World Scout Environment Program in Negeri Sembilan
For the past 3 days, starting from 7 to 9 of December 2018, scouts from UPM and UM has conducted a program called “Pemeliharaan alam sekitar melalui Pertanian Lestari”. This program is done to reduce the amount of agriculture effect towards the environment by scout members. Since the World Scout Environment Program requires scouts members to do 5 activities based on aims and one event with the community, the followings were executed. For all the five aims, a lecture of introduction were given by volunteered lecturers and students who are experts of this field. After the lecturers were given, activities were conducted for scout members to carry out for a better understatement.
7th December 2018
The first 2 aims were done which scouts members must move towards a world that provides a cleaner water and air supply (Aim 1) and scouts members must move towards a world ensure the conservation of local flora and fauna are preserve(Aim 2).
For the first aim, scout members were required to collect lichen species around the area. Lichen are known as a combination of fungus and algae or cyanobacteria (more classified towards fungus) that are infested in the barks of trees on terrestrial world area. It is commonly found in places of tropical area like Malaysia forest. Lichens are sensitive towards the sulphur dioxide. Sulphur dioxide can destroy chlorophyll and inhibit photosynthesis (Air Pollution, 2018). Thus, this will cause the Lichen to die. The scout members have found an abundance of foliose lichens. Foliose lichen are identified as lichens which appears to be fructisoce and crustose mix structure.
Besides that, compost was also done. Compost are done to reduce the methane gas which are the product from decomposition of rotten substance. Methane gas can cause the greenhouse effect which leads to heat wave in the area. Rotten substance can be obtain in from the waste products of agriculture includes rice husk and many more. By making compost, the waste products are reused for plants growth and reduce methane gas release to environment in large amount.
While for clean water practical, scouts required to obtain water samples from the lake nearby and test its dissolve oxygen content. Dissolve oxygen content or DO are used to monitor the water quality. Low DO results can indicate the chances of Eutrophication. Eutrophication occurs when the algae accumulation on the lake surface causes the lake to have low oxygen content as aquatic plants cannot undergo photosynthesis. Moreover, the decay of substance increase the bacteria accumulation as aquatic animal die due to lack of oxygen. This will cause the ecosystem to be imbalance. Thus, monitoring of water DO must be conducted.
At the end of the day, aim 2 was executed. The activity that were conducted were to sketch the local flora and fauna of Malaysia. The flora selected was the pin flower plant and the latter chosen was the Brooke Rajah Butterfly. The pin flower plant is well known to Malaysian citizen as “Pokok jejarum” and their flowers a suck as it is sweet. It also has medicinal properties. While Brooke Rajah Butterfly is a butterfly that was named after Raja Putih Brooke, from our history books in Sarawak regions. Thus, as a memorial of the butterfly significant, it is also used as one of the Malaysian Stamp picture. Both sketches were post in the social media like facebook and Instagram to obtain a bigger crowd in helping exposure of important of taking care of our heritage animals and plants.
8th December 2018
The last 3 aims were conducted on the second day. The aims are which scouts members must move towards a world with lower hazardous chemicals (Aim 3), which scouts members must move towards a world in using a suitable method in taking care of the environment (Aim 4) and which scouts members must move towards a world that helps the community in preparing for the natural disaster (Aim 5).
In Aim 3, scouts members were taught on how to make their own biocide that does not poison the insects but repels them. This is because toxic from the insecticide can cost extinction of certain species. Thus, reducing the usage of chemical can save the ecosystem in a region. In this activity, natural remedies were used including chillies to provide a repellent towards insect and fungus.
In the evening, activities for aim 4 was executed. The technique that were practice are making biochar and active carbon compound. The biochar is made by a process called pyrolysis which means break down of substance by burning. The substance that were used are a diverse waste product from the agriculture field. This is to shorten the time to process the waste product in hours unlike compost which minimum takes 3 months to be process. Biochar is used to retain the soil humidity and minerals which is very crucial in plants growth. The active carbon were taught as it provide a more active stage of biochar. This is because the active carbon can provide the same effect as biochar in a lesser amount compare to biochar. This is due to the size of pores in active carbon is smaller compare to biochar. Thus, it makes it a suitable substance in agriculture practice as it is cost effective.
After dinner, scouts members were given a lecture on the last aim. They were also given a task in making a poster on the natural disasters and steps taken during the event. The common natural disasters that were listed out includes the thinning of ozone layer and the sea acidity. This happens due to the release of excessive poisonous gases like sulphuric acid and carbon monoxide. Besides that, the disasters cause by man in agricultural plots were also listed. As an example, the soil can be compacted due to the tractors running through the sow soil. Thus, this will cause difficulties towards the plants that were growing as it will have shorter roots. The roots are unable to move in the soil which leads it to a shorter root. Due to this, the steps were listed to enables the public community in understanding the action needed to carry out when deal with this disasters.
9th December 2018
After all the following aims were explain and practiced, the last day requires scouts to share their knowledge with the public. The place selected for the meet and greet was conducted at the Pusat Peladang Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan. For the past 4 hours, scouts were given chances to share their knowledge and gain from the share. The rotation of group to explain different aims were given to give experience towards the young scouts in sharing knowledge with the community. At the end of the day, scout members are given the privilege to take a final group picture before heading back to their universities respectively.
Air Pollution. (2018, December 17). Retrieved from Air Quality and Lichen: www.air-quality.org/19.php