MNS to oversee rainforest at Taman Tugu project

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) has announced its participation with Khazanah Nasional Berhad in the conservation of rainforest trees in the Taman Tugu project behind Tugu Negara (National Monument) in Kuala Lumpur.

MNS President Henry Goh said in a press statement that this was a not-for-profit corporate social responsibility initiative involving Khazanah, Kuala Lumpur City Council (DBKL) and various other civil society organisations.

Goh said MNS will be providing its expertise and will oversee the conservation of the rainforest project, which will be developed in stages until 2020.

Based on preliminary groundwork done by MNS, some 1,000 existing trees on-site have already been identified for preservation, Goh said, and added that 54 trees were found to be more than 100 years old.

“Building knowledge and appreciation for our environment continues to be one of the key pillars of MNS. We have always been vocal about the importance of protecting the environment and the importance of education.

“We are excited to play a part in the Taman Tugu Project, which will showcase one of Malaysia’s greatest natural heritage – our rainforest.”

Goh said an additional 5,000 ethnic Malaysian rainforest trees, which are suitable for the terrain, will be planted on site as they planned to blend in these trees with existing trees in the area.

“We hope to instil a love for nature and raise awareness of the importance of conservation through multiple avenues that will be available via this project.

“Our efforts are targeted at the preservation of Malaysia’s natural wealth. We expect the park to have at least 500 species of trees by the end of 2018, including jelutong, kapur, meranti, jati and merbau.

“We will channel our focus towards suitable species which are currently considered endangered due to their long maturity period.

“We are also planning to bring in trees with rare non-commercial value such as the Petaling tree, which gave its name to Petaling Jaya.”

In September, Prime Minister Najib Razak announced the Taman Tugu project, which will occupy 26.7ha behind Tugu Negara. The project also aims to propel Kuala Lumpur into a world-class city.

Khazanah is set to fund 75 per cent (RM500 million) of the total expenditure.