Ericsson and Malaysian foundation in pact to tech-enable wetlands preservation

  • Connected Setiu Wetlands the first project of this scale in Malaysia
  • Combines ICT with environmental preservation efforts
Ericsson and Malaysian foundation in pact to tech-enable wetlands preservation

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, Ericsson and YDSM will establish sustainable practices for agriculture, fisheries and ecotourism, together with connectivity provider Celcom Axiata Bhd and partner Luimewah (M) Sdn Bhd, Ericsson said in a statement.
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, it added.
“Our foundation is focused on implementing solutions towards environmental conservation and protecting our cultural heritage in Terengganu,” said YDSM advisor Prof Emeritus Dr Makhdzir Mardan.
“We see the value ICT can play in empowering the community in Setiu with education, soft skills training and innovative solutions.
“Digitising the Setiu Wetlands will also put us on the map as a tourist destination and allow us to share our culture and heritage with the world,” he added.
The first phase of work is due to commence in the last quarter of 2016. The partnership will also explore opportunity to enhance learning and promote eco-tourism in later stages.
As part of the project, Ericsson and its partners will:

  • Provide high speed mobile broadband in the Setiu Wetlands area to enable the use of mobile applications, video streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) 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.

“An initiative like this is testament to how mobility, broadband, and cloud can unleash untapped potential in Malaysia,” said Ericsson Malaysia and Sri Lanka head Todd Ashton.
“This initiative will allow Setiu to leverage ICT to digitally transform communities and industries for enhanced day-to-day living and better productivity,” he added.
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 14km lagoon, Ericsson noted in its statement.
In 2015 the Terengganu state government gazetted 400 hectares within 1,743 hectares of Setiu wetlands as a state park, and made the decision to protect its natural environment, biodiversity, cultural and heritage values.
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