Aiming the Balance Between Man & Nature

Aiming the Balance Between Man & Nature | In keeping up with industry developments, the company is now evolving from its role as a real estate developer into a City Operator, with focus on residents’ welfare and safety, while still seeking innovative ways to develop sustainably with the goal of contributing to greater economic vitality for the region and creating a stable and healthy city development ecosystem. 

Despite the rapid growth of Forest City’s, the developers of this mega project are putting more effort to ensure environmental sustainability and consistency align with the development. Forest City is realizing its green plan by phases. Behind the effort of mangrove conservation plan, there is a dedicated figure who has pour his interest, knowledge and determination into action.

Transplant process executed by conservation team.

His love and passion towards mangrove conservation paired with knowledge and academic qualification has led him to Forest City. “I love my job and what I am currently doing. Too often, working towards nature conservation is seen as getting your hands dirty. The fact that field work requires knowledge of the science behind it. These are something definitely important and fun from my point of view. Being a conservationist is so much more than just getting your hand dirty. I learnt many new things through observation and field work. 

Actually, anybody can be a conservationist, provided they dedicate some portion of their time to learn and pour effort towards the protection and preservation of biodiversity and the environment. Passion is the key,” he said.

Muhammad Syafiq Abdullah, the man who has sincerely pour his interest, knowledge and determination into action.

A 29-year old senior landscape officer, Muhammad Syafiq Abdullah, who originated from Sungai Petani, Kedah, graduated with Bachelor in Marine Science from Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) in 2013. “Prior to joining the company, I was the research assistant at the university from 2013 until 2017 specialising in mangrove studies,’’ said Syafiq. 

He attributed his time working with UMT was valuable as his experience in mangrove conservation was relevant and helpful when he joined Forest City in July 2017. Syafiq involved in conservation activity, monitoring mangrove coastline, oversee construction project work in line with mangrove protection, as well as replanting work in the nursery.

Nursery grown Mangrove Saplings prior transplant process.

Unlike land trees, mangroves could not be uprooted and replanted elsewhere as their chances of survival was low and would eventually die. 

“We have come out with a win-win situation, building world class golf courses and at the same time ensure the mangroves will continue to thrive in their natural surroundings. It is important to protect mangroves as they are the good indicator to determine the healthy water conditions,’’ said Syafiq added mangroves acted as filter to prevent sediments from flowing into sea as well as buffer zone, wave breaker and to prevent coastal erosion.

He said there were about 40 mangrove species in Malaysia and among the species growth along Johor coastline include Rhizophora apiculata, Rhizophora mucronata, Bruguiera cylindrica, Sonneratia caseolaris and Avicenna sp

Mangroves also the breeding grounds for mud crabs, mudskippers, mud creeper and migratory birds such as egrets and Milky stork. “Monkeys also come to mangrove areas for food and it is important to maintain the ecosystem for the primates and other creatures,’’ said Syafiq.

Apart from mangroves, Forest City also took into account the existence of seagrass during land reclamation activities for the multi-billion Ringgit Forest City project. Syafiq pointed out unlike mangroves, seagrass could be replanted once the land reclamation completed and would able to adapt to the new environment. 

Commented on challenge faced in conservation effort, “Initially, it was not easy for me managing my workers as they did not have any experience in mangrove conservation but things have improved over times,’’ he said.

Vice General Manager of Forest City, Hj. Syarul Izam Bin Sarifudin has spearhead the seagrass protection initiative.

On the management perspective, the Vice General Manager, Ir. Hj. Syarul Izam said, “during the development of Forest City, we have always been exploring our way forward on how to establish a comprehensive urban development and management without compromising the environment. With that, the management collectively agreed to impose more stringent environmental assessment parameters during planning, design and construction. These measures will lay a solid foundation for sustainable development of Forest City.”

Seagrass meadow emerge during low tide.

Since 2015, Forest City has focused its efforts on conserving seagrasses located on the Tanjung Kupang Meadow. The seagrass protection program has been funded for five consecutive years by Forest City under his purview. This conservation effort is in collaboration with a group of scientists from Universiti Putra Malaysia who are also seagrass experts. After various initiatives, the Tanjung Kupang Meadow has shown positive growth, recovery and back to its original form.

Forest City volunteers participating in seagrass transplant activity.

“An eco-exhibition space located right at the beach that will be open to the public where it contains a lot about the marine ecosystem around Forest City and demonstrate the city’s efforts to shape the harmony between man and nature. In the future, the eco-exhibition space will also become a practice base for residents and surrounding community to raise environmental awareness and promote green concepts”, he added.

“Concurrently we will take on industrial-oriented planning to enhance the city's economic vitality by promoting the integration of ‘Industry, City, and People’ and create economic vitality for the region.

We will also be exploring sustainable development by strengthening our cooperation with education and scientific research institutions. Having said that, Forest City is in the midst of renewing UPM consultation contract for seagrass conservation” he said.

To create sustainable development, one must set a commemorated mission and belief, implement the right measures, promote and establish integrated culture, and identify the fine line of balance between urban development and nature heritage. These will be Forest City’s focus in its way forward.

Additionally, in terms of CSR initiatives, the company has to-date contributed more than RM10 million through its corporate social responsibility programmes aimed at enhancing the lives of the people living in the surrounding areas of the project.

Forest City has been launched for 4 years and to date, the project’s first island has completed its phase 1 development and is operating a five-star hotel, a Commercial Street with over 100 retail tenants established on its premises, a Water Theme Park, and the American Shattuck St Mary International School.

On the mainland, it boasts a five-star hotel and two 18-hole international golf courses as well as an Industrial Building System (IBS) factory. The IBS plant, recorded in Malaysian Book of Records as the largest automated IBS factory in Malaysia, enables technology and skill transfer from various countries, thus benefiting Malaysia. Forest City is also today an internationally renowned venue hosting multiple international conferences and sports events.

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  1. For those who are interested to know more about Mangroves can visit The Mangrove Swamp Forest in Taiping, Perak... worth seeing!

  2. Kan bagus kalau saya fasih BI... ni nak baca pun merangkak... huhuhu

  3. Ini projek untuk menanam semula ya? Aishh kena bukak kamus ni nak baca, tapi fahamnya begitulah kan.. bagi mengekalkan kehijauan..

  4. bgus aktiviti mcm ni..nak jaga alam smula jadi bumi kita. at least bgus jgk utk generasi skrg utk lebih peka dalam alam semulajadi

  5. Bagus ada kesedaran dan program macam ni untuk maintainkan ekosistem. almaklumlah sekarang ni banyak ekosistem terganggu sebab banyak pembangunan yang dibuat.

  6. Bagus ada program macam ini. Makes us learned about the environment. This is an important knowledge.

  7. well done Forest City and the team to protect the nature. It is very important to love our mother nature

  8. A great job by all in conversing and making the world green again. We need more people like this - giving their whole heart and soul for Earth

  9. Program yang bagus buat semua supaya dapat menjadikan kita menjadi pencinta alam

  10. Wahh bestnya terlibat dalam projek permulaan mangrove. Nanti beberapa tahun bleh tengok hasilnya. Mesti cantik.

  11. Bgus sngt projek ni.. Untuk kita lebih tau lagi berkenaan mangrove..

  12. saya sangat sokong prgoram macam ni. lebih kepada nature. kalau lagi banyak pendedahan, lagi ramai yang tahu betapa eloknya pada alam sekitar

  13. menarik. huda pernah pergi forest city few years back sebab stay hotel 5 star kat sana. memang cantik dan nature friendly kat sana

  14. Alhamdulillah, walaupun pembangunan pesat, tetapi alam sekitar masih dijaga. terbaiklah :)

  15. Setuju kita hidup kat muka bumi ini memang kejar kepada kemodenan dan juga kemajuan tapi jangan lupa kepada alam semulajadi kena seimbang baru segalanya bagus betul tak niat untuk menjaga paya bakau yang juga menjadi tembok hakisan laut sangat bagus sekarang makin sikit...


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