SEAD Industries Sdn Bhd (SEAD) and the Orang Asal community in Pos Poi are bonded by bamboo.
For the former, it is the beating heart of operations involving sustainable bamboo applications for the building industry. For the latter, it has long been their livelihood.
“As our demand grew, more manpower was needed. But the younger generation lacked the wisdom of their elders,” explains SEAD’s Executive Director Lucas Loo.
Bamboo is perpetually regenerative. If harvested incorrectly, however, it dies.
To avoid that, the impact enterprise provides training on sustainable harvesting methods.
Hasanah’s funding enabled formal development of the course, acquiring specialised equipment and paying course participants an allowance. Growing from ten harvesters to 31, the target is 500 by 2024.
Sustainable Bamboo Harvesting Coordinator, Rosli bin Itam is the liaison between SEAD and community members.
“Others were only interested in buying bamboo at a flat rate without any sustainability concerns. SEAD’s prices depend on bamboo quality,” says Rosli adding “the programme has raised awareness and made harvesting easier.”
He hopes it will extend beyond Pos Poi so that Malaysia, like other South East Asian countries, will be renowned for bamboo.
This programme falls squarely within the ambit of Hasanah’s Environment Impact Area.
It helps “restore our ecosystem, turning barren land into productive areas; contributing towards achieving our sustainability agenda in mitigating climate change,” Environment Lead Ivy Wong Abdullah explains plans to revive 20 hectares of ex-mining land in Kinta Nature Park.
Undoubtedly, bamboo is the right plant for that job.