trawlers, phantom gill nets, fish bombing and ornamental collection trade.
“There is an urgent need to enhance its protection through the placement of reef balls, a proven protection tool, and it is our hope that concerned parties from the private sector will step up to plug the gap and partnered us in deploying reef balls to Miri-Sibuti Coral Reefs National Park.”
Talking about the biodiversity in Piasau Camp, Ali indicated that the State Government is considering adopting Piasau Camp, Miri as a potential area for the conservation of hornbills.
Explaining the company’s underlying philosophy, Chok said: “As a responsible energy company, we want to produce energy resources and deliver products in the right way – with respect for people and the environment, and with safety as our first priority.”
Shell believes that sustainable development is about operating the business in a manner attuned to community expectations and have a shared responsibility with government and society to help facilitate the development of strong and sustainable communities.
The company has worked with conservationists and employed advanced technologies to lessen their impact on biodiversity in areas where they operate, and were first in the industry with a biodiversity standard, putting clear biodiversity requirements in place for operations.
“We respect the basic concept of protected areas and seek partnerships to enable us to make a positive contribution towards the conservation of global biodiversity,” he said.
Working closely with environmental organisations helped Shell better understand the natural world and took effective steps towards preserving it. Shell has been working with NGOs to reduce the environmental impact of their operations including the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) , Wetlands International and Earthwatch.
In Sabah, Shell was the main corporate sponsors in the Sabah Danum Valley Field Centre and associated Nature Interpretation and Environmental Education Centre as well as the Maliau Basin Visitors Information and Reception Centre.
In Sarawak working with the Sarawak Forestry Corporation , Shell was the corporate partner on the Sarawak Dolphin Project and continued to run Nature Education Camps with Sarawak Forestry and other agencies.
Chok continued, “Today’s event and community participation captures this, reprising our partnership with Sarawak Forestry who are custodian of protected areas and the management authority of Sarawak’s biodiversity resources – onshore and offshore.“
Also present at the event was Miri City Mayor Lawrence Lai, who received the trash collected from the reef and beach during the event. The volunteers managed to collect a total of 2357 kg of trash from the event, including 37 kg from the reef cleaning. Other partners involved in this project were Coco Dive , Red Monkey Divers , Civil Defence Department , Malaysian Nature Society and Piasau Boat Club.
ABOUT SHELL MALAYSIA EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION
Operating as production sharing contractors to PETRONAS, Shell Malaysia’s exploration and production companies are engaged in the exploration for and efficient development and extraction of crude oil and natural gas from offshore Sarawak and Sabah, with onshore operations and offices in Miri, Kota Kinabalu, Labuan, Bintulu and Kuala Lumpur. Shell also builds and operates the infrastructure needed to deliver hydrocarbons to market.
The pioneer of Malaysia's exploration and production sector, Shell drilled Malaysia’s first commercial oil well in Miri, Sarawak in 1910. The company’s upstream base is still located in Miri after a century of operations.
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