Portion of Shah Alam forest to be preserved

(From left) PKNS deputy chief executive officer (corporate and entrepreneurship) Suhaimi Kasdon, Mahmud, Prof Suzana and UiTM Architecture, Planning and Surveying Faculty dean Prof Dr Jamalunlaili Abdullah at the MOU signing ceremony at PKNS headquarters in Shah Alam.

THE Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to preserve 34.52ha of the Shah Alam Community Forest (SACF).

SACF is located in Bandar Sierra Alam and 121.4ha is owned by PKNS.

The segment for preservation, to be named “PKNS Community Forest”, will serve as a green lung and ecological corridor.

PKNS chief executive officer Datuk Mahmud Abbas signed the MOU on behalf of the corporation, while UiTM deputy vice-chancellor (academic and international) Prof Datin Dr Suzana Sulaiman represented vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Roziah Mohd Janor at the ceremony held at the PKNS headquarters in Shah Alam.

Mahmud said PKNS hoped to build a long-term relationship in “knowledge sharing and learning” with UiTM.

He explained that the MOU aimed to retain this portion of the SACF as a “living lab” for the advancement of research between both parties.

“This area is a green lung which PKNS has specifically identified for Selangor residents and Malaysians.

“This is in line with our (national) target of (achieving) 45% carbon reduction by 2030,” he added.

Prof Suzana, in her speech, said the MOU would strengthen UiTM’s co-operation with PKNS in academic and property development in line with technological advancements.

Mahmud said physical works to preserve part of the SACF would start early next year.

“This is a fantastic hiking area. To build a track and learning laboratory will require planning by PKNS and UiTM, and there is a need to identify flora and fauna there,” he said, adding that PKNS would also need to look into costs.

Mahmud also said that there was a plan by PKNS and UiTM to apply the “other effective area-based conservation measures” (OECMs) conservation approach to the designated community forest area under its care.

The Convention on Biological Diversity defines OECMs as a geographically defined area other than a protected area, which is governed and managed in ways to achieve positive and sustained long-term outcomes.

He said that UiTM would assist PKNS to submit an application to the South-East Asia Rainforest Research Partnership (SEARRP) to categorise the PKNS Community Forest as an OECM.

SEARRP is an organisation that facilitates world-class scientific research that addresses the major environmental issues facing the tropics such as plantation development, habitat restoration and climate change.

The categorisation will be significant in increasing recognition and support for effective long-term conservation efforts at the PKNS Community Forest.

Mahmud hoped that a book would also be produced on the flora and fauna in the area.

He also said that UiTM would assist PKNS to develop skill sets such as leadership, finance, investment analysis and technological advancement in building construction for its business operations.

Prof Suzana said UiTM would supply its experts in various fields to PKNS such as project management and forestry.

“We are thankful to be selected as PKNS’ partner for this project,” she said.

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