Gombak-Hulu Langat geopark may earn national recognition


THE proposed Gombak-Hulu Langat Selangor Geopark is expected to be officially recognised as a national geopark by next year.

Selangor tourism, environment, green technology and Orang Asli affairs committee chairman Hee Loy Sian said the state, through Selangor Plan@Malaysia, had in October this year presented to the National Geopark Evaluation Committee the dossier advocating geopark status.

“The committee is expected to make its evaluation between April and July next year, for it to be recognised as a national geopark.

“Some 20 geosites in Gombak and Hulu Langat will make up the Gombak-Hulu Langat Selangor Geopark,” he said during the state assembly sitting at Bangunan Dewan Negeri Selangor in Shah Alam yesterday.

Among the geosites identified for gazettement are the Gombak Selangor Quartz Ridge, Gua Damai Park, Kanching Forest Park and Commonwealth Forest Park, making up the 112,955ha geopark.

When responding to Elizabeth Wong (PH-Bukit Lanjan) on the state’s conservation plans for the Gombak Selangor Quartz Ridge, Hee said that several initiatives had been carried out, including a mini scientific expedition in 2014 as well as a coffee-table book in 2015.

“The quartz ridge is located within the 114.8ha Ulu Gombak Tambahan 1 Forest Reserve.

Based on the Selangor Forests Management Plan 2021-2030, the entire forest reserve is protected as a state park under Section 10, of the National Forestry Act (Adoption) Enactment 1985.

A national geopark is an area that has been gazetted for sustainable development with equal emphasis on the preservation of natural resources, local history and culture.

The Energy and Natural Resources Ministry, through its Mineral and Geoscience Department which oversees the National Geopark Committee, is responsible for awarding the status.

This is not to be confused with global geopark status granted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).

Langkawi is the sole Malaysian site to have attained global geopark status.

StarMetro reported last year that Selangor had held off pursuing Unesco status for the Gombak Selangor Quartz Ridge due to the high standards required by Unesco.

Meanwhile, in response to Shatiri Mansor (PH-Kota Damansara), state socio-economic development, social welfare and workers empowerment committee chairman V. Ganabatirau said some 319,087 senior citizens had received vouchers under the Skim Mesra Usia Emas (SMUE) “Jom Shopping” initiative since 2019.

“Successful applicants are informed via SMS by Yayasan Warisan Anak Selangor.”

In a subsequent question by Shatiri on his suggestion to send notifications in languages other than Bahasa Malaysia, Ganabatirau said the state government would continue to use the national language.

“I believe as Malaysians, we should all use Bahasa Malaysia and we (the state government) will stick with Bahasa Malaysia.

“Participants who do not understand the information sent, can get their children to translate,” he added.

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