The signing ceremony was also witnessed by the Minister of Tourism, Culture & Environment of Sabah, Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun Chairman of Nestlé Malaysia, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Syed Zainol Anwar Jamalullail and Governing Council Member of Sime Darby Foundation, Ms. Caroline Christine Russell.

Kuala Lumpur, 1 November 2013 – In an initiative to protect one of the world’s richest ecosystems, leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness company – Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad – signed a collaborative agreement with the Sime Darby Foundation to jointly undertake Project RiLeaf, as part of a commitment by both organisations to preserve and sustain the environment and ecosystems.

Nestlé Malaysia and Sime Darby Foundation will team up to manage and optimise funding and resources for Project RiLeaf. Project RiLeaf is an initiative to reforest critical riparian reserves along the Kinabatangan River to provide a natural buffer to filter the river from pollutants, mainly soil sediments and chemical fertiliser run-offs, thereby giving it a chance to repair itself over the course of time. The project will also engage local communities and oil palm smallholder companies to adopt sustainable practices through awareness and knowledge sharing programmes.

This project will also benefit the stakeholders within Sabah’s Kinabatangan flood plains, the Kinabatangan Corridor of Life and also in particular those involved in Project RiLeaf itself. Sime Darby Foundation will be co-funding Project RiLeaf for a period of two years, beginning 2014 with a total contribution of RM2 million.

The collaboration will essentially support capacity building of local communities, namely the Komuniti Anak Pokok Kinabatangan (KAPOK) which provide indigenous forest tree seedlings for reforestation; local contractors appointed to implement demarcation activities, planting, and maintenance works; independent oil palm smallholders; and potentially, homestay lodges.

“We are honoured to be working together with the Sime Darby Foundation, as it signals an important step forward for both organisations to create a greater Kinabatangan ecological environment, which will witness and create a harmonious and beneficial co-existence between all stakeholders within the region,” said Alois Hofbauer, Region Head of Nestlé Malaysia and Singapore.

“I am delighted with this achievement as Project RiLeaf is in line with Nestlé’s philosophy of Creating Shared Value for the society. We believe that we can do business in ways that benefit not only our shareholders, but also our people and society at large, which includes the environment and its protection for future generations.” said Mr. Nandu Nandkishore, Executive Vice President, Nestlé S. A. & Zone Director for Asia, Oceania, Africa and Middle East, who is in the country for an official market visit.

Nestlé has taken on the trust and responsibility to manage Project RiLeaf. The funds allocated by the Sime Darby Foundation will be used for day-to-day operations, as well as new initiatives and other activities associated with the Project. This will help to sustain and regenerate the Lower Kinabatangan River through the replanting of trees, creating a harmonious landscape for people and nature to co-exist with their common source of vitality – water. The Kinabatangan River is also only one of two places on earth where ten primate species are found, including the Orangutan and proboscis monkeys.

"As one of the founding members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the world's largest producer of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO), Sime Darby is delighted to work with Nestle, one of our long-term business partners in this project. Part of the programme is to engage the independent smallholders, subsidise and assist them to eventually attain CSPO. The involvement of the smallholders will help protect the dynamic and unique biodiversity of the Kinabatangan area which includes the inland wildlife corridors and degraded sanctuary areas.

"This partnership also fulfils two of the main pillars of the Sime Darby Foundation, namely conservation of the environment and protection of the ecosystems and community development," said Tan Sri Dato’ Mohd. Bakke Salleh, Governing Council Member of Sime Darby Foundation, and President & Group Chief Executive of Sime Darby Berhad.

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Last Updated:
07 Dec 2017
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