WEDNESDAY 22 SEPTEMBER 2021 |
Sarasota’s Tree Research, Education and Exploration (TREE) Foundation may have based its Mission Green initiative on the Mission Blue of legendary oceanographer, marine biologist, and environmentalist Dr. Sylvia Earle – a global alliance that educates and encourages support in the exploration and protection of the ocean’s vital marine areas – but instead of dipping their toes into the sea, they hang them from the treetops.
Dr. Meg Lowman, founder and senior biologist of the TREE Foundation, also affectionately known as “Canopy Meg,” announced yesterday that the Foundation’s Canopy Walkway on Penang Island, Malaysia – called the Penang Hill Biosphere Reserve – is officially designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site became cultural heritage. The installation not only contributes to the growth and revitalization of the rainforest and its immense biodiversity, but is also an appropriate recognition of the unique natural and cultural heritage of the island of Penang and its people.
“Biosphere reserves around the world are celebrated for their exceptional biodiversity and diverse social landscapes, as well as their potential to demonstrate innovative ways of living in harmony with nature,” said Datos co-founders Harry A. Cockrell and A.Reza Cockrell of The Habitat Group of Malaysia. “With this designation, the Penang Hill Biosphere Reserve, which includes 12,481 hectares of marine and terrestrial ecosystems in the northwestern part of the island of Penang, is a respected global network of 714 biosphere reserves in 129 countries.”
The official award was presented by the International Coordinating Council of the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Program at a United Nations meeting held only once or twice a year Differentiate world heritage sites. This happened will take place on September 15, 2021 in Abuja, Nigeria. “We just got the news that the The sanctioning of UNESCO’s Mission Green in Malaysia has been pending approval, ”says Lowman enthusiastically. “We have been working with the Malaysian government for almost four years a corporate sponsor who helped build the site and who was so wonderful they invited a group of scientists to study the area Lowman shares 1500 species that live in this tropical rainforest habitat.
The installation of the Penang Hill Walkway will now help save these species, many of which are critically endangered, including the rainforests themselves. Ultimately, the unique visitor attraction and educational site helps to arouse interest in nature and emphasize the importance of preserving the biodiversity that lives there. But even more, it does help to fight tree deforestation to produce palm oil – a robust industry across Malaysia and much of Indonesia, where palm oil is still in high demand to make numerous consumer products, and the lush land destroyed the tropical rainforests in which it was found. “You will ccutting down an entire rainforest to produce palm oil, “says Lowman,” these trees don’t just grow back. It takes thousands and thousands of years to recuperate these forests. Something we won’t see in our life. “
“We need healthy forests to provide oxygen and offset climate change,” she continues. “We hope and pray that these forests, which we are helping to preserve and protect, will become marvelous carbon stores for clean air and stable water. If you can’t tell, we’re big advocates for saving big trees. ”
Lowman continues to share her “little baby” Myakka State Park Canopy Walkway – the original treetop walkway and pride of the TREE Foundation – remained the pillar of the standard by which the Penang Hill Biosphere Reserve was modeled. Meanwhile, Myakka continues to attract around half a million visitors annually and remains a prime example of similar forest protection projects around the world. “We are currently aasking for funds to increase education in Myakka, “she said, citing treetop webcams, outdoor kiosks and educational exhibits in the park to” keep Myakka the most modern, coolest walkway in the world. “
You can read more about Canopy Meg’s studies and stories in her newly published book The Arbornaut: A life that discovers the eighth continent in the trees above us, found at Bookstore1, Barnes & Nobles, and Target.
Pictured: The Penang Hill Biosphere Reserve in Malaysia, now officially a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Courtesy Mission Green – TREE Foundation. Find out more here.