PEKAN, 12 March 2021 - Universities as knowledge leaders play an important role in implementing sustainable development education among university residents and the community in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030.
In the development of the green campus, Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) has 27.5 per cent of the campus area that has been gazetted as a green area.
The green campus initiatives involve tree planting zones, forest zones and open areas to be planted with natural plants.
The tree planting zones have several divided zones which are the Bioaromatic Arboretum (8 acres), grove zone (2.3 acres), rare plant zone (5.3 acres), Laman Cendekia (1 acre), Recreational Lake (39 acres) and Wetland (30.4 acres).
According to the Chairman of the UMP Board of Directors, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman, one of the unique components of UMP is the existence of jungle plants on campus.
“It involves reforestation project areas in collaboration with the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM).
“UMP-FRIM (Phase 1) spans 6 acres and the UMP-FRIM reforestation project area (Phase 2) which is named Rimba Lestari spans 5.6 acres.
“The collaboration with the Pahang State Forestry Department involves a forest zone in Rimba UMP spanning 5.3 acres,” he said.
Rimba Lestari 1 is located between the Faculty of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technology (FTKEE), Faculty of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering Technology (FTKMA) and Faculty of Manufacturing and Mechatronics Engineering (FTKPM) buildings.
He said it is a green treasure that would be a new benefit for the students, a balance of development and be able to reduce heat.
“The role of this forest is not only as a shade but also in line with research development and it is possible that we can ride horses on this trail.
“Students can use the trail in Rimba Lestari to cross between buildings or to nearby areas.
“More interestingly, there are QR codes for each tree and we can simply scan the code to know the type of tree and other information about it,” he said.
A total of 1,802 plants from 24 types of forest trees and wooded tropical plants can be found at Rimba Lestari such as tongkat ali, red meranti, chengal, bruas, Indian-almond, jelutong, shrubby simpoh, dark red meranti, false elder, and cannonball tree.
UMP is also planning to create a jungle library that can be used as an attraction for students, especially among international students to study at this university, especially in Pahang which has many tourist attractions.
In order to ensure that this sustainability agenda can be achieved, the university must also be an example in applying sustainable culture on campus.
Recently, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Abdul Aziz was accompanied by the UMP Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ir. Dr. Wan Azhar Wan Yusoff during a visit to Rimba Lestari that has become a new attraction at the UMP Pekan campus.
The Director of Centre for Property Management and Development (PPPH), Dr. Mohamad Idris Ali and PPPH Manager, Ernie Nurazlin Lizam held a briefing session on the UMP green areas and the development of Rimba Lestari.
Also present were officials from FRIM, Dr. Wan Asma Ibrahim, Dr. Wan Rashidah Wan Ab Kadir and Siti Nur Ridhwah Mohd. Ramli.
The university is implementing greening initiatives in developing the campus landscape to be greener and more sustainable to ensure that its residents can enjoy a more conducive and quality environment.
UMP is also ranked 90th best in the world in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking 2020.