Topics: Sumatra, Carbon dioxide, Singapore Press Holdings Pages: 5 (1124 words) Published: October 24, 2010
SIA's $4m gift to save rainforest

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SIA's $4m gift to save rainforest
Money will help preserve and conserve Sumatran rainforest that houses endangered species By Karamjit Kaur, Aviation Correspondent

Prime News
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Rhinoceros hornbills in an Indonesian rainforest. Harapan Rainforest in Sumatra is home to more than 290 species of birds and 55 species of mammals. -- PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

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SINGAPORE Airlines will put US$3 million (S$4 million) towards the preservation and conservation of a Sumatran rainforest - its first such involvement in a green project. The money will help fund an initiative by global non-profit organisation BirdLife International and Indonesia's Yayasan KEHI, which have recently taken on the task of looking after the Harapan Rainforest. Straddling the provinces of Jambi and South Sumatra, the rainforest is home to more than 290 species of birds and 55 species of mammals, including endangered creatures like the Sumatran tiger and Asian tapir. It spans almost 100,000ha, or about 1-1/2 times the size of Singapore. It will cost about US$2 million a year - double that in the first 10 years - to protect the rainforest and its inhabitants from illegal logging and forest fires, which have so far damaged about a third of the habitat. Part of the restoration work being carried out there includes replanting activities, while round-theclock patrols help ensure no further damage is done. SIA is happy to do its part, said senior executive vice-president for marketing and corporate services Bey Soo Khiang. Speaking to reporters yesterday after a signing ceremony at the Singapore Botanic Gardens to seal the partnership, he said that while there are many fund-seekers for so-called green initiatives, SIA wanted to make sure its money was well spent. So in late 2008, he and two colleagues visited the rainforest to witness first-hand the work being done there. Mr Bey said: 'We want to be sure that whatever money is being spent results in substantive progress that is meaningful and measurable.' So even after signing the cheque, SIA will monitor closely the progress of the Harapan Rainforest, he said. Apart from the Harapan project, the airline is also involved in other environmental initiatives related to its operations, including investing in more fuel-efficient aircraft and pushing for a paperless working environment. As air travel increases, the global aviation industry has come under intense pressure in recent years from environmentalists who accuse airlines of being key contributors to increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

http://admpreview.straitstimes.com:90/vgn-ext-templating/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=ac234883... 9/6/2010

SIA's $4m gift to save rainforest

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In its defence, the International Air Transport Association (Iata), which represents about 230 global carriers, has said...
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