YAYASAN Sime Darby (YSD) has committed RM1.5mil to improve the management and protection of the 30,000ha Kenyir State Park in Terengganu, which was gazetted as a protected area in 2018.
The three-year project, YSD’s first support for environment conservation in Terengganu, is a tripartite collaboration between YSD, Nature Based Solutions Sdn Bhd (NBS) and Terengganu State Parks Management Council (TSPMC).
The project’s long-term goals are to enhance forest protection and biodiversity conservation through improvement of park management and engagement with local communities in protection and conservation efforts.
These objectives also align with the National Tiger Conservation Action Plan, Central Forest Spine Master Plan for Ecological Linkages and the National Policy on Biological Diversity.
“In line with TSPMC’s motto of ‘Think Future, Go Green’, Terengganu State Parks is committed to an open and collaborative approach towards conserving our joint natural heritage such as Kenyir State Park,” said TSPMC director Tengku Mohd Arifin Tengku A. Rahman.
“We welcome the launch of this partnership, which will leverage our respective strengths to achieve better outcomes for people and nature.”
“Moreover, our partnership and memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NBS in forest and wildlife protection further strengthens the bond between government and civil society organisations to protect the flora and fauna in the area,” he said, hoping more corporate entities would follow YSD’s lead and join forces to support nature preservation for the benefit of humankind.
YSD chief executive officer Dr Yatela Zainal Abidin said the RM1.5mil would be used to develop the Kenyir State Park management plan and legal regulations, expand the capacity of the rangers as well as conduct biodiversity surveys, local community outreach and engagement initiatives.
YSD’s support is also hoped to increase the livelihood of the local Orang Asli communities by employing them as field workers and rangers.
“The protection of Kenyir State Park is critical as the forests within the park provide vital ecosystem services by providing a source of clean water for consumption, flood mitigation and erosion control as well as clean hydropower energy production.
“Our support will also accord protection of key wildlife habitats for highly threatened wildlife species thriving within Kenyir State Park, such as the Malayan tiger, sun bear and tapir,” she said.
This habitat protection will benefit at least 43 mammal species, 18 of which are listed as highly threatened under the IUCN Red list, as well as over 290 bird species.
The project is also expected to generate considerable positive and sustainable impact on the local economy, communities and the environment.
This is YSD’s third project in supporting boots on the ground to reduce poaching activities in Malaysia’s state parks.
Under its environment pillar, to date, YSD has committed over RM159mil towards the protection of high conservation value ecosystems, vulnerable and endangered species as well as initiatives promoting the preservation of the environment and biodiversity.