SHAH ALAM: Sime Darby Property Bhd has unveiled its Elmina Rainforest Knowledge Centre (ERKC) – positioned as the Gateway to Malaysia’s Natural Heritage.

Officially launched by the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, the 0.44ha ERKC in Sime Darby Property’s township of the City of Elmina demonstrates the company’s efforts to implement good biodiversity practices focusing on conservation actions, research and development, environmental education, eco-tourism and other green initiatives.

The centre is located within the 121ha Elmina Central Park and adjacent to the 1,092ha Bukit Cherakah Forest Reserve.

The Selangor Ruler, Tengku Permaisuri Selangor Tengku Permaisuri Norashikin and Raja Muda of Selangor Tengku Amir Shah also visited the Elmina Living Collection Nursery and planted trees there as well.

Besides a climate change action plan, good biodiversity practices are fundamental components of a business’ long-term survival as it compels organisations to relook the way their businesses impact the environment, said Sime Darby Property group managing director Datuk Azmir Merican.

“At Sime Darby Property, we highlight biodiversity as one of the four core imperatives in our sustainability strategy.

“We have pledged numerous efforts, initiatives and programmes to enhance the value of our townships while protecting functioning ecosystems to give a place for nature within our developments.

“The ERKC charts a new milestone in Sime Darby Property’s sustainability journey toward continuously building sustainable townships and communities,” he added.

In 2019, Sime Darby Property partnered with the Tropical Rainforest Conservation and Research Centre (TRCRC) to develop the ERKC and the adjoining 4ha Elmina Living Collection Nursery to be a genetic store for the production and conservation of native tree species including those categorised as endangered, rare and threatened under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

From the start of its operations 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.

Since 2011, Sime Darby Property has planted over 120,000 trees within its townships to help mitigate the effects of climate change.

The company has pledged to plant 50,000 endangered trees red-listed by the IUCN by 2030; as of last year, more than 21,000 of these trees have been planted in its developments.