IN A landmark move to preserve the environment, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah announced the formation of the Royal Selangor Heritage Forest (RSHF).
The declaration made by the Selangor Ruler marked a significant commitment to sustainable development in the state.
The RSHF, which spans 108,000ha, encompasses 26 permanent forest reserves across various regions, including Hulu Selangor, Batang Kali, Hulu Gombak and Hulu Langat.
As part of the Central Forest Spine, the RSHF is a critical ecological corridor.
It is now legally protected as a state park under Section 10 of the Enactment (Application) of Selangor State Forestry Act 1985.
The Sultan’s decree to establish the RSHF followed an in-depth briefing by the Selangor Forestry Department in March which focused on developing forest areas with an emphasis on conservation, research, education, recreation and eco-tourism.
The RSHF is set to serve multiple roles, including as a water catchment area that will contribute to the region’s water security.
The diverse habitats will also support a wide range of flora and fauna for maintaining biodiversity.
Additionally, the forest corridor will provide natural solutions to control erosion and flooding and also act as a substantial carbon sink, playing a pivotal role in mitigating climate change.
Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari said that the RSHF represented the state’s unwavering dedication to safeguarding the environment.
“It is a vital step in ensuring the prosperity of future generations,” he said at the declaration ceremony held at a hotel in Shah Alam.
He added that the current coverage of Selangor’s permanent forest reserves was 250,739.33ha, making up 31.7% of the state’s land area.
This forest coverage is an increase from 30.55% in 2008.
The announcement of the RSHF was also graced by the Raja Muda of Selangor Tengku Amir Shah.
A book to explain RSHF’s master plan was also planned and there was a montage showcasing the mini scientific expedition at Sungai Chiling in the Hulu Selangor Forest Reserve, which forms part of RSHF at the event.
Sultan Sharafuddin also visited various exhibition booths set up by key organisations including Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia Forestry Department, Tourism Selangor and the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan).