PENANG has secured a US$10mil (RM41.4mil) adaptation fund from the World Bank for projects to address climate change which has caused floods and rising temperature.
State local government committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the application that was coordinated by the World Bank had been approved and the US$10mil fund had been principally approved.
“This money will be given to three parties, namely the Penang Island City Council (MBPP), Irrigation and Drainage Department (JPS) and Think City.
“I would like to congratulate Think City and UN Habitat for representing Penang on this amazing achievement.
“The council will focus on greening the state and JPS will look into bigger flood mitigation projects.
“Think City will generally look at how to bring about a sustainable, resilient and green Penang.
“We are waiting for the funds to arrive so that our projects can start.
“The allocation from the adaptation fund will jive and synchronise with our Penang Bay project which began some two years ago.
“The project will regenerate, redevelop and upgrade several parts of Penang, not only good fields (new areas) but also brown fields (old areas),” he said during a press conference at City Hall at the Esplanade on Friday.
The Penang Bay project will incorporate Gurney Wharf, light rail connectivity, Jelutong landfill, the George Town north and east seafront projects plus waterfront development in Butterworth.
The project will deliver significant new opportunities for Penangites via publicly accessible waterfront promenades plus retail, education, lifestyle and transport amenities.
Jagdeep added that representatives from the state government attended the World Urban Forum Edition 10 in Abu Dhabi last February to introduce the Penang Bay project to international players.
“Out of the 100 submissions at the forum, nine were selected and among the nine was Penang.
“The World Urban Forum was the beginning of the Penang Bay project.
“We continued the process which included holding an international ideas competition to get input from all over the world.
“We received 123 submissions for the competition from 27 countries.
“In January this year, we selected five winners of the competition,” he said.
Jagdeep added that on Oct 28, the state government approved the application for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) certification.
“We have to incorporate all SDGs in the Penang Bay project so that we can become a sustainable, resilient state that can fight climate change,” he said.
MBPP secretary Datuk Addnan Mohd Razali said one-third of the funds would go towards greening purposes on the island.
“A lot of roads have been identified to be planted with trees so that we can reduce the temperature by 1.5 degree Celsius.
“That is our ultimate aim in greening George Town and the island,” he said.
Think City programme director Dr Matt Benson congratulated the state government on its initiative to sign up to be one of the world’s first SDG city zones.
“Penang Bay will be one of the world’s first city regions to be nominated as part of the innovative process.
“A lot of consultation, thinking and design plus plenty of stakeholder engagement have been put into the application.
“It is incredibly tough to get this kind of adaptation fund.
“It is a signal to the world that Penang is serious about climate adaptation and doing something about it,” he said.