Sime Darby Plantation Berhad: Nestl Malaysia and Sime Darby Plantation begin reforestation collaboration under RELeaf project

Nestlé Malaysia and Sime Darby Plantation begin reforestation collaboration under RELeaf project

Yayasan Sime Darby supplies 3,000 seedlings for the collaboration’s first tree planting site at Sua Betong Estate/h5>

Nestlé Malaysia and Sime Darby Plantation (SDP) recently started their first reforestation collaboration under the RELeaf Project with a tree planting program in SDP’s Sua Betong estate. Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) has committed RM2 million to support Nestlé’s replanting efforts in this project. YSD’s contribution includes the purchase of seedlings comprising 23 different types of trees to be planted as part of the three million trees. These seedlings will be planted in seven selected locations in SDP’s operations in Peninsular and East Malaysia. To kick off the collaboration, 3,000 seedlings were planted in the Sua Betong estate by 150 volunteers from Nestlé Malaysia and SDP.

Led by Nestlé Malaysia, the RELeaf project aims to plant three million trees across Malaysia by 2023 to restore and improve forest ecosystems and protect wildlife as well as essential water supplies. As part of the project, Nestlé Malaysia and SDP signed a memorandum of understanding in December 2021 to plant over 1 million trees on 1,200 hectares in SDP’s oil palm harvesting areas to restore the degraded forest along riparian areas, hilly and flat terrain. This will help establish forest linkages that will reconnect major forest fragments to allow wildlife to move freely between forest patches and increase the availability of food sources such as wild fruits for various wildlife species.

Mr. Juan Aranols, Managing Director of Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad, said: “At Nestlé, we are keenly aware of the importance of conserving natural ecosystems which are vital for establishing wildlife corridors, helping to mitigate the risk of human-animal conflict. This is also essential for the conservation of precious water resources and to protect biodiversity, in addition to supporting the livelihoods of local communities. Forests are also the planet’s green lungs, providing a nature-based solution for carbon sinks that are fundamental to combating climate change. To this end and in conjunction with the United Nations International Day of Forests, we are accelerating our reforestation efforts with our partners under the RELeaf project. With Nestlé’s well-established 110-year presence growing with Malaysia, this is another way to make an additional positive impact, contributing to a greener Malaysia for future generations. This is also in line with the Nestlé’s global ambition of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

According to Mohamad Helmy Othman Basha, Managing Director of SDP Group, the tree planting program in Sua Betong, Negeri Sembilan was a perfect opportunity for SDP volunteers to get involved in an impactful reforestation initiative as the company celebrates its 200th anniversary in 2022. “We are delighted to launch our collaboration with Nestlé on the RELeaf project and to involve our volunteers in this important initiative. Reforestation, biodiversity conservation and volunteerism are some of the characteristics of our illustrious 200-year history. We are excited to continue charting our future by taking action to respond to climate change and laying the groundwork for making and achieving our net zero commitment,” said Mohamad Helmy.

YSD Managing Director Dr. Hajjah Yatela Zainal Abidin added: “We are delighted to once again partner with Nestlé Malaysia in this endeavor to safeguard our precious environment. YSD has supported Nestlé since 2013 in replanting efforts along the riparian areas of Sabah’s Kinabatangan. The river under the Rileaf Project was completed in 2020, working with local communities and planting over 800,000 trees across more than 350 hectares. With the success of this collaboration, we are optimistic that the replanting effort to national scale undertaken as part of the RELeaf project will be an even greater success. This partnership will complement our efforts under the YSD’s Environment pillar to take proactive action in the fight against climate change.”

The RELeaf project also aims to improve the livelihoods of surrounding communities by generating alternative sources of income, such as direct employment, labor contracts and the purchase of seedlings. To increase environmental awareness through learning and recreation programs, Nestlé will also engage with local communities with a comprehensive reforestation experience.

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