Respect nature and the environment
22 Apr 2019 | The Star

SHAH ALAM: Planet or Plastic? is the theme of this year’s Earth Day Run in Kota Kemuning, organised by National Geographic in partnership with town-maker Gamuda Land in conjunction with Earth Month in April.

Back for the second year, the run on April 28 is a multi-year project by National Geographic and Gamuda Land to raise awareness of plastic pollution and aimed at reducing the amount of single-use plastics that ends up in the world’s oceans.

This partnership is in line with Gamuda Parks – a Gamuda Land initiative to promote sustainability in the way its townships are designed and managed.

Gamuda Parks

The consolidation of these efforts – bringing together the design process, biodiversity enrichment, conservation, township management and education – is to meet the needs of the future in a holistic and forward-looking manner.

In the last two decades, Gamuda Land has planted more than 250,000 trees across its township developments and created feature lakes, ponds, wetlands and streams that account for 140ha in area.

These parks and lakes have become the hallmark of every Gamuda Land township, and the catalyst for the inception of Gamuda Parks.

“This is in line with our development principles at Gamuda Land where one important aspect of our town-making is listening to what the land has to tell us.

“That means working with what nature provides and blending nature into our planning and neighbourhoods to seamlessly integrate the natural with the man-made to improve liveability,” said Gamuda Parks chief operating officer Khariza Abd Khalid.

Research has shown that streets lined with trees contain 60% less exhaust fumes. Such environment is also less polluted as a mature tree can absorb up to 150kg of carbon dioxide per year, creating a positive health effect for the people and making the community happier and less stressed.

Biodiversity audit

For the past year, Gamuda Land has been working with its partners to conduct a biodiversity audit in some of its newer townships which include Gamuda Gardens in Sungai Buloh, Selangor, and Gamuda Cove in Southern Klang Valley, of which data will be used to formulate Gamuda Parks policies.

“Penning the policies which are grounded in thorough and scientific research takes time, but each day we are making progressive efforts towards the goal.

“Gamuda Parks is governed by three main pillars – green (flora maintenance), blue (waterscapes such as lakes and pond designs) and brown (material management) – which adequately reference the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as well as the 11th Malaysia Plan’s fifth pillar on Enhancing Environmental Sustainability through Green Growth,” said Khariza.

Part of the biodiversity audit reports will be published during the one-year anniversary of Gamuda Parks on May 27 in conjunction with International Day for Biological Diversity, she said, adding that Gamuda Parks policies will be announced in June.

Run for sustainability

The National Geographic Earth Day Run on April 28 is an opportune platform for Gamuda Land to educate the community on living sustainably.

Flag off is at 6.30am at Gamuda Walk, the lifestyle centre of Kota Kemuning, Gamuda Land’s first township development.

Registered runners and the public are not to bring single-use plastics to the event; they should use reusable water bottles.

They are also encouraged to take the official pledge to stem the tide of single-use plastics polluting the ocean.

In a way, the runners become custodians of biodiversity for keeping marine life from becoming entangled in, suffocated by or ingesting plastics.

“We hope that our collaboration with Nat Geo can reach out to the wider community to create better awareness of the footprint we leave behind so that we can all look forward to a thriving place for future generations,” Khariza concluded.