With a consumer base that spans across age and racial groups, BOH recognises that it has a unique position to influence and reach out to people. As such, BOH is actively engaging people to join in with the Company’s mission to raise the public’s awareness and responsibility in preserving the environment and to promote sustainability. The Company views this as an opportune platform to help to enable the public to focus more on issues of national concern.
Accordingly, BOH is actively involved in local animal conservation efforts as well as in preserving and sustaining the environment in which the animals live in.
BOH & WWF
Following BOH’s commitment in preserving the environment and animal conservation, it is only natural that the Company would work together with WWF-Malaysia in tackling these issues. Apart from that, in spite of the complexities in implementing a sustainable programme(s) on their own, both the Company and WWF-Malaysia share the same vision in caring for the environment. The Company soon entered into various projects together with WWF-Malaysia, which helped raise the public’s awareness on the country’s environmental issues. These projects also serve to encourage the public to increase their conservation efforts within their own communities. Some of the projects include:
1. A partnership with the Malaysian chapter of the WWF to establish the Habitat Restoration Project (Habitat) with the hope of achieving two objectives. The first is to help rehabilitate the forest habitat for the orang-utan in the Supu Forest reserve, Bilit and river reserves along the Kinabatangan, Sabah. This is done through planting seedlings, expanding the existing nursery to accommodate more seedlings and cleaning and weeding so that young trees can grow to proper height.
2. The roll-out of a community service message on the Putraline LRT together with Big Tree and RapidKL as well as a joint concert with ERA radio station featuring local music celebrities in helping to create greater public awareness of the issues that threaten the fragile existence of animals.
3. The development of a limited edition package for BOH’s famous household brand, BOH Tea, which served as a premium giveaway for anyone who wished to participate in the conservation project that seeks to protect the Orang-utan and highlight their plight to the public.
4. Initiation of a public programme themed Tea for Trees to actively encourage the public to play a part in conservation efforts. Through a simple act of symbolically adopting a tree for a small fee that was exchanged for tea products and merchandise, the public could help to support the tree planting efforts in Kinabatangan, Sabah for reforestation. All funds were duly channelled to WWF-Malaysia for the Habitat’s reforestation programme on Orang-utan conservation. This project was carried out for three years, from 2008 to 2010.
5. Engagement with youths, the torch bearers of tomorrow, through a youth programme aptly titled the New Hope for Orang-utan School Programme, on conservation education. The concept behind this project is that BOH felt a compelling need to empower youths with a profound knowledge on issues grappling the Orang-utan, while nurturing a sense of responsibility in them to save this iconic species from disappearing from our earth completely.
The various awareness activities such as those above were not just confined to public programmes, as from time to time, media expeditions were spearheaded to provide the press with an opportunity to experience first-hand the various conservation efforts that are being made through the Company. This includes the reforestation activities and how these efforts translate to a broader goal of conserving the Orang-utan as well as the habitat and environment in which they live in. BOH believes that the media are an important mouthpiece for changing public mindsets and cultivating an eco-conscious community for a greener world.
Over the years, the Habitat project had on its own matured from a project previously owned and driven by WWF-Malaysia to an establishment known as Habitat Enterprise and run by the local community in Bilit. Together with BOH’s unwavering support and WWF-Malaysia’s guidance, the local community is given the impetus to ensure that reforestation work continues to remain the bedrock of wildlife conservation and that our endearing Orang-utan continue to roam our forests.
Just recently, the Company and WWF-Malaysia have launched yet another project, the BOH Forest Friend School Programme, to encourage school-going children to be more environmentally conscious. The programme seeks to educate the children through a series of environmental talks focusing on the importance of our forests and the issue of deforestation in Malaysia. Culminating in a virtual forest contest, students can either participate in the online contest individually or represent their school to answer questions relating to our forest and environment to stand a chance to grow an e-forest. The healthiest e-forest at the end of the campaign will be announced as winner.
For more information on the orang-utan conservation efforts and BOH Forest Friends, please visit www.orangutan.com.my and www.bohforestfriends.com.my respectively.