For sustainable society


Debit cards to protect sea turtles

I think there are many people who refrain from going out because of COVID-19, but animals move freely in the cycle of seasons without changing. The sea turtle, which is popular for its cute appearance, is a migratory creature. And now it’s time to show up on beaches around the world to spawn.

In June, one of Malaysia’s major banks, RHB Islamic, announced that it will issue an eco-friendly debit card with a cute sea turtle design. The card is made of recycled plastic. This is the first attempt in the Asia-Pacific region. 

The name of this card is “RHB Visa WWF Debit Card-i”. This card is a joint project between the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Malaysia and Terengganu University with the aim of raising public awareness of the protection of marine ecosystems and environmental sustainability.  Cardholders can choose to donate to the University of Terengganu’s marine research effort to conserve marine life and also buy products at a 10% discount from WWF Malaysia’s “Panda shop” online shopping site.

Stylish design featuring green sea turtles swimming calmly in the sea. Regarding the significance of issuing the cards, University of Terengganu Vice President Aieni Binti Haji Mokhtar says, “It will create a connection between students and the community and expand environmental protection activities.”. 

“The visual image of the green turtle will encourage customers to live a more sustainable lifestyle.” said Dato’Adissadikin Ali, Managing Director of RHB Islamic.

L’Agence France-Presse reports that Terengganu, a major sea turtle spawning territory in the country, has announced a policy to ban egg trade in order to promote the reproduction of endangered sea turtles. A large number of tourists gather in the state to see sea turtles lay their eggs and hatched babies depart for the sea. However, the number of sea turtles has fallen sharply over the last few decades due to the rampant illegal harvesting of meat, shells and eggs. State officials say they hope the ban will help protect marine life and the environment and increase tourism revenue in the state.

However, in reality, there are various ways of thinking about sea turtles. It seems that the thoughts of tourists, who want to see the spawning scene or swim with them while diving, are quite different from those of the locals. Local people eat the eggs, which are said to be sold openly in the market. If selling and eating eggs is part of the local culture, a strict ban on trade imposed by the authorities is expected to be difficult. In the same vein, there is Japan’s whaling that continues despite being criticized around the world. It is required to promote conservation activities in cooperation with people who have lived with sea turtles for a long time.

Photo:RHB Islamic

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