Aramco Asia has provided much-needed support to the China Mangrove Conservation Network (CMCN) after entering into an agreement in April this year, within the framework of Saudi Aramco’s 2018 donation program.
The green initiative’s objectives are to facilitate and support the conservation and protection of mangrove swamps on Haimen Island, in Southeast China’s Fujian Province.
This program is one of many social corporate responsibility initiatives that Aramco Asia is carrying out to implement Saudi Aramco’s out-of-Kingdom donation strategy that promotes the corporate social responsibility pillars of knowledge society and environment in areas of operations.
Under the agreement, Aramco Asia took the specific area of the island as an adopted conservation land to conduct mangrove planting and post-planting management work such as coastline cleanup and invasive species removal.
“We are happy to support such tasks that would contribute to the improvement of mangrove conservation and the island’s ecosystem in general,” said Fahad Al Othman, China country manager of Aramco Asia.
“We endorse this initiative and feel obliged to conserve our planet to provide a certain level of sustainability, and at the same time, prosperity for all people. It is an eco-friendly investment that will bring about a good return to our livelihood.”
At a recent ceremony marking the success of the project, CMCN general director Liu Yi said he appreciated the support Aramco Asia has offered, and pointe out how important mangroves are for the community, biodiversity, and ecosystem.
“It (mangrove) plays an extremely important role in protecting the banks, coping with climate change, purifying water, and providing abundant seafood,” said Liu.
“It is wonderful that Aramco Asia participates in coastal wetland conservation that promotes the protection of mangrove forests with practical actions and practices the concept that clean water and green mountains are golden mountains.”
Also at the ceremony, an interim report was released on the work that has been done by both sides since the partnership was formed months ago. Through working cooperatively with CMCN — a nongovernmental organization jointly set up by the Haishan village committee and the Fugong Forestry Bureau — Aramco Asia has advocated the essence of sustainability of biodiversity restoration while supporting wetland management throughout the project’s day-to-day operations.
Following the ceremony, participants were invited on a field trip to the CMCN and Aramco Asia Eco-Restoration Base, where they joined the volunteers — mainly from Xiamen Air — for mangrove planting.
Apart from on-site planting, organizers also carried out a raft of scientific and promotional activities to restore coastal wetlands, clean out invasive species and marine litter, and build better habitats for birds and local wildlife.
Liu, an expert in mangrove microbenthic animals, said local residents and volunteers have planted more than 10,000 mangrove trees on the island, reaching nearly half of the total target of 22,000 — set when the project began in April. They were also involved in the daily management of the planting site, carrying out duties such as patrolling, fence repair, and garbage disposal. There will be another three rounds of regular monitoring until the end of the project in February 2019.
Public affairs director Waleed Al Helal, engineering and technical services director Tareq Al Sabti, Nasser Lasloum Xiamen, chemicals director, along with selected staff members from both Beijing and Xiamen, also took part in the event.