Tuesday, October 15

Protect environment and preserve nature, says Yeoh

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FOR THE ALBUM: Yeoh poses with the hatcheries she adopted under the ‘Turtle Adoption Programme’ in giving her support for SFC. Also there are Braken (left) and Talang Satang National Park warden Antony Ganyai (squatting at left). — Photos by Wilfred Pilo

FOR THE ALBUM: Yeoh poses with the hatcheries she adopted under the ‘Turtle Adoption Programme’ in giving her support for SFC. Also there are Braken (left) and Talang Satang National Park warden Antony Ganyai (squatting at left). — Photos by Wilfred Pilo

SEMATAN: One of Asia’s biggest stars, Datuk Seri Michelle Yeoh, has called on the people to protect the environment and preserve nature.

Yeoh is here to attend the three-day Asean International Film Festival and Awards 2013 (Aiffa 2013) which started on Thursday.

In her effort to support Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) during her inaugural visit to the Talang Talang Island yesterday, she joined the Turtle Adoption Programme and adopted thirteen hatcheries, of which part of them was on behalf of her family members.

Yeoh gave them delightful names including Love, Prosperity, Longevity, and Peace.

She later told a press conference after a briefing by SFC on turtle conservation work on the island, that it was important to enhance conservation awareness through education.

“I commend SFC for their hard work in protecting the turtles and pressing for minimal tourism activities on the protected island, else sea creatures like the turtles will be threatened with extinction,” Yeoh said.

“Conservation and protection of the world’s nature are shared responsibility of global citizens. Conservation and protection should be part of our lifestyle,” she emphasised.

“Also, we need to educate our people to start practising green living from home and teach young children to respect and appreciate nature which in turn will promote conservation,” she added.

Of most importance, she discouraged people from disposing plastic litter irresponsibly, as they have not only become the biggest pollution problem but also the main item that caused the death of sea creatures like turtles.

SFC deputy general manager (Protected Areas and Biodiversity Conservation Division) Oswald Braken Tisen in his brief presentation earlier on, had warned that “turtles could accidentally ingest plastic bags mistaking them for jellyfish and the bags will block their stomachs, often leading to their death from starvation.”

Yeoh also revealed that another purpose of her visit besides attending the Aiffa was to promote the award winning documentary film ‘Pad Yatra: A Green Odyssey’ of which she is the executive producer.

She also said she was willing to be the spokesperson for the turtle conservation and research project run by SFC at the Talang Talang Island.

Later, Yeoh and entourage released 17 baby green turtles into the sea.

“I hope the turtles will come back to their Talang Talang home in the future to reproduce,” she said adding that she would love to come back for a longer holiday in Sarawak when time permits.

Earlier on, Yeoh and entourage visited Telaga Air. Pantai Damai assemblyman Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi was also present.

Meanwhile, ‘Pad Yatra: A Green Odyssey’ won six international awards, including Best Documentary and Audience Award Winner at three different film festivals.

The film documents the harrowing adventure of 700 people, trekking across the Himalayas with a call to save the planet’s “3rd Pole,” a glacial region now devastated by climatic chaos associated with global warming.

Walking on foot, village to village and showing by example, the trekkers spread the message of protecting and caring for the environment.

The trekkers emerged with nearly half a tonne of plastic litter strapped to their backs.

The film is narrated by Daryl Hannah, and it is the debut feature project of writer/director Wendy J.N. Lee.