PARTNER CONTENT FOR SIME DARBY PROPERTY

BRIDGING THE DISCONNECT

The journey to Net Zero emissions is not just about doing less harm; it is about doing more good. It is about embracing a mindset of continuous improvement, pushing boundaries, and leading by example.

Dato’ Azmir Merican
Group Managing Director, Sime Darby Property

As a responsible property developer, Sime Darby Property (SDP) considers the effect its business has on the world and ensures that what it does creates a positive impact on the environment and generates better outcomes for society.

For one, the Company is sowing the seeds for a greener future by educating the communities that reside within its developments. Beyond just planting trees and adopting green technology, SDP is extending its reach by organising a multitude of nature programmes.

Its township of City of Elmina epitomises urban biodiversity with the Elmina Living Collection Nursery (ELCN) and Elmina Rainforest Knowledge Centre (ERKC).

Spanning 6,500 acres, City of Elmina is located right next to the 2,700-acre Bukit Cerakah Forest Reserve, with fragmented green patches which SDP intends to reconnect to form a 5km biological corridor.

Creating a generation of eco-conscious citizens

On 27 November 2023, the Group pledged to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050, referencing the science-based target of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C — reflecting its dedication to reducing carbon footprint and mitigating the effects of climate change.
Climate change is one of the biggest global challenges that humanity faces and as the nation’s pioneer property developer, the company has great responsibility in taking the necessary actions to change the way we do things to minimise our operations’ impact on nature.

Dato’ Azmir Merican
Group Managing Director, Sime Darby Property

SDP recognises the need to form a stronger bond between communities and nature, and this is exemplified in the company’s biodiversity conservation efforts at the City of Elmina.

Operating from the ERKC, the Tropical Rainforest Conservation and Research Centre (TRCRC) has successfully engaged over 13,000 people for educational nature tours, outdoor classrooms and community programmes via the community interest group, Friends of ERKC.

Here’s a look back at Friends of ERKC’s initiatives since 2022

Discover the stories shared by our Friends of ERKC

01
Teacher from SMK Seafield For teacher Sharifah Rafiza of SMK Seafield, Subang Jaya, bringing her students to the ERKC was an eye-opening experience. “As non-residents of the City of Elmina, we were impressed to find that ELCN grows such… Read full story
02
Residents from City of Elmina For Elmina residents, Ahmad Syahir Yahya, his wife Maisyarah Mohd Yusoff and children, Ilham Awfar, 12, Abdullah Zubayr, 10 and Abdullah Rifaaie, 8, living in the township offers them the space and connection with nature... Read full story
03
Assistant Principal of HELP International School HELP International School assistant principal primary Daniel Paul Goldspink (standing at back) said that the City of Elmina offers a wealth of features that greatly enrich its students’ learning experiences… Read full story
Elmina Urban
Biodiversity Corridor
As ERKC and ELCN continue to engage and enhance environmental literacy among the community, SDP and TRCRC will actively embark on other conservation initiatives.

One of these is to identify priority areas that require ecological connectivity that allows wildlife to traverse freely and safely across different habitat patches to coexist harmoniously within urban surroundings.

The Elmina Urban Biodiversity Corridor will be an important green spine that interconnects six park precincts all within the Elmina Central Park allowing fragmented areas to become an integrated system of wildlife refugia instead. The riverside buffers of Sungai Subang, which flows across the City of Elmina, will act as a linear connector.

Elmina Urban
Biodiversity Corridor
As ERKC and ELCN continue to engage and enhance environmental literacy among the community, SDP and TRCRC will actively embark on other conservation initiatives.

One of these is to identify priority areas that require ecological connectivity that allows wildlife to traverse freely and safely across different habitat patches to coexist harmoniously within urban surroundings.

The Elmina Urban Biodiversity Corridor will be an important green spine that interconnects six park precincts all within the Elmina Central Park allowing fragmented areas to become an integrated system of wildlife refugia instead. The riverside buffers of Sungai Subang, which flows across the City of Elmina, will act as a linear connector.

Source: What Is Rewilding, True Nature Foundation & What Is Rewilding, Rewilding Europe

The corridor itself will encourage perpetuation of flora and fauna, including 88 different species of birds that call the City of Elmina their home, to flourish naturally.

It would also reduce human-wildlife conflicts in the township as it provides a safer passage for wildlife to expand their population, or forage into new areas without the need to pass by residential areas.

5km

Elmina Urban
Biodiversity Corridor

73

Birds

5

Reptiles

10

Mammals

Total trees planted in Elmina to-date

10,266 trees


Source: based on Biodiversity Survey conducted by TRCRC in the Bukit Cherakah Forest Reserve and surrounding areas, Year 2022

The corridor itself will encourage perpetuation of flora and fauna, including 88 different species of birds that call the City of Elmina their home, to flourish naturally.

It would also reduce human-wildlife conflicts in the township as it provides a safer passage for wildlife to expand their population, or forage into new areas without the need to pass by residential areas.

5km

Elmina Urban
Biodiversity Corridor

73

Birds

5

Reptiles

10

Mammals

Total trees planted in Elmina to-date

10,266 trees


Source: based on Biodiversity Survey conducted by TRCRC in the Bukit Cherakah Forest Reserve and surrounding areas, Year 2022

Extending the Forest Reserve into Urban Fabric

The Birth of the 300-acre Elmina Central Park

The park will be completed in stages and planted with native forest trees to mimic a forest-like environment while boasting a plethora of family-centric amenities for the public to immerse and connect with nature.

Forest Park (84 Acres)

A vast terraced parkland that preserves and extends the beauty of 2,700-acre Bukit Cherakah Forest Reserve. The park allows various birds, mammals and insects to enjoy green spaces similar to the adjacent forest environment. The park is amplified to cater to elderly with wheelchairs and families with strollers to enjoy the wide pedestrian paths under the cool shade.


1Promenade

2Retail and Park Management Office

3Camp Site

4Forest Pavilion & Cafe

5Forest Boardwalk

6Food Truck Plaza

7Forest Walk

8Camp Site Store and Stalls

9Visitor Carpark

10Thematic Walk

11Kite Playing Park/Picnic Lawn

12Fern Terrace

13Bicycle Trail

14Bathing Zone

Arts & Cultural Park (37 Acres)

The establishment of the first and only Art & Cultural Park in the vibrant City of Elmina and in Malaysia: setting a new standard for cultural enrichment in Malaysia. This unique destination will be a celebration of diversity, creativity, and heritage, providing a dynamic space where art, history, and culture converge to inspire and unite our community.

Urban Park (35 Acres)

Integrating variety of spaces from Elmina Lakeside Mall, Elmina City Centre and Urban Park, making it accessible and inviting for recreational opportunities with friends and families.

Community Park (36 Acres)

The first out of 5 precinct parks that was completed to encourage community gatherings and spirit of wellness. This is invoked through morning and evening group recreational activities, children playdates and community gardening.

Sports Park (84 Acres)

A future sports hub that is the heart and soul of communities who enjoy running and cycling as individuals or groups. Adrenaline seekers will definitely want to watch this space for its upcoming amenities.

Wildlife Park (84 Acres)

The Wildlife Park is the green lung of Elmina East which connects the trail of the Elmina Biodiversity Corridor and allows wildlife to traverse freely. Bird watchers will definitely enjoy the diverse bird species and wildlife here from our bird-nest watch towers.

Forest Park (84 Acres)

A vast terraced parkland that preserves and extends the beauty of 2,700-acre Bukit Cherakah Forest Reserve. The park allows various birds, mammals and insects to enjoy green spaces similar to the adjacent forest environment. The park is amplified to cater to elderly with wheelchairs and families with strollers to enjoy the wide pedestrian paths under the cool shade.


1Promenade

2Retail and Park Management Office

3Camp Site

4Forest Pavilion & Cafe

5Forest Boardwalk

6Food Truck Plaza

7Forest Walk

8Camp Site Store and Stalls

9Visitor Carpark

10Thematic Walk

11Kite Playing Park/Picnic Lawn

12Fern Terrace

13Bicycle Trail

14Bathing Zone

Arts & Cultural Park (37 Acres)

The establishment of the first and only Art & Cultural Park in the vibrant City of Elmina and in Malaysia: setting a new standard for cultural enrichment in Malaysia. This unique destination will be a celebration of diversity, creativity, and heritage, providing a dynamic space where art, history, and culture converge to inspire and unite our community.

Urban Park (35 Acres)

Integrating variety of spaces from Elmina Lakeside Mall, Elmina City Centre and Urban Park, making it accessible and inviting for recreational opportunities with friends and families.

Community Park (36 Acres)

The first out of 5 precinct parks that was completed to encourage community gatherings and spirit of wellness. This is invoked through morning and evening group recreational activities, children playdates and community gardening.

Sports Park (84 Acres)

A future sports hub that is the heart and soul of communities who enjoy running and cycling as individuals or groups. Adrenaline seekers will definitely want to watch this space for its upcoming amenities.

Wildlife Park (84 Acres)

The Wildlife Park is the green lung of Elmina East which connects the trail of the Elmina Biodiversity Corridor and allows wildlife to traverse freely. Bird watchers will definitely enjoy the diverse bird species and wildlife here from our bird-nest watch towers.

The establishment of a well-connected urban ecosystem plays a pivotal role in elevating the overall integrity of the environment and a multitude of other invaluable services.

Among them are enhanced pollination and improved seed dispersal for trees and crops, the maintenance of stable prey-predator relationships crucial for natural pest control, and the effective mitigation of the adverse effects of climate change through enhanced carbon sequestration, reduced heat islands, healthier soil quality, and cleaner water sources.

The Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum) is one of the many bird species found at the City of Elmina.

These birds help to disperse the seeds of small fruits and even aid in the pollination of plants whenever they visit flowers for their nectars.

03

Good biodiversity practices

SDP’s good biodiversity practices start with a strategic ambition that is translated onto its landscape plan, to foster a functional ecosystem within the township as it is developed. The company practises multi-species planting to boost flora diversity, which further provides a variety resources for a diverse urban wildlife, such as birds and insects, creating a safe environment and a thriving habitat.

The wildlife will then support other ecosystem services including pollination, seed dispersal; while acting as a biological control agent in an urban environment. By focusing on the aesthetics and monoculture species that ensures uniformity, planting diverse species of native trees also helps combat heat-island effects better (high temperatures in urban spaces), and further acts as a mitigation strategy against climate change impacts.

In order to monitor ecosystem benefits sustained by the green areas within the urban landscape, SDP has conducted biodiversity inventories within the City of Elmina in collaboration with the Tropical Rainforest Conservation and Research Centre (TRCRC). The company has published the “Malaysian Threatened and Rare Tree Identification and Landscape Guideline” and prepared (unpublished) a “Wetlands Construction and Maintenance Guideline” for adoption and implementation to ensure good biodiversity practices across its developments.

03

Good biodiversity practices

SDP’s good biodiversity practices start with a strategic ambition that is translated onto its landscape plan, to foster a functional ecosystem within the township as it is developed. The company practises multi-species planting to boost flora diversity, which further provides a variety resources for a diverse urban wildlife, such as birds and insects, creating a safe environment and a thriving habitat.
The wildlife will then support other ecosystem services including pollination, seed dispersal; while acting as a biological control agent in an urban environment. By focusing on the aesthetics and monoculture species that ensures uniformity, planting diverse species of native trees also helps combat heat-island effects better (high temperatures in urban spaces), and further acts as a mitigation strategy against climate change impacts.
In order to monitor ecosystem benefits sustained by the green areas within the urban landscape, SDP has conducted biodiversity inventories within the City of Elmina in collaboration with the Tropical Rainforest Conservation and Research Centre (TRCRC). The company has published the “Malaysian Threatened and Rare Tree Identification and Landscape Guideline” and prepared (unpublished) a “Wetlands Construction and Maintenance Guideline” for adoption and implementation to ensure good biodiversity practices across its developments.

04

A dedicated rainforest, research and conservation centre

Located at the City of Elmina, the Elmina Rainforest Knowledge Centre (ERKC), operated by TRCRC, is the first-of-its-kind one-stop-centre for forestry research, conservation, education and recreation that has the main overarching objective of connecting people to nature and improving the public’s climate and environmental literacy.

05

Strategic partnership with an NGO specialising in conservation

SDP has partnered with TRCRC to develop the ERKC and the adjoining two-acre Elmina Living Collection Nursery (ELCN) (with space to be extended to 10 acres) to house the propagation, care and conservation of native tree species categorised as ERT tree species, assessed by the IUCN.

06

Continuous community engagement and education

Friends of ERKC is a community interest group with a common goal for nature preservation and sustainable living. This community group will be established as part of the Elmina Rainforest Knowledge Centre’s commitment to connect like-minded individuals for long-term educational programmes, focusing on biodiversity and conservation.
Leading the industry in conservation and sustainable development practices

SDP was named the Winner in the FIABCI Malaysia Property Awards 2023 in the Environmental Category, for its urban biodiversity conservation efforts at Elmina Rainforest Knowledge Centre.

Reforestation initiatives at the City of Elmina would help create various positive domino effects, from providing resources for wildlife to thrive in the cities, providing a healthier ecosystem that can mitigate climate change effects to more cooling and relaxing spaces for urban communities to enjoy.
As we work towards these goals, it’s crucial to remember the broader impact of our actions. By fostering stronger connections between people and nature, Sime Darby Property’s efforts serve as a force for good, demonstrating that through dedication and collaboration, meaningful progress towards environmental sustainability can be achieved.
It is about embracing a mindset of continuous improvement, pushing boundaries, and leading by example.

Dato’ Azmir Merican Group Managing Director, Sime Darby Property

The Elmina Rainforest Knowledge Centre continuously welcomes partners, collaborators, volunteers and change-makers to join our journey in enhancing and propagating urban biodiversity.

The collaborative partnership

SDP partnered up with TRCRC, a leading non-profit and industry expert on tropical rainforest conservation and ecology. TRCRC has a successful track record on conservation action, leading landscape-wide protection and restoration projects throughout the country. It is an internationally recognised organisation working on safeguarding Malaysia’s rainforest. TRCRC believes in working on the ground in order to address the critical rate of biodiversity loss – one of the most pressing issues facing today’s society.

Long-term partnerships strengthen the means of implementing more meaningful commitments to ecologically sound sustainability practices. The collaborative partnership, that places the environment at the core, highlights both organisation’s shared values in the conservation of biodiversity.

The collaborative partnership

TRCRC has a successful track record on conservation action, leading landscape-wide protection and restoration projects throughout the country. It is an internationally recognised organisation working on safeguarding Malaysia’s rainforest. TRCRC believes in working on the ground in order to address the critical rate of biodiversity loss – one of the most pressing issues facing today’s society.
Long-term partnerships strengthen the means of implementing more meaningful commitments to ecologically sound sustainability practices. The collaborative partnership, that places the environment at the core, highlights both organisation’s shared values in the conservation of biodiversity.
Protecting and conserving threatened, and endangered plant species is at the heart of what we do. Our collaboration with Sime Darby Property will help raise awareness on the plight of the Malaysian rainforest, and hopefully make rainforest conservation more accessible for people to participate in.

Dr. Dzaeman Dzulkifli
Executive Director, Tropical Rainforest Conservation and Research Centre

TRCRC is dedicated to community-powered conservation and has been running public outreach programmes at the ERKC, with funding from SDP’s philanthropic arm, Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD). With long-term support from YSD, TRCRC has rehabilitated, restored and enriched around 45 hectares of degraded ecosystems across the country.

YSD has committed to helping TRCRC build up the capacity to not only carry out conservation and restoration work, but also to conduct knowledge transfer and knowledge sharing with other stakeholders to ensure that more individuals and organisations can effectively conduct restoration programmes of their own.

A Conservation Haven,
In The Making

Serving a greater purpose, the ERKC and its adjacent Elmina Living Collection Nursery (ELCN) allows the company to have a constant supply of forest trees for planting within its townships as well as for external parties for reforestation initiatives.

Today, TRCRC has successfully propagated a total of 187 species of plants at ELCN, including over 35,000 seeds sowed and more than 10,000 tree saplings stored in its holding area. TRCRC’s conservation efforts at the ELCN underpin an essential step in maintaining green landscapes in the future.

The City of Elmina aims to plant a total of 210,000 trees throughout the township by 2040, with 10% or 21,000 of them being IUCN trees. To date, the township has successfully planted over 41,000 trees including 5,691 IUCN trees.

Across all its townships, SDP has planted over 116,000 trees within the past decade to help mitigate the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss. Based on an estimate going back as far as 1972 when the company’s first township was being developed, the number of trees planted could reach as high as half a million trees.

In extending this effort, SDP has further pledged its goal of planting a minimum of 50,000 trees that are threatened by extinction by 2030. As of last year, more than 23,000 threatened trees have been planted. This achievement demonstrates the company’s commitment in planting at least 10% of ERT species of trees in all its developments.
Although rewilding is a long-term process, its results are shown to be fruitful and lasting for the betterment of the environment and surrounding communities. We have surpassed the company’s policy commitment in planting a minimum of 10% ERT tree species throughout our developments, and we will continue this journey until a valuable impact is made.

Dato’ Azmir Merican
Group Managing Director, Sime Darby Property

Preserving biodiversity is a journey. Mother Nature will take time to rewild and regenerate an ecosystem, but when that occurs, the results are fruitful and will ultimately be a lasting legacy for many generations to come.
Discover how important our tropical rainforests are to the world as we embark on this journey in building a conservation haven.
Join us to make a change.
    • 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