Plans for ‘animal highways’ to improve conservation


1 The Central Forest Spine Ecology Corridor Viaduct at the East West Highway near Banding, where wild animals can walk through without crossing the highway. 2 Sultan Nazrin Shah planting a tree during the launch. — Photos: SAIFUL BAHRI/The Star

THE Government plans to build 36 more “animal highways” or ecological viaducts to prevent conflicts between animals and humans along highways.

Deputy Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Hamim Samuri said surveys have been conducted at several highways near jungles in eight states.

“We have conducted surveys near highways where animals are known to cross from one side to another.

“The states involved include Pahang, Kelantan, Johor and Perak,” he said, adding that eight locations were surveyed in Perak alone.

“We hope that these plans could be included in the 11th Malaysia Plan,” he said after the launch of the RM60mil Central Forest Spine Ecology Corridor Viaduct and Tropical Rainforest Living Collection Banun project site by Sultan Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah on Tuesday.

The viaduct was the first in the country constructed between 2012 and 2015.

Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah planting a tree during the launching ceremony of the Central Forest Spine Ecology Corridor Viaduct at the East West Highway near Banding.
Sultan Nazrin Shah planting a tree during the launch. — Photos: SAIFUL BAHRI/The Star

It was also recognised by the Malaysia Book of Records for having the Longest Multiple Span Composite Bridge Constructed Using Ultra-High Performance Concrete.

Since its completion, elephants, tapir and seladang have been spotted using the viaduct.

Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir said the construction of the viaduct was in line with its state’s green policies and sustainable forest management.

“When we plan, we execute it.

“I know there are a lot of critics saying that the state has been clearing forests.

“The fact is, Perak is the state with the highest percentage of forest reserves in the country with about 49%,” he said, adding that 18,866ha of forest in the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex (BTFC) was gazetted as a permanent forest reserve.

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