Come April 2019, people from more than 100 cities around the world will be engaged in a global competition to log the highest number of species observations around their homes, schools, and surrounding areas. The Habitat Penang Hill and The Habitat Foundation are proud to be the lead organizers for the Penang Island challenge and we hope to enlist the competitive spirit of all Penang Islanders to showcase the amazing diversity of life on our small but significant island!
The Habitat Foundation is a charitable trust based in Penang, Malaysia and the non-profit sister organization of The Habitat Penang Hill. The two organizations complement each other in the overall mission to connect people to this ancient rainforest, promote biodiversity conservation, and support meaningful solutions through the programmatic work of the Foundation.
The Habitat Penang Hill is a world class rainforest discovery centre located at the edge of the magnificent rainforest located within easy access of the vibrant metropolis of Penang. With its nature trail, iconic treetop walkway, and canopy bridge that provide exceptional rainforest experiences, The Habitat aspires to awaken curiosity and nurture support for conservation among the thousands of visitors it receives each year. Funds generated by The Habitat Penang Hill’s commercial operations go into The Habitat Foundation to support innovative solutions to conserving biodiversity and protecting nature both in Penang and beyond.
We support initiatives to safeguard biodiversity, reverse the loss and degradation of natural ecosystems, and advocate for the sustainable use of natural resources by working closely with government agencies, experts, NGOs, and community partners.
We fund research in conservation biology and related fields in order to identify practical and actionable solutions to protect biodiversity and promote environmental sustainability. As a strategic centre for rainforest research in our region we provide a dynamic platform for interchange among scientists and conservationists.
With The Habitat Penang Hill established as an acclaimed rainforest discovery centre, we aim to serve as a hub to raise the quality, reach, and impact of environmental education for schoolchildren. In addition, we support targeted programmes to enhance public environmental awareness and effective community engagement.
We are actively providing a working model of a circular economy in which the funds generated from protected areas are channeled into their effective management and conservation. Emphasis is also placed on empowering local communities to play a central role in conservation and to obtain benefits from participating in sustainable tourism.
The Habitat Foundation and The Habitat Penang Hill are supporting the Malaysian Government’s bid to nominate the forests of Penang Hill and adjacent protected areas as a UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve. In addition to providing recognition for its outstanding biodiversity values and diverse social landscape, a UNESCO listing would provide a foundation for an ongoing quest to seek balance in the interactions between society and the environment.
For three activity-filled days in November 2018, 16 young people were supported by the Foundation to join a GreenSmiths expedition to the Ulu Muda Field Research Centre, in the heart of the Greater Ulu Muda Rainforest in Kedah. GreenSmiths expeditions are unique as they are run by young people who are themselves on an internship to develop their leadership abilities in addition to conservation, eco-engineering, and education skills.
Global business leaders and distinguished alumni from the Thunderbird Independent Alumni Association (TIAA) gathered in Penang over 4-6 October 2018 for their Fall 2018 Conference to discuss, learn and engage with experts on the topic of Sustainability in Business: The Next Asian Revolution.
2018 HABITAT FOUNDATION GRANT RECIPIENTS
Dr Sheema Abdul Aziz of the NGO Rimba is the lead researcher of Project Pteropus and the recipient of a 2018 Habitat Foundation research grant. She has been studying the ecology of fruit-visiting bats since 2013. In seeking insights into the ecosystem services they provide she hopes to develop an effective conservation strategy to advocate for these misunderstood animals.
The Habitat Foundation, as part of its commitment to strengthening protected areas in Malaysia, is partnering with the Perlis Forestry Department to build a 12 km Sustainable Forest Trail to Gunung Perlis. The Gunung Perlis trail loop as it will be known will enable park visitors to enjoy a scenic hike through this distinctive semi-deciduous forest to summit Gunung Perlis atop the Nakawan Range.
Night Spotting Project is a research and conservation outreach initiative led by Priscillia Miard who has been studying nocturnal mammals for the past six years, a journey that has taken her from her native France, to the jungles of Brunei and Sabah. She is now documenting the distribution of nocturnal species in the forests of Penang, on the mainland, and on Pulau Langkawi. This work will enhance our understanding of the challenges facing these species and help guide effective conservation strategies to ensure their continued role in maintaining healthy forest habitats.