WWF-Malaysia and CIMB Islamic boost Fraser’s Hill conservation through responsible tourism signboards and a digital flora guidebook

WWF-Malaysia and CIMB Islamic boost Fraser’s Hill conservation through responsible tourism signboards and a digital flora guidebook

Kuala Lumpur: WWF-Malaysia yesterday unveiled responsible tourism signboards and a digital flora guidebook supported by CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad (“CIMB Islamic”), as part of the Fraser’s Hill Forest Complex Botanical Inventory project which kick started in December 2021.

The responsible tourism initiative reaffirms WWF-Malaysia and CIMB Islamic’s commitment in revitalising the country’s beloved heritage site. The unveiling of the signboards serves as a catalyst to inspire visitors and the public at large to take active steps in helping to protect the environment, whilst experiencing the pristine charm of Fraser’s Hill. Meanwhile, the digital flora guidebook titled ‘Fraser’s Hill Flora Unveiled’ was curated to provide detailed descriptions and captivating photographs of the prevalent plant species that grace this landscape.

A ceremony commemorating this occasion was held recently with Ahmad Shahriman Mohd Shariff, Chief Executive Officer of CIMB Islamic cum Acting Chief Executive Officer of CIMB Foundation and Sophia Lim, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of WWF-Malaysia officiating the event.

Also in attendance were representatives from Tourism Pahang along with WWF-Malaysia and CIMB Islamic’s project team and volunteers.

“Today, we celebrate not just another milestone, but a significant step towards a more harmonious co-existence with our natural surroundings. Both of these initiatives are the outcomes of the Botanical Inventory project which is focused on conserving the floral diversity of the Fraser’s Hill Forest Complex. WWF-Malaysia is honoured to collaborate with CIMB Islamic and Forest Research Institute Malaysia (“FRIM”) for this project. It aims to create a comprehensive checklist of vascular plants in the Fraser’s Hill Forest Complex,” said Sophia.

“I am also proud to share that this project and partnership has significantly advanced our understanding of the area’s floral diversity and distribution specifically in areas previously unexplored. It may even lead to the potential discovery of plant species previously unknown to science, and collectively contribute to the ongoing Flora of Peninsular Malaysia Project, a national project funded by the Federal Government,” she added.

Ahmad Shahriman said as a leading Islamic finance institution, CIMB Islamic is a strong proponent of aligning its values with the principles of Value-Based Intermediation (“VBI”), placing special emphasis on the importance corporations play in creating lasting impact to the environment and the community at large.

“Corporations have an integral role to play in sustainable development. They wield significant influence, both socially and environmentally, and their financial strength can be harnessed for the greater good. As we chart our course into the future, our partnership with WWF-Malaysia stands as a beacon of hope, illuminating a path towards environmental conservation, the well-being of local communities, and the broader economic landscape.”

“Our long-standing partnership with WWF-Malaysia has indeed been fruitful and underscores our focus to positively impact biodiversity conservation on a larger scale. As a responsible corporate citizen, we are cognisant of the importance of preserving and revitalising Fraser’s Hill, which is one of the country’s important biodiversity sites. The unveiling of the responsible tourism signboards and a digital flora guidebook reinforces CIMB Islamic’s commitment in championing sustainable environment not just for the communities today but also for generations to come. It follows the Botanical Inventory project at the Fraser’s Hill Forest Complex under the WWF-Malaysia’s Peninsular Malaysia Terrestrial Conservation programme which was launched last year,” Ahmad Shahriman elaborated.

The three-year conservation programme was made possible through a contribution of RM443,900 by CIMB Islamic to advocate for the protection of the Fraser’s Hill Complex as a State Park. This was achieved through CIMB Islamic’s first environmentally focused savings account, EcoSave Savings Account-i (“EcoSave”), where the bank contributes 0.2% of the total average portfolio balance to green and social causes.

Since 2008, CIMB Islamic has contributed approximately RM5.5 million towards 17 projects through EcoSave-i, focusing on environmental sustainability as well as improving the well-being of the surrounding communities in Taman Tugu, Kuala Lumpur; Fraser’s Hill, Pahang; Setiu Wetlands, Terengganu; Ulu Muda Forest, Kedah; Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and Ba’kelalan, Sarawak.

About WWF-Malaysia

Established in 1972, WWF-Malaysia is part of WWF, the international conservation organisation. Working to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and wildlife, WWF-Malaysia’s efforts to conserve nature focus on six major goals – forests, oceans, wildlife, food, climate and energy, as well as freshwater – and three key drivers of environmental problems – markets, finance and governance. Our mission is to stop the

degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. Find our latest news at https://www.wwf.org.my/media_and_information/media_centre/

About CIMB

CIMB is one of ASEAN’s leading banking groups and Malaysia’s second largest financial services provider, by assets. Listed on Bursa Malaysia via CIMB Group Holdings Berhad, it had a market capitalisation of approximately RM54.0 billion as at 30 June 2023. It offers consumer banking, commercial banking, wholesale banking, transaction banking, Islamic banking and asset management products and services. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, the Group is present in nine ASEAN nations (Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Brunei, Vietnam, Myanmar and Philippines). Beyond ASEAN, the Group has market presence in China, Hong Kong, India, South Korea, the US and UK.
CIMB has one of the most extensive retail branch networks in ASEAN with 601 branches and around 33,000 employees as at 30 June 2023. CIMB’s investment banking arm is one of the largest Asia Pacific-based investment banks, which together with its award-winning treasury & markets and corporate banking units comprise the Group’s leading wholesale banking franchise. CIMB is also the 92.5% shareholder of Bank CIMB Niaga in Indonesia, and 94.8% shareholder of CIMB Thai in Thailand.

-Laili Ismail /DG

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