On 21 March, we celebrated the International Day of the Forests with a communal tree planting activity, inviting team members and guests alike to participate in efforts for reforestation.
In the unprecedented times the world has experienced since early 2020, and with nature undergoing a rare reprieve from human impact due to restrictions on everyday life around the globe, we have worked harder than ever on our conservation and sustainability efforts in keeping with our core ethos of ‘Where Nature Thrives, We are Revived’.
As part of these efforts, our team of Resident Naturalists has been implementing a variety of initiatives, one of them being an ambitious reforestation programme for certain areas of Langkawi. The goal is to prepare 20,000 seedlings for replanting in various areas of Langkawi island by the year 2022. To that end, the nature team engages in regular seed collection activities and a tree nursery has been established. Once seeds have been collected, it will take around one year to grow and nourish them so that they are ready to be replanted in the wild. As of now, our Native Tree Nursery already contains 600 seedlings from seeds collected around the resort, plus, 1,000 saplings that have been sent in a generous donation by the Forestry Department.
On 21 March, Head Naturalist, Irshad Mobarak, and Nature Centre Manager, Dev Abdullah, assembled 30 volunteers to assist in replanting 60 saplings of Meranti and Keruing trees. These saplings were placed in the ground in the rainforest along Teluk Datai, to commemorate the International Day of the Forests in line with this year’s theme of ‘Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being’.
Malaysia is one of 17 mega-diverse countries in the world, with about 12,500 species of flowering plants, more than 300 species of mammals and over 800 species of birds recorded. Worldwide, there are presently 36 recognised biodiversity hotspots, and Langkawi lies at the fusion point between two of these hotspots, i.e. the Indo - Burma hotspot and the Sundaland hotspot. The island has been designated a UNESCO Global Geopark in 2007 for its rich archaeological and biological heritage, with three areas given special focus as Machincang Cambrian Geoforest Park, Kilim Karst Geoforest Park and Dayang Bunting Marble Geoforest Park.
Forests are close to the heart of the team at The Datai Langkawi, as they provide a home for approximately 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. The resort is unique in its location amidst an ancient rainforest, filled with an abundance of wildlife, from the shy Sunda Colugos, to mischievous Macaques, the gentle Dusky Langurs, the colourful Great Hornbills, the White-bellied Sea Eagle and the Red Giant Flying Squirrels. The resort management used the time of renovation in 2018 to refocus efforts on overall regenerative travel measures and incorporated them more profoundly in every aspect of its operations. In 2019, The Datai Langkawi was the first organisation worldwide to be awarded the EarthCheck ECO Terrestrial Certification Program for terrestrial (land based) tourism projects, after going through a rigorous evaluation process where all of its processes and procedures were tested for their sustainability impact.