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May 21, 2010

Perak Govt planning to start Rakan Royal Belum


THE Perak Government is planning to form an awareness group, Rakan Royal Belum, to educate youngsters and schoolchildren on preserving and protecting the Royal Belum tropical rainforest.

Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir said he had sought the assistance of non-governmental organisations like Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to help with the plan.

“They have given their commitment and cooperation to help make Rakan Royal Belum a success,” he said, adding that MNS had a similar programme to create awareness on protecting the rainforest.

  Premature Rafflesia
Rainforest treasures: Dr Zambry looking at a premature Rafflesia.

Speaking to reporters during a two-day working visit to the Royal Belum tropical rainforest recently, he noted that the Perak State Park Corporation had also given their support for the move.

He said that a committee comprising the district office, WWF, MNS, Northern Corridor Implementation Authority and other relevant groups had also been set up to get feedback on how to develop the rainforest which had the potential to become a world-class eco-tourism site.

“We want to get feedback on how to develop Royal Belum with views from all sides and not just from the government,” he said.

Orang Asli Settlement in Royal Belum
The Sungai Kejar orang asli settlement in the Royal Belum.

He also said that the state park was also considering imposing fees on those who want to visit the park.

During the two-day programme, Dr Zambry invited pressmen from various media groups in Perak to camp inside the rainforest.

Among others, pressmen were brought to see the Rafflesia, a salt lick site for animals in Sungai Papan, the Sungai Ruok kelah fish sanctuary and the Sungai Kejar orang asli settlement.

Night Cruise - Kayaking at Royal Belum
Night cruise: Pressmen kayaking during the visit to Royal Belum.

Dr Zambry was also given a short briefing by state park manager Iylia Ainuddin on development plans for Royal Belum.

Among the plans raised by Iylia were the need for more camps for tourists, a work centre for researchers and new attractions inside the rainforest.

She also requested the state government to increase the number of state park rangers and patrol vehicles.



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