In an effort to mitigate the effects of global warming, WWF, through its offices in Singapore and Indonesia, have partnered with Nokia and Equinox Publishing to launch a tree planting campaign in Sebangau National Park on Borneo.
The planting campaign initiative, called NEWtrees, gives people an innovative way to help reforest this protected national park and monitor the growth of the trees through geotags (trees labelled with precise latitude and longitude coordinates), which are viewable via Google Earth and Yahoo Maps.
“This project is the first of its kind anywhere in the world and we are excited to join forces with two great companies like Nokia and Equinox to help the Sebangau conservation,” said Nazir Foead, Director of Corporate Engagement at WWF-Indonesia.
The first stage of the project will see Nokia support the planting of 100,000 individually-geotagged Jelutung (Dyera costulata) seedlings, a native species of tree that is a favourite of the park’s orang-utans.
“By collaborating in this initiative with WWF-Indonesia and Equinox Publishing, we hope to not only help reduce the annual haze that blankets the region, but also contribute in a small way to protecting and preserving Sebangau,” said Francis Cheong, Nokia’s Environment Manager for the Asia-Pacific region.
“The geotagging technology will help to monitor the development of the trees.”
Photos and locations of the planted trees are viewable on the NEWtrees website, beginning with the first ceremonial planting on 7 November 2007.
“There are several interesting reforestation initiatives happening in Indonesia at present but what makes NEWtrees unique is that we have the ability to show exactly where the trees are being planted,” said Mark Hanusz of Equinox Publishing.
“Contributing individuals and institutions will receive a certificate with the exact coordinates and date that their trees were planted, and will even be able to visit them.”
WWF views the NEWtrees initiative as an important milestone in which the private sector is contributing directly to conservation. The initiative will hopefully serve as a catalyst for other corporations to participate, with the aim of rolling out such a programme in other national parks in Indonesia.
“We are happy to see this partnership developing,” said Vivian Mamawag, Manager of Corporate Engagement at WWF-Singapore.
“Not only will it strengthen Nokia’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme, but it reinforces WWF’s conservation objectives.”
• Sebangau National Park, located in the southern part of Central Kalimantan Province, between the Sebangau and Katingan rivers, covers 568,700 hectares and is home to one of the largest known remaining orang-utan populations in the world. The peat swamp forest in Sebangau is also home to at least 106 species of birds, 35 species of mammals.
• WWF started work in Indonesia in the early 1960s. Working at 24 sites throughout Indonesia’s 16 provinces, WWF-Indonesia’s main programmes focus on forests, marine, freshwater, species, climate change and toxic chemicals.
• Nokia, the world’s leading mobile phone supplier and a leading supplier of mobile and fixed telecom networks, has been at the forefront of driving environmental initiatives in the mobile industry for more than a decade. Today, up to 80% of Nokia mobile phones can be recycled. Earlier this year, Nokia became the first mobile manufacturer to add alerts into its mobiles that encourage people to unplug their charger once the battery is full, a move that alone could save enough electricity to power 85,000 homes a year.
• Equinox Publishing is Indonesia’s largest English-language publishing company. Beginning August 2007, Equinox became the first publisher in the world to convert all of its books to 100% recycled paper.
For further information:
Israr Ardiansyah, Media Outreach