In keeping up with industry developments and environment, Forest City is now evolving from its role as a real estate developer into a City Operator with focus on residents’ welfare and safety. The developers of this mega project are putting more efforts to ensure environmental sustainability and consistently aligning it with development. Forest City is realising its green plan by phases.
A 29-year old senior landscape officer, Muhammad Syafiq Abdullah, a Bachelor in Marine Science from Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) graduate in 2013 has joined Forest City in July 2017. Involved in conservation activity, monitoring mangrove coastline, overseeing construction project work in line with mangrove protection, as well as replanting work in the nursery, Syafiq said mangroves act as filter to prevent sediments from flowing into the sea as well as buffer zone, wave breaker and to prevent coastal erosion.
“We have come out with a win-win situation, building world class golf courses and at the same time ensuring that the mangroves continue to thrive in their natural surroundings. It is important to protect mangroves as they are a good indicator to determine healthy water conditions,’’ he said, adding that there are about 40 mangrove species in Malaysia growing along the Johor coastline.
Apart from mangroves, Forest City also took into account the existence of seagrass during land reclamation activities for the multi-billion Ringgit Forest City project. Syafiq pointed out that unlike mangroves, seagrass could be replanted once the land reclamation project has been completed, and it would be able to adapt to the new environment.
Vice General Manager, Ir. Hj. Syarul Izam said, “During the development of Forest City, we have always been exploring our way forward on how to establish a comprehensive urban development and management without compromising the environment. With that, the management collectively agreed to impose more stringent environmental assessment parameters during planning, design and construction. These measures will lay a solid foundation for sustainable development of Forest City.”
Since 2015, Forest City has focused its efforts on conserving sea-grasses located on the Tanjung Kupang Meadow. A collaborative effort with Universiti Putra Malaysia’s seagrass experts, the protection programme has been funded for five consecutive years by Forest City. Tanjung Kupang Meadow has shown positive growth, recovery and is back to its original form.
“An eco-exhibition space will be located right at the beach that will be open to the public where it contains a lot about the marine ecosystem around Forest City and demonstrate the city’s efforts to shape the harmony between man and nature. In the future, the eco-exhibition space will also become a practice base for residents and surrounding communities to raise environmental awareness and promote green concepts,” he added.
Additionally, in terms of CSR initiatives, the company has to-date contributed more than RM10 million through its corporate social responsibility programmes aimed at enhancing the lives of the people living in the surrounding areas of the project.