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USM PENANG, 6 May 2023 – The 'Sekretariat Sukarelawan India' (SSI), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in collaboration with the USM EcoHub, USM Centre for Global Sustainability Studies (CGSS), Penang Agricultural Department, USM 'Kampus Sejahtera' and USM Archaeology Club today organised the third edition of Nurture the Nature (NTN) 3.0 Phase 1 programme.

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The aim of the programme is to raise the awareness and to provide the exposure to USM students on the importance of planting the trees.

This is to implement the main goal in assisting USM to restore the important ecosystem services at USM by making a positive impact to the environment.

Present at the opening ceremony was the USM Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dato’ Ir. Dr. Abdul Rahman Mohamed, who officiated the ceremony by planting the first two saplings which are 'Merbau' and 'Merawan Siput Jantan'.

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Abdul Rahman in his officiating speech said that through this programme, USM students are encouraged to consequentially promote health and social well-being by removing air pollution, reducing stress, encouraging physical activity and promoting social ties within the USM community.

“As the Vice-Chancellor of USM, I am immensely honoured to be able to support this noble cause and the efforts of the organising committee, and I sincerely hope that we can use this as an opportunity to fortify USM’s effort as an APEX university, as we aim to become a pioneering, trans-disciplinary and research-intensive university that empowers future talents and enables the bottom billions to transform their socioeconomic well-being,” said Abdul Rahman.

SSI USM President, Logen Naidu Suresh in his speech said, it is hoped that this programme would start one of the participant's visions of reviving the ecosystems to a healthy, stable and sustainable state in a good manner and which could bring more justification to it.  

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Meanwhile, NTN 3.0 Project Director, Santhiya Murrily said, the programme is also meant to help increase the amount of biodiversity found within USM and to ensure that it will thrive through the implementation of USM's vision towards creating a green campus.

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“This programme will also help us to meet at least 15 of the 17 internationally supported United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG 13 (Climate Action) and SDG 15 (Life on Land),” she said.

Also present at the NTN 3.0 Phase 1 were the USM Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Industry, Community Network and Institutional Sustainability), Professor Dr. Azlan Amran; USM 'Kampus Sejahtera' Coordinator, Ahmad Wafi Sahedan and principal officers of USM.

A total of 100 USM students participated in the programme.

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As part of the programme agenda, activities relating to the contribution and restoration of the environment were held, whereby participants get to plant 50 saplings, which was then followed by 30 minutes of walking along the EcoTrail, a forest bathing activity led by CGSS Science Officer, Mohd Abdul Muin Md Akil.

NTN 3.0 will be back with Phase 2 on 10 June 2023, with another 150 saplings to be planted in the campus.

Text: Nur Farrah Ezlin Mohd Suhaimi/Photo: Mohd Fairus Md. Isa    

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