Kenyir For Life


Principal Investigator: Sri

Core Team Members: Reuben, Tajang

Collaborators/partners: Terengganu State Parks Management Council, Conservation Finance Alliance, Rainforest Trust, Woodland Park Zoo, Panthera Malaysia, Gaia, Projek Takop, Justice for Wildlife Malaysia, Jeffrey Sachs Center (JSC) on Sustainable Development, and the World Bank Green Financing Working Group


Kenyir For Life is the latest incarnation of our conservation work to protect the Kenyir watershed in the state of Terengganu, continuing the work started under the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor project, and later Project Black Cloud and the Harimau Selamanya project.

This watershed is rich in biodiversity, harbouring at least 44 mammal species and more than 290 bird species. It provides local communities important ecosystem services such as the provision of drinking water, flood mitigation, erosion control, pollination, seed dispersal, and the sustenance of fisheries resources. Yet it faces a significant poaching threat from local and foreign syndicates, which our previous work has been successful in reducing.

While we have worked with the Terengganu state government to successfully protect part of the watershed as Kenyir State Park, many other forested areas there are still earmarked for logging. In order to mitigate climate change, there is an urgent need to prevent further forest conversion, not just for wildlife, but to sustain the livelihoods of people in Terengganu dependent on Kenyir for water and flood mitigation. We need to develop alternative mechanisms to help protect the entire Kenyir watershed ‘for life’, while providing economic benefits to the state government.


This project thus involves the development of ‘green’ financing schemes to generate revenue for financing: i) long-term forest management and protection strategies within the existing state park area; and ii) expand the area under protection. This would effectively ensure the entire Kenyir watershed comes under both protection and responsible management, for life. Currently managed by a non-profit social enterprise known as Nature-based Solutions (NBS; 1395980-U), this framework would be the first of its kind at this scale, showcasing sustainable financing for the protection of forests in Peninsular Malaysia.


Outcome 1: Reduction of poaching via forest patrols

Outcome 2: Climate change mitigation via green financing mechanisms

Outcome 3: Improved management of the Kenyir watershed via collaborative engagement with local communities

Outcome 4: Improved management and protection of the new 30,000 ha Kenyir State Park via capacity-building

NBS is seeking long-term partners who are interested to invest in Kenyir For Life, which is currently undergoing a feasibility assessment. For more details please contact Sri at: sri AT nbsmalaysia DOT com.