Yayasan Sime Darby funds Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre’s expansion project

Eight year old Fulung, one of the male rescued Sun Bears residing at BSBCC for the past five years.

Kota Damansara, 11 December 2017 – In the dewy morning at the entrance of the Kota Damansara Community Forest Reserve (KDCFR), a coterie of children perched on bicycles can barely contain their excitement of being able to try out the new family-friendly biking trail into the forest.

The Salleh trail is established via a collaboration between Persatuan Rimba Komuniti Kota Damansara (KDCF Society) and Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) within the KDCFR. It has been realigned and refurbished to better serve the community as a space for recreation and environmental education.

The trail is named after KDCFR Honorary Advisor and Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) Former President Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Salleh Mohd Nor in recognition for his role in nature conservation in Malaysia. Tan Sri Salleh was present at the launch.

Also present was Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) Chief Executive Officer Puan Hajjah Yatela Zainal Abidin who said the trail will help to increase awareness and appreciation for the forest reserve among the public as well as highlight the importance of biodiversity and environmental conservation.

“When YSD was approached to support the establishment of the Salleh trail, we were excited that the KDCFR was creating another avenue to attract the public to visit the forest reserve, facilitate outdoor activities and a healthier lifestyle as well as increasing awareness about the need for green spaces in urban areas,” she said.

“The trail offers an opportunity for nature lovers and frequent visitors to discover another perspective of the forest reserve. It is also especially important for children visiting the forest reserve as they will be instilled with crucial knowledge about the importance of and appreciation for environmental conservation which they will carry throughout their lives,” she added.

YSD had contributed towards the realignment and refurbishment of the trail and will support its maintenance until 2021. The realignment was carried out by social enterprise MyChangkul and the Temuan trail building team, whose members live in nearby Sungai Buloh and Bukit Lanjan.

Boasting a scenic route that circles the lake, the Salleh Trail is now safe for beginners’ level mountain biking; previously it was only open to hikers. The trail leads to a herb garden with local, unique herbs and has been furnished with a ‘wakaf’ area as well as benches and tables to create the ‘forest classroom’ intended for environmental education as forest appreciation activities for people of all ages.

In his speech at the launch, Tan Sri Salleh said: "The KDCFR was gazetted after a concerted campaign by local residents and conservation NGOs. I am proud to see the forest being actively used on the excellent forest trails established and managed by KDCF Society. It is my sincere hope that this forest and others like it endure so that future generations will continue to have the opportunity to enjoy the wonders of our forests."

The Salleh trail is one of nine named trails which have been established by KDCF Society at the KDCFR over the last nine years; the others are Scouts’, Temuan, Sahabat, Unity, Harmoni, Unity Peak, Denai Tiga Puteri and Serenity.

In total, the Society has established over 16 km of sustainable earth trails. The community’s role in managing the KDCFR in conjunction with the Selangor Forestry Department is highlighted as a model of public participation in Malaysia’s National Policy of Biodiversity (2016-2025).

There is also the Tahak Sipew Ethnobotanical garden which showcases plants that are traditionally used for food, flavouring and medicine.

Under its Environment pillar, YSD has, to date, committed RM138 million towards the protection of high conservation value ecosystems, vulnerable and endangered species as well as initiatives promoting the preservation of the environment and biodiversity.

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Last Updated:
13 Dec 2017
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