Although news of the pandemic dominates our lives, we are mindful that the loss of biodiversity and degradation of natural ecosystems is still the most significant threat to humanity and our planet. Only with healthy ecosystems can we enhance people’s livelihoods, counteract climate change, and stop the collapse of biodiversity. For this reason, The Habitat Foundation is answering the rallying call of The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration for the protection and revival of ecosystems. We are standing firm in our commitment to support research & conservation, strategic collaborations, training and capacity building, and education and … (read on) about Announcing the recipients of the 2021 THF Grants
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.
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 impactful solutions through the programmatic work of the Foundation. The Habitat Foundation is committed to supporting the conservation of biodiversity and safeguarding the living environment upon which we all depend.
The Foundation works closely with communities, scientists, academic institutions, NGOs, government agencies, protected area managers, and businesses. Our aim is to protect the irreplaceable natural heritage of this region and shift our society towards sustainability.
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 our ongoing quest to seek balance in the interactions between society and the environment.
OUR 2021 PROGRAMME
Husni Che Ngah is a Penang-based macrophotographer whose images of Malaysian wildlife have come to captivate and mesmerize us with their detail. Through his lens we gain a new appreciation of creatures so small that we often miss noticing them at all. Husni will be taking us another special journey this March! Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy the visual feast and to interact with Husni. This free Habitalk will be in Bahasa Malaysia and will be streamed live on Facebook and our YouTube Channel.
Wartawan-Eko is a newly launched youth programme coordinated by Roots and Shoots with the aim of engaging creative young tertiary students to apply their skills in new media to the task of raising awareness and advocating for the environment. For this collaboration, teams of students from The One Academy have partnered with Malaysian NGOs to help produce innovative environmental videos. Meet the three teams that are working with The Habitat Foundation.
2021 THF GRANT RECIPIENTS
It is no mistake that two of the 2021 Sustainable Tourism Grants are to empower initiatives being spearheaded by young people who are conservation leaders and represent the next generation of decision makers. Giving them the exposure, skills and encouragement they need now will help them demonstrate their capabilities and lay the foundation for future impact. We are delighted to be working with Kelab Alami Mukim Tanjung Kupang in Johor, and the new Rapid Response Conservation Unit of Fuze Ecoteer in the Perhentian Islands of Terengganu.
This research grant will support researchers from University of Nottingham, Malaysia to evaluate the presence and impact of microplastics in our river ecosystems. The lead researcher is Dr Christopher Gibbins, a Professor of Hydro-ecology and sustainable river management at the School of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, University of Nottingham Malaysia. This study examines the impact of microplastics on living creatures, ecosystems and human health. The study will be implemented with colleagues from Nottingham as well as undergraduate students and one PhD student.
The Habitat Foundation Sustainable Tourism Grants have been created to strengthen the links between ecotourism and conservation. It is no surprise, therefore, that two of these grants are investing in capacity building for local communities. The grants will facilitate training to enable local people to be stewards and guides to natural attractions and equip individuals and community organizations to play an effective role in conservation by safeguarding fragile sites and vulnerable ecosystems.
The forests of Penang Hill offer exceptional opportunities for ecosystem and sustainability studies. Here you will find an unbroken swathe of pristine yet accessible ecosystems from hill and lower montane forest, to coastal mangroves and lowland forest, contained within Penang National Park. In 2021, we are continuing to provide Research Grants that would firmly establish the proposed Penang Hill Biosphere Reserve as an international centre for rainforest research & teaching.
The Habitat Foundation is proud to provide a grant to the Malaysian Nature Society towards implementing a pilot initiative under its longstanding Hornbill Conservation Project to develop a community nursery that stocks hornbill (and other wildlife) resource plants and trees. The nurseries will be developed with Orang Asli from Kampung Chuweh in the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex.
The study to be undertaken Dr Nurul ‘Ain of the School of Biological Sciences, USM focusses on the insectivorous bats of the Gunung Keriang area of Kedah. It aims to ascertain whether the insectivorous bats which roost in the nearby limestones caves are consuming species that are known to be pests in rice fields. The research is expected to provide conclusive scientific evidence that bats do provide essential ecosystem services in Malaysian rice agriculture.
THE HABITAT RESTORATION INITIATIVE
The Habitat Foundation is responding to the global call to restore natural ecosystems by supporting initiatives to restore forest in Malaysia. In Royal Belum State Park, we are funding the establishment of in-situ native tree nurseries by the Jahai community. This work is being led by Tropical Rainforest Conservation & Research Centre (TRCRC) with the active involvement of Perak State Parks Corporation (PSPC).
INTERNSHIPS FOR CAREERS IN CONSERVATION
The Habitat Young Professional Internships were established to give fresh graduates the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and a firm footing for future careers in conservation. This year, our focus is on nurturing science communicators. We are pleased to welcome three talented Malaysians to join our team for the next 12 months.
BIOACOUSTICS RESEARCH AT THE HABITAT
In line with efforts to boost capacity in bioacoustics, we recently participated in a two-day online bioacoustics/sound analysis workshop organized by the the Malaysian Primatological Society (MPS) in collaboration with the Centre for Conservation Bioacoustics at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
New on our BIODIVERCITY CHANNEL
LIGHTER FOOTPRINT SERIES
Lighter Footprint is a new video series created by The Habitat Foundation to inspire people to make baby steps towards a more sustainable lifestyle. We will be sharing simple initiatives and changes that are good for your health, wallet, and the planet. Look out for all our Lighter Footprint videos with simple tips on how we can consume more consciously and care for our planet. Gardening Gardening is a great way to relieve stress and lower your carbon footprint. Starting and maintaining a garden requires time and patience but it is all worth it when you get to enjoy the fruits of your labour. The first few instalments of Lighter Footprint include features on sweet basil and mint, two beginner-friendly herbs that you can grow from seed or propagate … (read on) about Lighter Footprint series
The Habitat BiodiverCity series has been created to support our efforts to champion urban biodiversity. Through our programmes and education activities we aim to nurture greater awareness of urban biodiversity and the importance of nature-friendly spaces in cities if we want to sustain natural systems and have birdsong in our lives. Backyard birding We are delighted to have teamed up with Dave Bakewell to create the Backyard Birding video series that will transform your approach to birding. Dave Bakewell is a highly regarded bird expert in Penang who is passionate about sharing his knowledge and believes that birders need to have strong basics. So put away your newfangled apps for now, and dust off your field notebooks - it is time to go old-school! Visit Dave's blog where he
This is the second of the two-part web forum which takes a constructive look at the challenges and potentials facing nature-based tourism and conservation in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. This series is organized by The Habitat Foundation in partnership with the Society for Conservation Biology Malaysia Chapter. In this session, guided by Prof Dr Amran Hamzah, we gain firsthand insight on how the planning tools and concepts provided in Malaysia’s National Ecotourism Plan 2016-2025 are put to use using the case study of Gunung Jerai, one of Kedah's unpolished gems. We are also pleased to introduce two more esteemed panelists for this session. Dato' Haji Idros Yahya is the State Director of MOTAC Pahang. In addition to having vast experience in tourism development, he is a … (read on) about Planning for a Resilient Responsible Tourism Sector
VIRTUAL TOUR SERIES
The Habitat Virtual Tours were first introduced in April 2020 as a way to continue to connect people with nature despite the Movement Control Order to control the spread of Covid-19. Our Virtual Tours received such an enthusiastic response that they have now become part of our regular education & awareness programme to celebrate rainforest biodiversity! The Habitat After Dark Virtual Tour was a live event in which naturalists from The Habitat introduced some of the shy and secretive creatures of the night caught on camera and on film. It was a way to appreciate aspects of the park that would be impossible to see during the day. The Habitat Up Close featured the amazing photography of Husni Che Ngah, and was co-hosted by entomologist Dr Arthur Chung. The live event shined a … (read on) about Virtual Tour series