WWF Malaysia, CIMB Islamic pledge to preserve Fraser's Hill Forest Complex

15 Aug 2022 10:45am
Ahmad Shahriman and Sophia Lim launching the partnership for the Botanical Inventory of the Fraser’s Hill Forest Complex.
Ahmad Shahriman and Sophia Lim launching the partnership for the Botanical Inventory of the Fraser’s Hill Forest Complex.

PAHANG – The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Malaysia and CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad launch a botanical inventory project which aims to conserve the floral diversity of the Fraser’s Hill Forest Complex.

WWF-Malaysia Executive Director Sophia Lim said that the forest complex met the Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) requirements as an Important Plant Area because of the richness of species and the presence of endangered habitats and threatened species there.

“This is because montane forests are home to natural treasures unique from those found in the country’s lowland tropical forests, especially flora species that thrive in a cooler climate,” she pointed out.

In a joint statement, WWF Malaysia and CIMB Islamic said the project was part of a three-year Fraser's Hill Conservation Programme, which was made possible through a contribution of RM443,900 by CIMB Islamic to advocate the security and protection of the Fraser's Hill Complex as a state park.

The funding was also crucial for a biodiversity project which spanned over 83,000 hectares of the Titiwangsa Mountain Range.

Apart from the Fraser's Hill Town Board, the Fraser's Hill Forest Complex, which consisted of six forest reserves was also included.

With Fraser’s Hill Town Board being the highest diversity of seed plants compared to other Highlands, the forest complex also plays a key role in the water catchment area, where the headwaters of various rivers originated.

CIMB Islamic Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Shahriman Mohd Shariff said CIMB Islamic had always been at the forefront of value-based intermediation to conserve and preserve the environment.

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“Playing our role as a responsible corporate citizen, we are cognizant of the need to protect the welfare of the country’s beloved heritage site.

“Looking ahead, we hope our collaboration with WWF-Malaysia will contribute positively towards the betterment of the environment.

We also hope more business communities and financial institutions can join us on this journey,” Ahmad Shahriman elaborated,” he said.

The funding for the Fraser's Hill preservation project was made possible with CIMB Islamic's first savings account, EcoSave, which focused on environmental-friendly efforts.

Apart from indirect contributions towards green initiatives, customers who maintain a monthly average balance of RM5,000 without any over-the-counter transactions during the month will enjoy RM5 monthly cash incentive.

Meanwhile, WWF Malaysia held a virtual awareness event called "Flora Saturday Series" held in June as part of the same effort to raise awareness of the value of the flora kingdom to preserve ecosystems.

One of the event participants International University of Malaya-Wales (IUMW) biotechnology lecturer Shahril Efzueni Rozali expressed great interest in the topics covered in the series as it allowed him to learn further.

“It helps me to have a better understanding on current issues faced in conservation of Malaysian plants, human interactions with plants as well as the diversity of endemic species in our tropical forest," he said.