Globally, World Environment Day (WED) is a great annual event celebrated on June 5, to create positive awareness to preserve the environment and the planet earth. As per the recent record, there are 8.7 million species of organisms estimated to exist in the earth and we are one among them. Further we are the only species enjoying all the privileges utilizing almost all the existing group of organisms from bacteria, algae, mushrooms, vegetables and plants including primitive invertebrate animals to highest vertebrate mammals as food and medicine.
The burgeoning population growth and economic development with high exploitation of natural resources in various countries continuously damages our planet’s environment and thereby causing a lot of environmental consequences and challenges to combat. Genetically, all the organisms are related to one another. All the plants and organisms are our relatives and some percentage of our genome sequences are similar to even bacteria, plants and animals. It is our responsibility to preserve the fellow living organisms on the earth and conserve the environment. This year’s theme for WED 2016 is “Go Wild for Life” high-lights the fight against the illegal trade in wildlife. The theme also encourages us to explore all those species under threat and take necessary action to help safeguard them for future generations. We need to protect the native indigenous species.
Like forests, wildlife is also a national resource, which not only helps in maintaining the ecological balance but also beneficial from economic, recreational and aesthetic point of view. There was a time when human interference was minimum, the number of wild animals was quite high and there was no problem for their protection or conservation. But, with the expansion of agriculture, settlement, industrial and other developmental activities and mainly due to greed of man, the number of wild life gradually became lesser and lesser. As a result, several species of animals have become extinct and several, others are on the verge of being so. Deforestation, one of the main reason followed by mass killing of wild animals for their meat, bones, fur, teeth, skin, etc., are going on throughout the world. Therefore, the need for wildlife conservation has now become very imperative.
To commemorate and celebrate the World Environment Day, we in AIMST University have initiated and scheduled several environmental protection activities and events to create a more positive awareness about the global environmental issues to our students and common public. WED committee, AIMST University organized a one day National Seminar on “Sustainable Environment and Health” & WED events 2016 on 22 September, 2016.
The environmental campaign started with planting of trees in our campus on 6th June, 2016 and a slogan writing competition. We also organized inter-school environmental quiz, intervarsity debate and trash to treasure – innovation competition for school students. The WED – 2016, AIMST University organizing committee chairman, Dr. K. Marimuthu welcomed all the invited speakers and delegates.
The opening ceremony was officiated by Honorable Dato Dr. Leong Yong Kong, Member of the Executive Council and Chairman of the Committee on Environment & Health, Kedah, Malaysia. Honorable Vice Chancellor, AIMST University Senior Professor Dr. M. Ravichandran, highlighted the carbon foot print and importance of planting trees in the earth and healthy living in his opening remarks.
The 13 eminent environmentalists and researchers from Malaysia and India delivered the awareness talks on different aspects of environmental conservation.
- Prof. Dr. Sultan Ahmad Ismail, Managing Director of the Eco science Research Foundation, Chennai, India delivered a talk on ‘For earth’s sake’.
- Dr. Fadzil bin Abd Kadir, secretary, Sungai Petani municipal council delivered a talk on Natural Resources and Conservation.
- Prof. Dr. Sudesh Kumar, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang presented a topic on Biodegradable Plastics for a Sustainable Environment.
- Prof. Dr. Kannan Narayanan, Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Applied Sciences, AIMST University, highlighted the application of Molecular Marker Techniques in Environmental Forensic Studies.
- Hj. Mohd. Zaini bin Abdul Rahman, Director, Department of Chemistry Malaysia, Penang Branch delivered a talk on Environmental Forensics: An overview of selected cases.
- Prof. Dr. P. K. Rajesh, Faculty of Medicine, AIMST University stressed to reduce wastage, reuse, and recycling concepts to the participants.
- Prof. Quamrul Hasan, Universiti Utara Malaysia, delivered a talk on Sustainable Agriculture and Organic Farming: The Case in Paddy Farming in West Malaysia.
- Dr. Md. Aminur Rahman, Universiti Putra Malaysia, discussed the Integrated Rice-Fish Farming: A New Avenue for Sustainable Agricultural Production in a Eco-friendly Environment.
- Mr. N. V Subbarow, Consumers Association of Penang, Malaysia, delivered a talk on Natural farming in Malaysia.
- Mr. Don Theseira, Green Crusaders, Penang, Malaysia, demonstrated the Recycling of household wastes (Resources) for cleaner environment and income generation to the students and participants.
- Dr. Haslinda Binti Mohd Anuar, from Universiti Utara Malaysia, discussed the Environmental Law in Malaysia: A Protection to Public Health.
- Dr. P Arulselvan, from Universiti Putra Malaysia, delivered a talk on Environmental pollution and its biological impacts.
- Dr. Suresh Kumar, Universiti Putra Malaysia, highlighted the Impact of environmental alteration and human infectious diseases.
Chairman, WED events Dr. Marimuthu thanked Dato’ Seri Utama Dr. S. Samy Vellu, Chancellor and Chairman, AIMST University and Senior Prof. Dr. M. Ravichandran, Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor & Dr. S. Kathiresan, Registrar, AIMST University for their support and encouragement to organize these events during his opening remarks. He also extended his appreciation to Mr. Khanna, OTA Tunnel Sdn Bhd, Malaysia, co-organizer for this seminar.
The following are the winners of slogan writing competition:
- Champion (FOM) – Dr. P.K Rajesh –“Nurture Nature, The Next Generation’s Future’.
- First runner up (FOM) – Dr. Kailash Kharkwal – “Earth is a divine expression, don’t spoil it with carbon impression”.
- Second runner up (SGFS) Ms. Ashadeep Kaur Vidwan – “Pollution is not an illusion, it is your creation”.
The 24 school teams participated in the inter-school environmental quiz competition and the following schools were the winners:
- Champions, SMK KHIR JOHARI, Kedah
- 2nd place, SMK KOTA KUALA MUDA
- 3rd place, SMK SIN MIN, Kedah
Six teams participated in the inter-varsity environmental debate competition.
- Champions, Multimedia University Malaysia
- 1st runners up, Multimedia University Malaysia
- 2nd Runners up University Malaysia Pahang
22 school teams participated in the inter-school trash to treasure innovation competition.
- Champion: SMK ST GEORGE (GIRLS), PULAU PINAG
- 2nd place – MRSM TRANSKRIAN NIBONG TEBAL, PULAU PINANG
- 3rd place – SMK IBRAHIM, KEDAH.
All the winners were awarded with certificate and cash prizes during the closing ceremony.
Contributed by: Dr. K. Marimuthu, Chairman, WED 2016 Events, AIMST University, Malaysia.
Source: AIMST E-Bulletin Volume II Issue III (October 2016)