The Foundation is committed to supporting research that expands our knowledge and understanding of our environment and evidence-based decision making in addressing the threats and challenges currently facing our world. We are proud to be founded in Malaysia, one of the world's 17 megadiversity countries, and will support the government in its efforts to model best practice and leadership in the areas of biodiversity conservation and the management of protected areas. We also acknowledge the rich diversity in ways of knowing among the different ethnic communities of Malaysia and that community-based natural resource management practices that have been handed over generations in traditional communities could also hold valuable insights to sustainable living and are worthy of further study. The Foundation will also seek to advance our systems for knowledge sharing and increasing access to students and scholars as well as encouraging interaction and exchange.
The Habitat Foundation strongly believes in the importance of nurturing future generations that have an affinity with nature and understand our dependence on the natural environment. This is all the more important in our modern world where a lack of access to green spaces and the pervasiveness of technology have served to distance children and young people from nature. With our sister organization, the Habitat Penang Hill, a world-class rainforest discovery centre, we are working to bridge this gap and to rebuild this essential connection. Environmental education is an essential investment in sowing a sense of our responsibility to preserve a living planet. Our education programmes will focus on building capacity and supporting innovation in the area of Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) to benefit all sectors of society.
The mission of the Habitat Foundation is to work towards the conservation of biodiversity and natural environments in close cooperation with the government of Malaysia, conservation practitioners, and partners in the community. We are committed to helping to bridge important gaps in preserving areas of conservation significance and to the goals enshrined in the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, more commonly known as the Aichi Targets. Many of these are closely reflected in Malaysia's own National Policy on Biological Diversity. These plans outline the need to communicate how preserving biodiversity benefits humanity and call for new and greater levels of participation in biodiversity conservation initiatives and interventions from all levels of society - from local communities and community-based organizations to industries and the private sector.
Responsible travel to natural areas can be an effective approach to achieving conservation and improving local livelihoods and wellbeing. Our beautiful coasts, corals and islands, forest and streams, as well as remarkable flora and fauna are a natural draw to those seeking recreation and new experiences. Many of these areas sit alongside communities that do not have access to the same infrastructure, education and economic opportunities available to urban dwellers. The Foundation is committed to developing thoughtfully-crafted collaborations with local communities and key agencies in order to develop ecotourism systems that provide sustainable sources of income to improve people's lives while upholding the irreplaceable conservation values present within these areas.