The hills and the coast of Penang have always been important to Penang’s communities. The Penang Hill Biosphere Reserve which encompasses these natural areas are a vital green lung to Penang Island; they provide valuable ecosystem services, spaces for recreation, and support the local economy. The nomination of the Penang Hill UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve celebrates Penang’s distinctive natural and social landscapes and emphasizes an ongoing commitment to achieving a balance between nature conservation and development through sustainable use.
The Penang State Government is currently in the process of nominating the area shown in the map as a UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve. This biodiversity-rich landscape comprises the hill forest of Penang Hill which extends all the way to the lowland dipterocarp forest and coastal zone within Penang National Park, and then a further 1.5 nautical miles into the sea. This area is protected within existing Forest Reserves, water catchment areas, and the park.
At this free public talk on 28 July 2018 at 12.00 am at The Habitat Ticketing Office Prof. Siti Azizah Mohd Nor, who heads the team preparing the nomination dossier will share some of the reasons why Penang Hill’s unique natural and social landscape is deserving of UNESCO MAN status, and how this recognition can become a springboard to achieving a balance between nature conservation and human activity.