WWF applauds gazettement of Royal Belum State Park | WWF Malaysia

WWF applauds gazettement of Royal Belum State Park

Posted on 21 May 2007
WWF-Malaysia heartily congratulates the Perak State government on the gazettement of the Royal Belum State Park on 3 May 2007.

 “The gazettement is a result of a long-term collaboration between the Perak State government and Malaysian NGOs who have been working towards protecting one of the last remaining contiguous forest blocks in Peninsular Malaysia,” said Dr Dionysius Sharma, WWF-Malaysia’s Executive Director/ CEO. “This issue has been at the forefront of forest conservation in this country and such positive result paves the way for us to enhance our conservation efforts in the area.”

“The Belum-Temengor Complex has been identified as an Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) under Malaysia’s National Physical Plan (NPP). With the gazettement of the Royal Belum State Park, it is important to ensure the Temengor Forest Reserve will be sustainably managed and protected,” Dr Sharma added.

In 2006, WWF-Malaysia embarked on a 5-year project with Honda Malaysia on the conservation of the critically endangered Sumatran rhinos at the Royal Belum State Park and Heart of Borneo, Sabah. One of the project’s main activities, a Rhino Survey Expedition, will be held in the Royal Belum State Park from 8th to 18th July. The expedition, organised by WWF-Malaysia and the Perak State Parks Corporation, will be launched by WWF-Malaysia’s Royal Patron, D.Y.M.M. Paduka Seri Sultan Perak Sultan Alan Shah on 9 July 2007. The Rhino Survey Expedition aims to investigate the relative abundance and distribution of Sumatran rhinos in the park, as well as to identify important rhino areas. It will involve government departments/agencies, local universities, international rhino conservation organisations and other NGOs.

WWF-Malaysia calls for the development of a management plan for the Royal Belum State Park, which should contain appropriate guidelines for the sustainable development and management of the park.

Notes to Editor
•    The Royal Belum State Park, announced in 2003, was conferred Royal status by D.Y.M.M. Paduka Seri Sultan Perak Darul Ridzuan. It is part of the Belum-Temengor Complex, constituting of a significant extent of primary tropical rainforest and is home to at least 14 globally-threatened wildlife species, including the Malayan tiger, the Asiatic elephant, the Malayan tapir, the white-handed gibbon, and the Sumatran rhinoceros. The Royal Belum State Park has immense tourism potential with its world-class wilderness and aesthetic values that can potentially be one of the main sites for ecotourism in Malaysia. The legal protection of the Royal Belum State Park allows the Perak State Parks Corporation and the armed forces to better manage and increase their enforcement activities for both general security and flora and fauna.

•    WWF-Malaysia & Honda Malaysia “Rhino Rescue” Project aims to secure two protected areas for the protection of rhinos and for the recovery of stable rhino populations in the protected areas. Socio-economic and eco-tourism studies will also be carried out to assist local communities and to minimise the poaching and hunting of rhinos in the Royal Belum State Park. To achieve these goals, WWF-Malaysia is working closely with its partners the Perak State Parks Corporation, Sabah Wildlife Department, Sabah Forestry Department, Sabah Foundation and other government agencies.

For further information:
Eza Dzul Karnain, Media & Public Affairs Coordinator, WWF-Malaysia
Tel: +603 7803 3772 Ext 6103, Email: edzulkarnain@wwf.org.my