THINK City, with the support of Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and EIT Climate-KIC, has developed a special online database to discover and document climate-resilient tree species in the country.
Think City chairman Datuk Seri Dr Anwar Fazal said the online database is known as the Atlas of Climate Resilient Trees (ACResT).
“It is aimed to guide city planners and landscapers to place the right tree at the right place.
“ACResT is an open-sourced database, developed by Think City and produced by VeecoTech Sdn Bhd.
“This knowledge and evidence-based online database can be accessed by anyone, and can be used for settings within cities and even homes.
“The information presented in the database is catered primarily for researchers, city councils, landscape architects and relevant parties within the field.
“The platform is a result of the climate-resilient urban tree species study for Malaysia.
“The research, spearheaded by Think City in 2020, documented 251 species,” Dr Anwar said in his speech before Penang Island City Council (MBPP) mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang officiated the online database at the UAB Building in George Town today.
Also present were Think City senior director Sofia Castelo and Penang Green Council (PGC) general manager Josephine Tan Mei Ling.
According to Dr Anwar, Think City initiated the Penang Nature Based Climate Adaptation Programme (PNBCAP) in 2019.
“It was the first urban climate adaptation programme to be developed for Malaysia.
“The programme was developed in collaboration with various parties such as the Ministry of Environment and Water, Penang government and MBPP.
“And the PNBCAP programme won the prestigious Climathon Global Cities Award in 2020, and the prize money was used to fund the climate-resilient urban tree species study that lead to the creation of ACResT.
“ACResT also aims to gather and share crucial climate resilience information about tree species in Malaysia as well as in Singapore and Kalimantan in Indonesia.
“In addition to that, the platforms also aim to pave the way for more effective urban planning with the inclusion of climate resilient street trees, which will, ultimately, result in higher quality urban spaces,” he added.
Yew commended Think City for putting together the database on tree species called the ACResT based on its PNBCAP programme.
“The PNBCAP programme is a step in the right direction to help implement effective and safe nature-based solutions to improve the liveability and sustainability of the city and safeguard its rich culture and heritage for many years to come.
“In line with this, we are also pleased to have co-funded the development of ACResT and we are looking forward to seeing this resource benefit the city council in identifying the right tree for the right place.
“After all, planting trees has been so important as Penang works to counter climate change,” he said.
According to Yew, MBPP also had recently announced the planting of an estimated 100,000 trees within three years to boost urban greening on the island.
“We hope that the council’s involvement and initiation of such green efforts will be seen as a benchmark to lead the whole nation to move towards building more resilient cities with the planting of the right tree species.
“At the same time, I look forward to seeing the ACResT platform add benefit to city makers and landscapers in preparing to adapt to climate change, and I urge city councils in the country to make use of this resource,” added Yew.
The public can also access the ACResT platform at https://acrest.com.my/ .
Story by Riadz Akmal
Pix by Siew Chia En