TERENGGANU, 2 MARCH 2023 — In conjunction with World Wildlife Day, themed “Partnerships for Wildlife Conservation”, Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) paid a visit to Kenyir State Park (KSP) as part of their continued support towards safeguarding the park’s 30,000 hectares of forest and watershed under the Kenyir For Life (KFL) initiative.

YSD has committed RM1.5 million to this initiative for 3 years, from January 2021 to December 2023 in the Foundation’s first support for environment conservation in Terengganu. The three-day visit, hosted by the state park’s managing authority Terengganu State Parks Management Council (TSPMC) and green financing social enterprise Nature Based Solutions Sdn Bhd (NBS), included updates on progress of efforts in forest preservation, biodiversity conservation, local community engagement and improvement of KSP’s management.

Kenyir State Park is situated within the 200,000 ha Kenyir watershed. Rich in floral and faunal diversity, the park is part of a network of ecologically-sensitive forests that drain into Kenyir Lake — the largest man-made lake in Southeast Asia. This project is crucial as this watershed provides a multitude of ecosystem services to the people of Terengganu such as drinking water, flood mitigation, carbon sequestration, tourism revenue, fisheries, resources and much more.

“It’s inspiring to see what our contribution has helped to achieve. From the completion of the park’s management plan, legal regulations, to the increased capacity of rangers, biodiversity surveys and local community outreach and engagement, we are delighted to see how the project has progressed. It’s evident that urgent action and collective effort are critical in ensuring the continued survival of healthy ecosystems. As such, we are proud to have been part of the process, and honoured to play a role in securing the future of Kenyir”, said Dr Hjh Yatela Zainal Abidin, Chief Executive Officer of Yayasan Sime Darby.

YSD had also worked closely with NBS on this project to assist them in receiving more funding from the Ministry of Finance’s matching grant of RM500,000. With both of these sponsorships totalling RM2 million, significant financial aid is provided for three main activities which include improving patrolling efforts, community engagement and scientific monitoring — in line with the project’s long-term goals of enhancing forest protection and biodiversity conservation through improvement of park management and engagement with local and indigenous communities.

Since then, the project has been able to:

  • conduct training for rangers and develop patrolling protocols resulting in regular and effective patrolling as well as recording of human activity in the area. These reports and documentation also help to inform management decisions.
  • initiate outreach and engagement with local communities and other stakeholders to raise awareness on the recently-established state park. The project has also established a relationship with the Orang Asli communities of Kg Sungai Berua and Kg Kuala Koh who, traditionally regarded as custodians of the forest, are key collaborators in protecting the park. This ensures that they can continue to access the area which is part of their Territories of Life.
  • carry out monitoring work such as hornbill surveys and camera trapping, which is important to develop a baseline for future monitoring of wildlife populations.

“Environmental and wildlife conservation is challenging and complex — requiring vast resources, multiple stakeholder cooperation and long-term commitment. YSD’s support has been monumental to our cause, and we are grateful to have them on board as partners. It’s been a pleasure to collaborate with them not only for the health of our ecosystem and climate, but for the livelihood of local communities and benefit to society at large as well”, said TSPMC Director Tengku Mohd Arifin Tengku Dato’ A. Rahman, who was also present during the excursion.

Travelling by boat from Pengkalan Gawi towards KSP, the visiting team was greeted by breathtaking views and experienced the wonders of the park’s unique landscape and rich biodiversity, a natural treasure that YSD’s contribution has helped to preserve. The team then travelled by road through the Aring-Kenyir highway to learn about the management challenges faced in the relatively new state park, and potential solutions. The state park boundaries end at the Terengganu-Kelantan border, beyond which the landscape morphs into rubber plantations.

During the same trip, YSD’s entourage also travelled to Batu Rakit to visit a hornbill nest box, installed by Malaysian hornbill conservation group, Gaia, one of the collaborating partners of KFL. The hornbill nest box is one of the many wildlife and environmental conservation efforts made possible by YSD’s commitment to conservation under its environment pillar.

Other partner NGOs currently working with KFL are wild cat conservation group Panthera Malaysia and wildlife legal capacity building social enterprise Justice for Wildlife Malaysia.

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Last Updated:
21 Mar 2023
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