PONTIAN: The state government plans to bottle water from the Endau-Rompin National Park, which is believed to be among the cleanest water sources in the country, for commercial purposes.
State Tourism and Environment Committee chairman Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek said the Johor National Park Corp (JNPC) was discussing with various parties to ensure that the plan materialises and allow the corporation to profit from the park's natural resources.
The plan is in line with the state governments efforts to make the Endau-Rompin National Park a centre for natural produce.
We have made a scientific study and Sungai Yassin has officially been recognised as the cleanest river in the country. The water has the minerals needed to produce high quality drinking water, he said yesterday.
Dr Chua said the production of mineral water from one of the oldest tropical rainforests in the world would optimise the resources of the national park without having to change or alter its environment.
He said the JNPC could use the revenue from the venture to run six national parks in the state, adding that handicraft made from the parks natural resources would be able to attract visitors.
Dr Chua said Johor would promote the Endau-Rompin National Park as an eco-tourism centre, and not for mass-tourism, to cater to selected tourists and preserve its natural resources from being destroyed.
He said the government had also agreed to make the park a natural resources historical museum with all the flora and fauna found in Malaysia for international research.
He said the park would also be used for those sourcing information for research and would publish books and pamphlets on research done on the park for reference, adding that an enforcement unit would be set up in the states national parks to ensure visitors did not destroy the flora and fauna.
The Endau-Rompin National Park is among six national parks gazetted in Johor, covering a total of 80,000ha and is expected to receive about 100,000 visitors by 2005. Others are Gunung Ledang, Pulau Kukup, islands off Mersing and Tanjung Piai.