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Operation Save Mother Nature
A very good morning to the Principal, Senior Assistants, teachers and students. I am Frances Kah, the President of the Nature Society of the school and I am honoured to be able to address you on this important occasion, the launching of Operation ‘Save Mother Nature’. I’m sure you’re will aware by now, having seen the posters and banners all around the school compound that today heralds the start of Environment Week, better know as Operation Save Mother Nature. The Nature Society has been overseeing this annual event for the preceding 15 years and we hope that the support and interest that we have generated in the past will increase in the coming days.
You may think that it is easy to turn a blind eye to the perils our planet is facing, as we have so many problems, after all. The economy is in constant ups and downs. Our parents worry about having enough money to feed us and keep us clothed. Mother Earth should be quite capable of taking care of herself. The rest of us have more pressing matters to attend to, haven’t we?
Absolutely not. Our livelihood is dependent on our environment, and it has not been in a healthy state lately. According to the data compiled, the four biggest environment issues in our country are deforestation and illegal logging; air and water pollution; global warming as well as the depletion of fish stocks and species.
The statistics require our immediate concern. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, close to 90% of large fish species have been fished out globally. Less than 1% of the Earth’s water is available for human use due to pollution and competing users. Malaysia is also responsible for 13% of the world’s forest loss every year. You may think that only plants and animals are affected by these negative occurrences but these problematic issues are threatening our survival on Mother Earth.
Let me give you an example. Malaysians produce more than 20,000 tonnes of solid waste every day. Where does most of our waste go to? Well, dumped into the rivers, of course. It has also been estimated that we consumed nearly
2,000 tonnes water per person daily. Where does our water come from? The river. It is apparent that problems come from all the pollutions created by us.
As a result of our own activities, extra expenses will have to be incurred in cleaning up and purifying our water resources. The same can be said in regards to air pollution. Not only has our atmosphere become hotter and requires more energy to cool it down, the health of our citizens is also adversely affected. Exposure to toxic ground level ozone can bring about severe damage to our health such as respiratory illnesses and even scarring of lung tissues.
Even the tourism industry has become aware of these issues, with the launching of the ‘1 Malaysia Green, 1 Malaysia Clean’ initiative in January 2011. In the words of our Tourism Minister, we need to develop a thriving and sustainable tourism industry that does not compromise on the existing biodiversity. This comes through the preservation, conservation and protection of the environment as well as the country’s nature and cultural heritage.
We too, can play our part in preserving Mother Nature. Eat less processed food and buy clothes made of natural fibres as these require less energy to manufacture. Take care not to leave faucets running or set the washing machine for a full load when you only have one or two shirts to wash. Bring your own bags when you go shopping. Trust me; a little goes a long way, especially when everyone gets involved.
I hope the weight of what we’re doing has sunk into your mind. Anyway, I’m sure you’re all keen to know what activities we have lined up in conjunction with Operation Save Mother Nature. As usual, we have our interclass recycling championship. The classes that accumulate the most recyclable waste by the end of this week will be in the running to win a special prize sponsored by Encik Lutfi, our Parents and Teachers’ Association President.
We’ve also organized activities such as trips to the local zoo and animal
pound, poetry and essay writing competitions, a day to the seaside that will involve a voluntary cleanup of the beach, art contests in which participants are only allowed to use trash and many others. It’ll be a blast. This is all my speech today. Thank you for your attention. I look forward to your active participation in the coming week. I now invite our Principal to launch the ‘Operation Save Mother Nature’.