Nurturing Environmental Stewardship through Gamuda Parks’ Wetlands Festival 2024

21 February 2024

by Gamuda Land

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KUALA LANGAT, Selangor – In celebration of World Wetlands Day, Gamuda Parks, a sustainable landscaping initiative by Gamuda Land organised the Wetlands Festival 2024 at its Wetlands Arboretum Centre in Gamuda Cove. The Wetlands Festival highlighted the importance of environmental education and eco-tourism, alongside strategic collaborations with educational institutions and partners who share the same interest in conducting research that can make a meaningful impact.


Wetlands are vital ecosystems known for their rich biodiversity and essential roles in food security, carbon storage, and water filtration. Recognising their importance, Gamuda Land through Gamuda Parks, transformed a 90-acre reserved land in Gamuda Cove, near Paya Indah Discovery Wetlands into a Wetlands Arboretum—a living tree museum.


“Arboretums serve several important functions, combining educational, research, and recreational purposes. Besides maintaining living collections of trees, some of which may be rare, endangered, or historically significant, the Wetlands Arboretum is also a living laboratory for the study of plant biology, ecology, and horticulture,” explained Khariza Abd Khalid, Executive Director, Gamuda Land.


“Climate action initiatives we undertake at Gamuda Parks is ever so important as we recognise the pivotal role of biodiversity conservation. The Wetlands Arboretum Centre stands as a testament to our unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship and biodiversity conservation. Our landmark Gamuda Green Plan launched by the Group three years ago, guides our strategic planning. And with our collective efforts as a Group, the plan aims to reduce corporate greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030 compared to business-as-usual projections,” added Khariza.


Under the Gamuda Green Plan, Gamuda Parks has made notable strides, planting and nurturing over 600,000 trees and creating 1,665 acres of greenspaces and waterscapes across 12 urban forest clusters within 16 developments. As part of this initiative, 12 biodiversity assessments have been conducted, unveiling 37 flora and 45 fauna species of conservation importance. The assessments also identified over 200 trees classified under IUCN protected species.


The Wetlands Festival also saw the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) with educational institutions - International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).


Gamuda Parks will collaborate with IIUM on research and conservation studies focused on vulnerable forest tree species listed under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. The study has the opportunity to make cities more sustainable and resilient, boosting biodiversity, improving well-being, and inspiring similar eco-friendly practices in urban development nationwide.


Gamuda Parks will be extending its facilities to the students from the Faculty of Design and Architecture in UPM, where they will be able to experience industrial training and develop expertise through research on landscape architecture and sustainable waste management. Students will also get the opportunity to participate in GParks Youth programmes led by Gamuda Parks, encouraging youth participation in advocacy for climate change.


Gamuda Parks and UTM will work together to connect academia and the industry through the sharing of space, materials, equipment, and facilities for teaching, learning, and lifelong education. Gamuda Parks will bring industry-specific expertise to the table, serving as a key advisory panel and contributing insights from the perspective of the industry sector. This collaboration entails for knowledge exchange where UTM students benefits from the practical, real-world applications generated through this academic-based partnership.


“The Wetlands Arboretum Centre embodies our dedication to sustainable development and environmental stewardship. Through these collaborative research partnerships, we are not implementing adaptive management strategies that resonate across social, environmental and economic spheres. These have the potential to foster commercial ventures within the eco-tourism sector, further cementing our dedication to holistic sustainability and community enrichment,” added Khariza.


Among the festival highlights were the Eco Glamping Competition and Nature Playscape Competition, both of which were conducted in collaboration with Institute of Landscape Architects Malaysia (ILAM), fostering creativity and innovation in structural design incorporating natural elements and sustainable concept. Approximately 1,000 attendees over the two-day weekend had the opportunity to engage with indigenous communities during the Orang Asli Workshop and learn about their traditional art and crafts, as well as support local artisans through the Merchandise Selling of Indigenous Art and Crafts. The GParks Ranger Environmental Workshop empowered young kids with the knowledge and skills to become stewards of the environment, while the Arboretum Gallery Tour took visitors on a journey through our interactive gallery, showcasing the rich biodiversity of the Wetlands Arboretum.


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