Achieving #OneMillionTrees through Advanced Tree Planting
13 Dec 2021 | The Star
Intsia PaLembanica and Shorea Roxburghii are among some of the species hosted at the Advanced Tree Planting (ATP) nursery in Gamuda Cove

The #OneMillionTrees initiative was launched by Gamuda Land with the aim to preserve and promote the country’s biodiversity by planting one million trees across all its townships by 2023. To date, over 112,000 trees have been planted under the #OneMillionTrees initiative, with targets to plant an additional 500,000 trees and saplings in 2022 and 394,000 by end 2023.

The initiative is spearheaded by Gamuda Parks, who works with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and experts like Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) and Binturung Alam Ventures to improve the design and maintenance of greens in Gamuda Land developments while driving impactful efforts in nature conservation and biodiversity stewardship.

“Listening to what the land has to tell us’ is one of Gamuda Land’s core development principles to develop community-centric and socially inclusive towns, driven by detailed planning and careful consideration towards the impact on the environment as well as what our surrounding community truly needs. This is how we create liveable and sustainable towns where everyone can live life to the fullest,” said Chief Operating Officer of Gamuda Parks, Khariza Abdul Khalid, adding that careful planning is imperative to ensure growth of the trees in a sustainable manner.

In line with Gamuda Group Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) framework and its Gamuda Green Plan 2025 that was unveiled in conjunction with World Environmental Day this year, Pillar 3 “Environmental and Biodiversity Conservation” focuses on the key aspect of its commitment to safeguard the natural environment.

Tree-lined streets in Jade Hills, Kajang

“’Listening to what the land has to tell us’ is one of Gamuda Land’s core development principles to develop community-centric and socially inclusive towns”

– Khariza

Collaboration with NGOs, environmental experts and orang asli in a sustainable manner

Preparing seedlings of native forest species through The Wild Tree Seed Bank programme at Kampung Bukit Kala Batu 16, Gombak

For Gamuda Land and Gamuda Parks, a healthy biodiversity ensures a rich and healthy natural environment that supports their developments. Biodiversity also helps mitigate climate change and supports the local way of life, especially for indigenous communities such as the Orang Asli in Malaysia.

Harnessing the experience and knowledge of indigenous people on biodiversity, Gamuda Land works hand-in-hand with the indigenous community to be a part of Gamuda Parks’ nature conservation initiatives. This has yielded significant positive improvements not only by providing employment opportunities but also by leveraging on their vast knowledge on seeding programmes, medicinal wetlands and fruit tree planting.

The Wild Tree Seed Bank programme has provided the Orang Asli with over one thousand seedlings consisting of native forest tree species, working in close collaboration with NGOs like Binturong Alam Ventures. This project further supports Gamuda Land’s #OneMillionTrees movement while providing sustainable income for villagers as they search for seeds in the virgin forest and propagate them at the advanced tree planting nursery in the Kampung Bukit Kala Batu 16, Gombak. The trees will then be procured by Gamuda Land and transplanted to the Gamuda Cove site when it is ready, creating a sustainable ecosystem for the community as well as the environment.

Advanced Tree Planting

An Advanced Tree Planting (ATP) nursery is the practice of maintaining young trees and saplings into the ground for two years or more in a nursery condition until the trees are ready to be re-planted in other locations.

Gamuda Land has mobilized three nurseries in Gamuda Cove, Kundang Estates and Gamuda Gardens with a total area of 43 acres. This will support the development of 1,555 acres of greenscapes and waterscapes across 12 Gamuda Land Central Parks by 2025.

When the trees are grown in these ideal, near-pristine conditions with optimal maintenance practices, they are then harvested from the nursery and immediately planted in Gamuda Land townships to reduce stress and promote faster recovery. This ensures the trees survive in a sustainable manner by adapting better to the environment.

Some benefits of these nurseries include faster growth rates, enhanced biodiversity and up to 25% more carbon dioxide absorbed. More than 250 species of flora will be hosted at the nurseries with 4 main categories: native and wild fruit trees, streetscape trees and plants, ornamental plants and unique plant selections for the wetlands.

Since 2018, Gamuda Parks has conducted seven biodiversity audits across Gamuda Land developments to scientifically audit the health of the natural environments. With two more audits currently in progress, almost 600 trees under preservation have been identified and tagged. These audits have also helped identified IUCN Red List plants and animals to enable conservation and protection efforts of these endangered species.

The Miyawaki Method

Result of the Miyawaki method in Valencia, Sungai Buloh

The Miyawaki method, pioneered by a Japanese botanist, anchors the #OneMillionTrees target, whereby its aim is to cultivate fast growing native forest ecosystems in urban locations from degraded soils within a shorter 20 to 30-year period. To put it simply, trees are planted in a way to mimic a forest environment, thus creating competition among trees to fight for sunlight and in turn a growth rate 10 times faster and 30 times denser than usual.

The method adopted in Gamuda Gardens, Gamuda Cove, Valencia, Horizon Hills and twentyfive.7 not only provides natural enclosure for birds through overstorey tree clusters but also provide shade for Central Park visitors. A great testament of the Miyawaki method lies in the 8,000 trees planted across Gamuda Gardens.

As Gamuda grows its sustainability footprint as a Group, it also wants to ensure it does so by empowering the communities around where it operates. In keeping with the directives of the Gamuda Group ESG framework and the Gamuda Green Plan 2025, the company will continue to explore innovative ways to reach out and contribute to empowering and supporting the Orang Asli community while continuing to work harmoniously with the environment and restore nature in Gamuda Land developments.