Puan Sri Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil is on an extremely challenging mission to save Mother Nature.
Her determination is so strong that she even bought plots of jungle land to keep them safe from the clutches of illegal loggers.
Shariffa Sabrina, the president of The Association for the Protection of the Natural Heritage of Malaysia (better known as PEKA), has for years been vocal about illegal logging and deforestation in the country.
Her social media accounts are often filled with strong views against those who ruin the jungles and rivers.
The wife of prominent businessman Tan Sri Syed Mohd Yusof Syed Nasir, who co-owns Hard Rock Café in Kuala Lumpur and Melaka, and Concorde Hotels in the country, Shariffa Sabrina is eager to walk the talk as she continues to advocate a greener Malaysia.
She has done the unthinkable – buying plots of land deep in the heart of Pahang’s rainforests. She also owns a chain of eco-friendly resorts – called Tanah Aina in Pahang, Johor and Selangor.
Only a minute portion of the land is developed. At her resorts, guests are taught about nature and ways to appreciate the environment.
One of her resorts, Tanah Aina Farrah Soraya in Raub, is nestled in a 153-acre private forest with only eight acres developed. The rest is untouched.
“I want to teach people all about the environment. There is no use just talking or protesting about land clearing activities. We must educate the masses about the importance of jungles. At least I know the jungle plots and orchards that I own will not be cleared,” Shariffa Sabrina said.
“This is my way of protecting our jungles.”
She said no trees were felled when she developed her resorts as she believes development and nature can co-exist.
“It all boils down to how much you care for the environment. Trees do not need to make way for buildings if you are visionary and have the right builder,” said the 55-year-old mother of five.
The green advocate, who is also a certified fitness instructor and patisserie chef, is constantly on the go.
If she’s not at her fitness centre and cafe in Shah Alam or busy managing her resorts, she’s advocating a greener Malaysia.