Nestle's Project Rileaf Helps the Environment Turn Over A New Leaf

CONSERVATION MATTERS

Nestlé Project RiLeaf Helps the Environment Turn Over A New Leaf

What does a food and beverage giant like Nestle have to do with reforestation? We speak to Yong Lee Keng, Manager of Agricultural Services of Nestlé Malaysia about a tree conservation initiative that started in 2011.

The Kinabatangan Rileaf Project is a riparian reforestation initiative by Nestlé that aims to create a landscape where people, nature and agriculture can co-exist harmoniously.

“Nestlé is creating a shared value platform which involves health and wellness. This project accommodates two of those pillars, rural development and water. We think that we could really make a difference here," says Yong Lee Keng, Nestlé Malaysia Manager of Agricultural Services.

The initiative will see the reforestation of land along the Kinabatangan river and and the creation of a natural riverine buffer that will help minimise the impact of soil sedimentation and chemical fertiliser runoffs, thereby giving the river a chance to repair itself over the course of time.

The most important thing is that we create an awareness among the local community and government that corporate citizens can play their part in improving the environment

Kinabatangan is the longest river in Sabah. However, the site suffered tremendous landscape change and deterioration from large scale logging, while forests have been obliterated and replaced by oil palms plantation. 

The river is well known for its amazing wildlife and habitats, namely the indigenous Proboscis Monkeys, Asian elephants and the Bornean Orangutans. The area is also known for its variety of birdlife.

Nestlé has set a target of one million trees planted along the Kinabatangan river by 2020 through this project.

“Even though we have planted seven hundred thousand trees so far, in an area such as this, stretching hundred over kilometres, the impact may not be that great," Yong says.

“But the most important thing is that we create an awareness among the local community and government that corporate citizens can play their part in improving the environment.”

Nestlé is stepping up in their efforts in conservation and want more corporate companies to come and work together.

“We know we cannot save the whole world, but we play our little part to preserve and conserve our environment.”

Watch the full interview below:

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