Hong Leong Bank starts mangrove conservation project with MNS


Aerial shot of degraded mangrove forest land which Hong Leong Bank will be working to rehabilitate with MNS

KUALA LUMPUR: Hong Leong Bank (HLB) has kick-started its mangrove swamp ecosystem rehabilitation and conservation project with the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS).

Together with MNS, HLB will help in the restoration of 15 hectares of degraded forest land by planting approximately 50,000 new mangrove trees in the Kuala Selangor Nature Park over the next three years as part of the bank’s commitment to help mitigate climate change and offset its own operations environmental impact.

HLB, in a statement, said the mangrove forest environmental management initiative was a considered approach given the valuable and highly productive ecosystem that mangroves provide.

Their widely acknowledged capability is to sequester substantial carbon emissions. They have their own circular ecosystem with a multiplier effect in conserving the environment and cultivating more sub-ecosystems. This is also in addition to sustaining community livelihoods and wildlife.

A healthy and established mangrove ecosystem supports habitats that are critical to preserving rich biodiversity, providing environmental protection against land erosion for example.

“Sustainability, climate change and environmental degradation have become major concerns over the past decade. To mitigate the impact on the environment, people’s lives and livelihoods, and to build greater community resilience, actions and adjustments are required from all of us,” group managing director and chief executive officer Domenic Fuda said.

“As a financial institution, we are cognisant of the need to incorporate ESG considerations into our banking activities, as well as, our own operations, so that we help direct resources that will build environmental and economic resiliency.

“Initiatives such as this one with MNS makes our sustainability journey more holistic and over time yield tangible results that rehabilitate and conserve the environment and contribute towards the overall sustainability of the environment and socio-economic conditions for the surrounding communities,” he said.

“Whilst much more needs to be done, this is a starting point in the journey to achieve our carbon neutral ambitions, and helping to achieve the right balance between the three pillars of sustainability - people, planet and the bottom line,” Fuda said.

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