PARTNER CONTENT FOR SIME DARBY PROPERTY

A JOURNEY INTO URBAN BIODIVERSITY

Join Sime Darby Property in conserving, restoring and enriching our natural heritage of biodiversity.

Globally, 1 Million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction. i
2 in 5 plant species are at risk of extinction. i
A 6th mass extinction is predicted by scientists due to the exploitation of Earth’s resources by humans. i
The critical rate of biodiversity loss
in our global ecosystem negatively impacts our FOOD, WATER AND OXYGEN supply.
We need to rebuild our biodiversity.

It is the key to rehabilitating our Earth and securing a sustainable future.

Urban biodiversity

is one of the ways we can protect the enormous variety of life on Earth.

Let’s Spark a Nationwide Conversation to Champion
URBAN BIODIVERSITY

Begin your journey now!

Come with us on a tropical jungle adventure and grow into an EcoGuardian to start making a difference.

Bridging the Disconnect

Humanity’s rapid journey towards progress has divorced humans from nature. Find out how we can close that gap to restore harmony.
COMING SOON.

Find Out How Much You Know About Biodiversity and Ecosystems

You have come a long way in your journey into urban biodiversity! Take our interactive quiz to see how much you have learnt!
COMING SOON.

Sponsor Spotlight

#COExist with Nature

Sime Darby Property has joined forces with Tropical Rainforest Conservation and Research Centre (TRCRC) in pioneering the Elmina Rainforest Knowledge Center (ERKC) – a hub to promote forestry research, conservation, education and recreation.

Located next to the 2700-acre Bukit Cherakah Forest Reserve at the City of Elmina (COE), Shah Alam the Centre aims to connect humans and nature, with engaging community programmes and a tree nursery facility that can produce up to 100,000 Endangered, Rare and Threatened (ERT) trees.

These native ERT trees will be re-planted across the COE and other Sime Darby Property’s townships as part of the developer’s reforestation efforts.

The City of Elmina has set a goal of 210,000 trees to be planted upon completion of the township, 21,000 of them being ERT tree species. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Sime Darby Property invites you on an exciting journey to seed the soil for urban biodiversity.

Sustainability Stories from Elmina

Elmina Wildlife Watch

The Friends of ERKC

Following the official launch of the Elmina Rainforest Knowledge Centre (“ERKC”), which was officiated by the Sultan of Selangor back in April 2022, Sime Darby Property, in collaboration with the Tropical Rainforest Conservation and Research Centre (“TRCRC”), introduced the Friends of ERKC – a community interest group comprising of like-minded individuals with a passion for nature and biodiversity conservation.

On August 13, Sime Darby Property hosted a welcome event for the Friends of ERKC community. The goal of this welcome event was to introduce the functions of ERKC, as well as provide interactive nature education for members of the public to understand more about nature and biodiversity.

The key highlight of the event was an educational nursery tour conducted by TRCRC in the Elmina Living Collection Nursery (“ELCN”) for participants and the public that dropped by. The tour provided attendees a glimpse into TRCRC’s role in preserving and conserving nature – collecting, regrowing, and replanting endangered seeds that were collected from the Bukit Cherakah Rainforest.
Multiple NGOs such as Animals Neighbour Project (conversation towards animals), Green Steps (conversation towards plants), Ground Control (specialises in decomposing efforts) and others, were also present at the event, where they had the opportunity to open up booths and share their causes with the attendees. Apart from that, other fun activities included an arts and crafts corner for children, among others.

Stay tuned for more exciting events.
Be a part of Friends of ERKC.

Endangered Mammals Found in Bukit Cherakah Forest Reserve

The total number of mammalian species that have been identified globally is estimated at 6,495 in the year 2022.1 However, one in four mammals are currently threatened by extinction according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (“IUCN”) Red List of Threatened Species.2
During a biodiversity assessment conducted in the year 2021 at the Bukit Cherakah Forest Reserve and its surroundings, ecologists from the Tropical Rainforest Conservation & Research Center (“TRCRC”) have identified several endangered mammal species that are classified under the IUCN Red List, right here at the forest reserve neighbouring the City of Elmina. Let’s learn more about them!

Southern Pig-Tailed Macaque

Photo credit: junglesumatra.com

The pig-tailed macaque also known as Berok locally, is a medium-sized macaque that lives primarily in the forest but will venture around in search of food. They normally move in troops, with a typical size of 10. Being omnivorous, they are known to always look for coconuts, invertebrates, and wild fruits as their source of food and are native to Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.

The IUCN assesses the southern pig-tailed macaque as Endangered (IUCN, 2022) based on an ongoing population reduction of at least 50% in the past 33 years. The reduction in population is due to the ongoing conversion of their prime habitat to other land use forms, leading to permanent habitat loss and degradation.3

Dusky Langur or Dusky Leaf Monkey
Photo credit: naturerules1.fandom.com

The dusky langur is a species of primate with a unique appearance. They have a white outline covering their eyes and dark grey to brownish fur, depending on sub-species. The species’ dietary fondness for leaves gives it the alternate name of dusky leaf monkey. They are herbivores who specialise in leaf-eating (thanks to teeth adapted for this purpose) and are known to feed from 87 different species of trees. They also consume shoots, seedlings, flowers, ripe and unripe fruits (with a penchant for figs) –eating an impressive 4.5 pounds (2 kg) of food a day.4

Endemic to Malaysia, southern Myanmar and southwestern Thailand, the dusky leaf monkey is known to live up to 25 years, moving and living in troops.4

The dusky langur is classified as Endangered by the IUCN (IUCN, 2015) with a suspected population decline of greater than 50% in the past 36 years due to hunting, habitat loss, conversion to agriculture and illegal pet trade.4

Malayan Tapir
Photo credit: blog.zoo.org

Also known as the Asian tapir, the Malayan tapir is the only living species of the Old-World Tapir. There are only 4 species of tapir around the world and the Malayan tapir is the largest of them all. They tend to avoid humans due to their shy nature and are always hiding in the forest.5

All tapirs are herbivores (they eat only plants). They spend most of their time foraging for food and use their big, long nose to tear leaves off branches. Tapirs mark their territory with urine, and they can smell markings to tell when other tapirs are around. Malayan tapirs are most active at dawn and dusk – in the middle of the day and the middle of the night, they sleep. Apart from that, they can also swim well, often living near water.6

The Malayan tapir is an Endangered Species and scientists estimate there are as few as 3,000 left.6

ERKC, the Epitome of a Sustainable Building

The Elmina Rainforest Knowledge Centre (“ERKC”) was built as a hub for research and conservation of rainforests in Malaysia. Located on a 1.09-acre plot in Elmina West, adjacent to the pristine Bukit Cherakah Forest Reserve, the ERKC was designed and built with sustainability in mind.
The building materials for ERKC were carefully selected and comprises sustainable elements. 40% of ERKC was constructed with materials salvaged from the Sime Darby Property IDEA House (a prototype house built in 2010 as a showcase of sustainable architecture and was dismantled in 2018).
The Idea House with its modern look was an interpretation of a ‘kampung’ house that is rich in socio-environmental elements made for great sustainable living. The deep overhangs provided shade and protection from rain; the verandah promoted social interaction; the flexible interior spaces and high roof volumes were made comfortable by cross ventilation; and the building on stilts maximised air flow within the house. These design principles of the Idea House were subsequently incorporated into ERKC. True to its roots, the ERKC was built as a ‘dewan’ or townhall for the community to congregate and seek knowledge.

The salvaged materials from the Idea House that were used to construct ERKC included steel structures, steel railings, sliding doors, and solar panels. The solar photovoltaic (“PV”) panels affixed on the ERKC are estimated to off-set at least 63% of ERKC’s energy consumption.

The light fittings at ERKC comprise of LEDs and Compact Fluorescent Lamps that are energy efficient, and the rainwater harvesting tank is located at a nook of the building to collect rainwater for landscape irrigation purposes.

Other materials used in the construction of ERKC are also Green Labelled Certified.

ROOF
FLOOR AND WALL TILES
SANITARY WATER CLOSET
PAINT
CEILING GYPSUM BOARD
TIMBER DOOR
ROOF FLOOR AND WALL TILES SANITARY WATER CLOSET
PAINT CEILING GYPSUM BOARD TIMBER DOOR

Selangor Royal Family Graces Launch of ERKC

Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj Ibni Almarhum Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Alhaj launching the ERKC in Shah Alam, in the presence of Dato’ Azmir (second from left) and invited guests.

The Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj Ibni Almarhum Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Alhaj has officially launched the Elmina Rainforest Knowledge Centre (“ERKC”) in the City of Elmina, Shah Alam on May 30.

The launch event was also graced by the Tengku Permaisuri of Selangor, Tengku Permaisuri Norashikin and the Raja Muda of Selangor, Tengku Amir Shah Ibni Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj. The royals visited the Elmina Living Collection Nursery (“ELCN”) and planted Malaysia’s national tree – the merbau – to commemorate the occasion.

Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj Ibni Almarhum Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Alhaj planting a merbau tree at the Elmina Living Collection Nursery.

The 1.09-acre ERKC, which is positioned as the ‘Gateway to Malaysia’s Natural Heritage’ demonstrates Sime Darby Property’s efforts to implement good biodiversity practices focusing on conservation actions, research and development, environmental education, eco-tourism and other green initiatives.

“The ERKC charts a new milestone in Sime Darby Property’s sustainability journey toward continuously building sustainable townships and communities,” said Sime Darby Property Group Managing Director Dato’ Azmir Merican.

In 2019, Sime Darby Property partnered with the Tropical Rainforest Conservation and Research Centre (“TRCRC”) to develop the ERKC and the adjoining 10-acre ELCN as a conservation hub to nurture native tree species including those categorised as Endangered, Rare and Threatened (“ERT”) under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (“IUCN”).

Since its start of operations back in October 2020, TRCRC has successfully nurtured 187 species of plants, including over 35,000 seeds sowed and more than 10,000 tree saplings stored in its holding area.

The ERKC aims to provide a space for the community to engage in impactful nature conservation learning activities, educating the younger generation and wider public about the importance of the environment, as well as act as a resource and research hub for other green non-governmental organisations and related bodies.

To read the full story, visit Sime Darby Property.

Reforestation at Elmina: Creating a 84-acre Urban Rainforest

From its inception, the City of Elmina has been designed as a city of wellness. With the advantage of being located adjacent to the Bukit Cherakah Forest Reserve, the city’s masterplan was drawn to complement it. This has resulted in the birth of the 84-acre Elmina Central Park, which is essentially, an integrated urban forest park planted with native trees including Endemic, Threatened and Rare (ERT) species to provide a functioning ecosystem that promotes biodiversity conservation, which is also a genetic store for these species. Sime Darby Property aims to plant a total of 210,000 trees in the City of Elmina upon completion. The Elmina Central Park itself, will have 8,555 trees from 170 different species (31 of these species are classified as Threatened by the IUCN Red List). To date, 5,450 trees have been re-planted in the park and efforts to increase future planting are well underway. The Elmina Central Park will consist of 6 sub-themed parks when completed.

Sime Darby Property is also working with Wetlands International to rejuvenate the Elmina River of Life. The aquatic plant species introduced are carefully selected to attract insects, birds and other wildlife that will enhance the biodiversity within this habitat. The interaction between the flora, fauna and the constructed wetlands will also help manage floods and improve water quality within the wetland ecosystem.

Watch the below clip to catch a glimpse of the majestic parks in the City of Elmina.

Preservation and Play: The Elmina Forest Park

The 84-acre Elmina Forest Park is part of the bigger 300-acre Elmina Central Park masterplan. Occupying a verdant valley nestled between Elmina Peak and the Bukit Cherakah Forest Reserve, the Elmina Forest Park is a serene parkland paradise that provides refuge from the hustle and bustle of urban settings, and is well-equipped with outdoor amenities for visitors of all ages. A main component of the Elmina Forest Park is the Elmina Rainforest Knowledge Centre (“ERKC”) – a pilot initiative by Sime Darby Property to promote research, conservation and education of Malaysian rainforests. Within the ERKC, Sime Darby Property is working closely with the non-governmental organisation, Tropical Rainforest Conservation & Research Centre (“TRCRC”) to collect seedlings and nurture native forest tree species including species classified as Endangered, Rare and Threatened (“ERT”) under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (“IUCN”) Red List. The trees grown in the specialist tree nursery will then be planted across the City of Elmina and other Sime Darby Property townships. The Elmina Forest Park is key to Sime Darby Property’s biodiversity conservation strategy with the following key initiatives:

While nature preservation is one of the key missions of the Elmina Forest Park, it is also designed to create a meaningful experience with nature.

The natural elevation and topography at the site is largely maintained and its landscape will be dominated by dense forest tree planting. With forest boardwalks, shelters and lookout points, the Elmina Forest Park is set to be the perfect place for picnics and other recreational activities for families and communities alike.

Upon completion, there will be numerous facilities that residents and members of the public can utilise and enjoy. To name a few:

CAMP SITE

FOREST BROADWALK
RAINBOW BRIDGE
OUTDOOR THEATRE LAWN
OBSERVATION DECK
THEMATIC WALK
BICYCLE TRAIL
FOREST PAVILION
FERN TERRACE
Forest Park Thematic Walk
Observation Deck
Fern Terrace
Stay tuned to @SimeDarbyProperty for more updates on this exciting upcoming park!
Disclaimer: Visuals shown are artist’s impression based on preliminary designs. The Developer, Vendor, Proprietor and its authorised agents cannot be held liable for any variation(s).

Get to know special trees found in Bukit Cherakah Forest

The 2,700-acre Bukit Cherakah Forest Reserve is home to a vast collection of flora and fauna. In a recent biodiversity assessment conducted by ecologists from the Tropical Rainforest Conservation & Research Center (“TRCRC”), several rare, endangered and threatened (“ERT”) tree species that are classified under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (“IUCN”) Red List were discovered! Let’s learn more about them!
Keruing Gombang Merah
Dipterocarpus kunstleri
Photo credit: natureloveyou.sg

Classified globally as critically endangered by the IUCN, Dipterocarpus kunstleri, also known as Keruing Gombang Merah is a canopy tree that can grow up to 40 metres (130ft) in height with a trunk diameter of up to 1 metre. The colour of the bark is orange brown and its fruit is ellipsoid shaped, like an avocado. Found in Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Singapore, Sumatra and the Philippines, the timber from D. kunstleri is highly valuable for commercial uses.

Keruing Mengkai
Dipterocarpus rotundifolius
Photo credit: Malaysian Threatened and Rare Tree Idenfication and Landscape Guideline, Sime Darby Property Berhad
Dipterocarpus rotundifolius also known as Keruing Mengkai is considered small compared to other Dipterocarpus species and grows up to 2.5 metres in girth. Its characteristic features are prominent buttresses, as well as a rough and scaly bark. This species is endemic to Peninsular Malaysia and is assessed as Endangered both globally by the IUCN Red List mainly due to logging and land conversion.
The Merbau
Intsia palembanica
Photo credit: Botanic Guru

The Merbau tree, also known as Malacca Teak tree is known as the national tree of Malaysia and this species is assessed as Near Threatened in the IUCN Red List. As it symbolizes the integrity of the country’s forest, the Merbau tree highlights the success of sustainable management and conservation of biodiversity. Sitting at 50m high, the Merbau has been known to have oval leaves and yellow-white flowers. Dating back to 900 years ago, its durability makes the wood grain attractive for flooring and suitable for furniture.

Meranti Nemesu
Shorea pauciflora
Photo credit: National Parks Board – Singapore

Shorea pauciflora also known as Meranti Nemesu, is a tree with a cauliflower-shaped crown that can eventually grow up to an immense 60 metres tall (equivalent to a 20-storey building)! The tall, straight, cylindrical bole can be 60 to 220 centimetres in diameter with stout buttresses up to 4 metres high. This species is assessed as Endangered by IUCN Red List.

Now, on your next forest excursion, try to spot these rare and endangered trees!

The King of Nest Building: Baya Weaver

The baya weaver is found across South and Southeast Asia. They inhabit grassland, cultivated areas, scrub and secondary growths usually near water. Despite their species name, they are not found in the Philippines. They are widespread and common within their distribution area but move around across wide areas, meaning that they may not always be resident where a breeding colony has been noted.

The Black Feline: Black Panthers

Black panthers are leopards with a melanistic genetic mutation that causes a uniform black coloration of their coat. In Malaysia, black panthers are the more dominant of the two, constituting almost the entire leopard population in Peninsular Malaysia. It is a solitary hunter; preying on wild pig, mouse deer and other small herbivores, and macaques.

Rainforest Elders: Family Dipterocarpaceae

Dipterocarps occur throughout the rainforests of Africa, through tropical Asia and Oceania to south China and New Guinea, with its richest species arrays in Indo-Malesia. There are approximately 170 species natural to Peninsular Malaysia, mostly in dense lowland rainforest.

The gorgeous pest controllers - Blue Throated Bee Eaters

These attractive and colourful birds are found in southern China and most areas throughout South-East Asia. They are known to live in secondary forests, shrubs, old plantations and parklands such as the Bukit Cherakah Forest Reserve, which neighbours the City of Elmina. The Bee Eaters typically feed in groups, spotting and swooping down in flocks to catch their prey.

In addition to bees, these birds feast on a variety of insects including ants, dragonflies, beetles and flies. The Blue Throated Bee Eaters are definitely gorgeous to behold and lovely to have in your neighbourhood.

The Gentle Protector - Malayan Tapir

The Malayan Tapir is one of the most iconic animals in Malaysia and is the largest of the remaining four species of tapirs in the world! An adult Malayan Tapir can weigh up to 500kg, with the females weighing heavier between the two genders. These gentle giants can be found only in Peninsular Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand, with the remaining, much smaller species being native to Central and South America.

Dubbed the “gardeners of the forest”, tapirs are frugivores that disperse seeds of fruits, which they forage and eat. When they answer nature’s call, they help disperse the undigested seeds and help to enrich the biodiversity of plant species.

Unfortunately, these silent helpers are endangered and need our help to survive.

The dying flying seed - Dipterocarpaceae family

All wild animals need a home where they are sheltered, where there is food and clean water. In Malaysia, this is usually provided or enriched by Dipterocarp trees. This family of trees are found in Malaysia, Borneo and Indonesia, with approximately 170 species, they make up over 80% of our rainforest canopy! They are also found in African, Asian, Oceania, South China and New Guinea rainforests. These trees can grow as tall as an 18-storey building and they disperse unique adventurous flying seeds!

However, 56% of these nurturing Dipterocarps are threatened due to illegal logging and unsustainable developments. This is why Sime Darby Property and TRCRC are joining forces to conserve and replant these trees in seed banks at the ERKC. Let’s preserve our natural heritage, one flying seed at a time.

    • Disclaimer: photos as published on The Star, 1 June 2022

    • Disclaimer: photos as published on The Star, 1 June 2022

    • Disclaimer: photos as published on The Star, 1 June 2022

    • Disclaimer: photos as published on The Star, 1 June 2022

    • Disclaimer: photos as published on The Star, 1 June 2022