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Digitisation helps combat climate change: Ericsson joins Malaysian Wetlands project

AvantiKumar | July 1, 2016
Ericsson and the YDSM Foundation has entered into an agreement to preserve the Setiu wetlands ecosystem and cultural heritage.

Ericsson Wetlands projecr 

Photo - (From left) Tuan Azri Sani, Company Secretary, Yayasan DiRaja Sultan Mizan; Yang Berbahagia Dato' Prof. Emeritus Dr. Makhdzir bin Mardan, Member of Trustees; Yayasan DiRaja Sultan Mizan, Todd Ashton, Head of Ericsson Malaysia and Sri Lanka; and Bernard Lau, Regional Head of Legal, Ericsson Malaysia during the MoU signing ceremony.


Communications solutions provider Ericsson and the Yayasan DiRaja Sultan Mizan (YDSM) Foundation have entered into a partnership agreement to use Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to preserve the wetland ecosystem and cultural heritage in Setiu, a district in the state of Terengganu, Malaysia

Under the agreement, the organisations' representative said the Connected Setiu Wetlands initiative was the first major project of its kind in Malaysia in combining ICT technologies with environmental preservation efforts, which will help to establish sustainable practices for agriculture, fisheries and ecotourism.

Working with connectivity provider Celcom Axiata and partner Luimewah the project will explore five main areas - Mobile broadband for All, Connected Agriculture, Intelligent Fisheries, Enhanced Learning and Digital Ecotourism in order to provide sustainable solutions which the communities at Setiu can leverage for a positive economic, environmental and social impact.

YDSM advisor Professor Dato' Makhdzir Mardan said: "Our foundation is focused on implementing solutions towards environmental conservation and protecting our cultural heritage in Terengganu."

"We see the value ICT can play in empowering the community in Setiu with education, soft skills training and innovative solutions. Digitising Setiu Wetlands will also put us on the map as tourist destination and allow us to share our culture and heritage with the world," he said, adding that preserving the  Wetlands was  critical in the fight against climate change as well as key driver of local economies.

Setiu Wetlands is the largest natural wetlands in the East Coast region of Peninsula Malaysia, located in the Setiu district in the state of Terengganu. It has unique freshwater, seawater and brackish water ecosystem as well as a 14 km lagoon.

In 2015 the government of Terengganu gazetted 400 hectares within 1,743 hectares of Setiu wetlands as a state park due to the biological diversity of the area, and made the decision to protect the natural environment, biodiversity, cultural and heritage values and enhance opportunities for ecotourism.

Smart sensors

The first phase of work will start in the last quarter of 2016, said Todd Ashton, head of Ericsson Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

Ashton said smart sensors will help to enhance and accelerate preservation efforts.  "An initiative like this is testament to how mobility, broadband, and cloud can unleash untapped potential in Malaysia. This initiative will allow Setiu to leverage ICT to digitally transform communities and industries for enhanced day to day living and better productivity."

"At Ericsson we believe in the power of working with partners with a shared vision and are pleased to be working with YDSM," he added. "Ericsson is a leading advocate of Technology for Good and we want to ensure our technology is a force for positive change towards creating a Networked Society in Terengganu".

As part of the project, Ericsson together with their partners will

  • Provide high speed mobile broadband in the Setiu Wetlands area to enable the use of mobile applications, video streaming and Internet of Things applications to support the community, government and research efforts towards maintaining sustainable growth in the area.
  • Establish a remote water monitoring system for rivers, mangrove plantations and palm oil plantations to detect pollution or changes in the water quality that can affect the health of the flora and fauna in the area. The system aims to allow for early preventive action when pollution is detected as well as for early planning of preservation and sustainability policies.
  • Develop a mobile application for fishermen in order for them to access information such as weather forecasts, plankton grounds, wind changes and water temperature to ensure the most productive catch for the day. The system will also enable fishermen to connect with their peers using Person to Person, Application to Person and GPS messaging. The systems are aimed at increasing yield, ensuring safety and reducing time spent at sea.

The partnership will also explore opportunity to enhance learning and promote eco-tourism in later stages.


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