Nature park to become forest reserve by year end

Noraini (fourth from left) and Azmizam flanking Hee as they release fish into a pond at Taman Awam Pengkalan Batu, Klang. — LOW BOON TAT /The Star

Kuala Selangor Nature Park is in the final process of being gazetted as a forest reserve – a status which Selangor government hopes will protect the mangrove forest and local wildlife against future development projects.

State tourism, environment, green technology and Orang Asli affairs committee chairman Hee Loy Sian said the gazettement was expected to be finalised by December.

“The state executive council has given its approval and the land measurement process has been completed.

“The gazettement should be made official by the Forestry Department by the end of the year,” he said.

He added that future developments inside the green lung must not encroach upon the mangrove forest.

Hee was responding to a question about a plan by a private investor to build 300 chalets worth RM100mil, encompassing 84ha of the landscape.

“The state government has, in principle, approved the proposal but the details have yet to be ironed out.

“No starting date has been set although a 30-year-old permit has been issued with the condition that the mangrove areas remain untouched.

“A suitable tract of land must be identified for the purpose of build ing accommodation with a focus on ecotourism,” he disclosed.

Opened in 1987, the Kuala Selangor park comprises a coastal mangrove forest (104ha), secondary forest (200ha), a lake (8.1ha) and coastal mudflats.

The chalet development issue caused concerns among environmentalists after the matter was announced during the state assembly sitting on Aug 2.

Hee was met after launching World River Day at Taman Awam Pengkalan Batu in Klang with Selangor Water Management Authority (Luas) director Hasrolnizam Shaari.

Also present were Klang Municipal Council president Noraini Roslan and Port Klang assemblyman Azmizam Zaman Huri.

Separately, Hee said the decision to formally recognise the Gombak-Hulu Langat Park as a national geopark would be known in December.

“We are waiting for the Energy and Resources Ministry to deliberate on the matter.

“Efforts will be stepped up to promote the geopark as a tourism hub,” he said.

He added that 20 sites had been identified as potential tourism spots.

During the event, Hee and guests released fish into a pond before taking a ride along Sungai Klang.

A section of the river has two interceptors, which capture waste and debris.

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