The genesis of The Habitat Penang Hill is a personal story, one that is best told by Reza Cockrell, the Co-founder and Director of The Habitat Foundation.
My family moved to Penang Hill over 20 years ago and we have been in love with the place ever since. The rolling hills, the rainforest valleys cascading into the ocean beyond them, and the sheer breadth of biodiversity that calls this Hill home. When you are up here, you are literally surrounded by life. This tangible connection to our natural world is something that we thought important that every person should have access to, and this is why we built The Habitat Penang Hill – to provide infrastructure that enables everyone to reconnect with nature.
Everything at The Habitat is designed around providing tangible experiences and hands-on education to the public on the great importance of conserving natural habitats and preserving the biodiversity of our planet. Our team of experienced naturalists guide you back into the forest and take you on a journey of interesting flora and fauna, explaining not just their importance to the natural order of their habitat, but also highlighting their significance in the culture and history of Malaysia.
While The Habitat Penang Hill is run as a for-profit venture, the shareholders have pledged these profits into The Habitat Foundation. The mission of The Habitat Foundation is to conserve biodiversity by supporting initiatives in education, research and sustainable tourism.
By providing micro-grants to researchers both in Malaysia and around the world, the Foundation is also committed to supporting research that expands our knowledge of our environment and supports evidence-based decision making in addressing the threats and challenges currently facing our world.
The Foundation will also seek to build and run a Research Centre which will be partly funded by the proceeds of The Habitat Penang Hill. It will serve as an international hub for the advancement of knowledge on tropical rainforests and their protection.
An immediate goal of the Foundation is to provide funding for research, and financial and logistical support to the Penang State Government’s initiative to list Penang Hill as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve under the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme.
Understanding our natural environment and sharing that knowledge with the next generation is critical to safeguarding the very ecosystems on our planet that sustain life, including ours. Our team at The Habitat Penang Hill and The Habitat Foundation are committed to doing our part to ensure that the world that we love is conserved for all generations that follow.
A. Reza Cockrell
Co-founder and Director of The Habitat Penang Hill