PBAPP has helped Penang to protect 62.9 sq. km of green forestlands in the interest of sustaining good water supply.
On 2 December 2004, the Penang State Government published the Water Supply (Catchment Area) Order 2004 under the Penang Water Supply Enactment. In 2008, the Order was further streamlined to protect the forestlands that “catch rainwater” in Penang.
In effect, these precious green areas are now legally protected from destructive exploitation and pollution. The forests that are now protected also serve as vital green lungs that help to regulate the carbon balance, microclimate and air quality in a highly developed state. Moreover, the habitats of thousands of species of indigenous flora and fauna will now be preserved.
The 2008 Order specifies that only eco-friendly activities are allowed in these forestlands, such as angling competitions, bird watching, camping, canoeing, hiking, hill trekking, jogging, non-motorised boating, orienteering, picnics, walking and other healthy, yet low impact pursuits. Eco-friendly enterprises allowed in designated downstream areas are limited to small-scale bee or butterfly farms, eco-friendly chalets, botanic gardens, forestry parks, fruit orchards and herbariums.
PBAPP is privileged to have participated in the drafting of a landmark order that may well prove to be the most environmental-friendly initiative in Penang in recent decades. Penang’s Water Supply (Catchment Area) Order shuts the door on deforestation and opens many windows for opportunity for the people to enjoy and interact with the natural world, now and in the future.