Tourism in Malaysia :Tioman Island Posted by hadinetworks hadi
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Four Starwood Hotels and Resorts in Langkawi Embarked on Making a Difference

Starwood Hotels & Resorts in Langkawi joined forces to make Sungai Bukit Hantu a “green lung” on Friday, 22 April 2011 from 8.00am to 12.00pm.

The Andaman, a Luxury Collection Resort, The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa, Sheraton Langkawi Beach Resort and the soon-to-be-opened Four Points by Sheraton Langkawi planted 1,000 trees that are native to the island. The activity, organised in conjunction with Earth Day 2011, was participated in by over 200 members of the management and associates of these properties. Also volunteering were students from Sekolah Kebangsaan Kuala Teriang. Starwood believes that this good practice and exposure will help instill the knowledge and importance of conserving Mother Earth for their future.

‘At Starwood, we believe that economic growth and the well-being of society are inextricably tied to the health of the environment. Hence, this is not only a very apt but also fabulous initiative taken on by the four properties in Langkawi. Everyday our hotel teams work hand in hand with owners, suppliers, business partners and the local community to review how we can reduce the environmental impact of our business activities. I am very happy to see that all concerned parties have come together as ONE to achieve a common aim – preserving Mother Earth. Whilst there is still much we can do to attain full sustainability status in today’s world, this green cooperation is definitely a step in the right direction”, said Chuck Abbott – Regional Vice President for Starwood Hotels & Resorts in South East Asia who was also present to take part in the tree planting activity.

This project is also in collaboration with United Nations International Year of the Forest 2011. The year 2011 was declared the International Year of Forest by the United Nations to raise awareness and strengthen sustainable forest management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests for the benefit of current and future generations.

With assistance from naturalist and conservationist, Irshad Mobarak of Junglewala, the four properties identified this 1,000-tree-planting activity in support of the Earth Day 2011.

Junglewalla was set up in early 1994 in Langkawi by Irshad Mobarak with his main objective – to educate and inspire people to experience Langkawi’s rich natural history. With the experience and passion Irshad brings, it is no wonder that the Starwood Hotels & Resorts in Langkawi are delighted to enlist him as a partner for this event.

With Irshad’s expertise in place, the 1,000 tree seedlings chosen are of 13 different varieties. They include Cashew Nut, Malaysian Grape, Peace Tree, Wild Nutmeg and others, which are known to grow well on the island.

Finding a strategic location for this project was challenging in the very beginning. However, with great support from the Langkawi Development Authority (LADA), everything is made possible as they allocated Sungai Bukit Hantu for this project. To show their great support – they also sent representatives from LADA to take part in this event.

The organization embarked on this project with one common aim in mind – that in years to come, Sungai Bukit Hantu will be part of the “green tourism route” of Langkawi.

An estimated total of RM15,000.00 is to be raised for this project and individual properties have come up with various exciting activities prior to the event to raise this fund, including a bazaar sale as well as adopting a tree for a fee.

The trees surround Sungai Bukit Hantu’s lake, used by animals and wildlife to travel safely from one section of land to another. Providing the shelter of trees around this lake area gives additional shelter to birds and small animals in the vicinity.

Upon completion of the first step of planting 1,000 seedlings into the ground of Sungai Bukit Hantu, a 2-years sustainability plan has also been put into place. The 4 properties will regularly come together to ensure the planted trees are well taken care of.

This good cause took place on the actual day of Earth Day 2011 worldwide. Earth Day is a day that is intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment. Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson and was first held on April 22, 1970.

While this first Earth Day was focused on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations. Earth Day is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and is celebrated in more than 175 countries every year