A Special Area Plan will be developed for the Penang Botanic Garden, hopefully putting an end to the fiascoes we have seen in the garden in recent years.
I received the following from the Socio-Economic and Environmental Research Institute of Penang (Seri):
In March 2011, YAB Chief Minister of Penang agreed to the appointment of a professional consultant body to develop a Special Area Plan for the Penang Botanic Gardens, providing a legal framework for the future developments that are to take place in one of Penang’s most treasured asset. The commissioning of a Special Area Plan proved to be a welcomed move, especially after the ‘arches’ fiasco last year. This commissioning, although a little late despite recommendations was put in by a special study group in 2009, is hoped to be able to resolve various issues that are afflicting the Gardens, the role and function of the Gardens, as well as to address the potential and capacity of our Penang Botanic Gardens, which has expanded to over 590 acres in 2004.
The State Town & County Planning Department has agreed to guide the commissioning of the Special Area Plan, and also agreed that participation from stakeholders and public is crucial in all stages of the developing the plan. This will provide the opportunity to develop a plan that is able to satisfy the needs of the Penang Botanic Gardens, and is supported by the stakeholders and citizens of Penang.
Realising the importance of public participation, and also to gather expert reviews and ideas, Universiti Sains Malaysia has decided to organise a Symposium to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas, reviews, critique and feedback from all stakeholders and experts that can be supplemented into the Special Area Plan. Jointly organized with the Penang Botanic Gardens Department and the Socio-economic & Environmental Research Institute (SERI), the symposium entitled ‘The Role of the Penang Botanic Gardens: Meeting the Challenges of the 21st Century’ will also seek to provide a platform to discuss the new roles that the Gardens should play, especially in the areas of research, conservation, education, tourism, planning & management and community involvement.
This two day Symposium will also see the participation of international experts from Australia, Brunei, Thailand and Indonesia, coming together to share their knowledge and expertise in developing a botanic gardens in their own country and what we should be expecting in developing the Penang Botanic Gardens. The expert opinions and the public feedback will be compiled, reviewed and included into the Special Area Plan.
Apart from that, the Symposium is also teaming up with the Mohd Haniff Foundation to celebrate the World Environment Day, World Biodiversity Day and World Forestry Day for 2011. An exhibition to commemorate these events will be held simultaneously with the Symposium and is open for public participation and viewing.
Should you be interested to participate in the Symposium, or to submit a presentation (oral or poster), please do not hesitate to contact the Secretariat of the Symposium. The date for receiving abstracts has been extended to 7th May 2011, and details of the Symposium can be found in attached documents.
For futher information and registration, please do not hesitate to contact the Secretariat (as in the attached brochure), Dr Foong Swee Yeok ([email protected]) or Mr Ben Wismen ([email protected]). Please help extend our invitation to your friends and members of your society to further encourage participation and contribution to the Symposium for the benefit of the Penang Botanic Gardens.
Socio-Economic and Environmental Research Institute (SERI)
Tel: 04-228 3306