KUALA TERENGGANU: The Terengganu government will propose the gazetting the Setiu Wetlands as a state park to the Forestry Department in order to preserve its ecosystem.
State Science and Technology, Environment, Green Technology and Water Committee chairman Datuk Ahmad Razif Abd Rahman said the committee would seek views from the department and Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) on various aspects to realise the plan.
"We will look at the legal aspect and standards expected in order to gazette the area as a state park soonest possible and we hope that a resolution will be reached at the National Seminar on Conservation of Coastal Forests 2013.
"The effort to ensure balanced and sustainable existence and development in the coastal areas is a challenging process and the state government is committed to this in the interest of many parties," he told reporters after opening the seminar at UMT, here.
Also present were Natural Resources and Environment Ministry deputy secretary-general (Environment) Prof Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Abdul Rahim and UMT deputy vice-chancellor (Research and Innovation) Prof Dr Mohd Effendy Abdul Wahid.
The agreement to gazette the Setiu Wetlands followed the call made by the World Wide Fund for Nature-Malaysia (WWF) for the area to be gazetted quickly to preserve its uniqueness and ecosystem.
WWF Malaysia chief executive officer, Datuk Dr Dionysis Sharma in aSetiu Wetlands: Nature's Jewel video launched recently, said the effort started in the 1990s in line with the state government's plan to set up a state park in Terengganu based on the East Coast Economic Region Master Plan.
Ahmad Razif said the effort to gazette the wetlands as a state park was timely and Terengganu would promote the area as a tourist attraction which could improve the economy of the local residents.
"The uniqueness of the Setiu Wetlands which has various natural features such as fresh water, brackish water and seawater ecosystems, swathes of paperbark tea-tree and a 14km lagoon, which is suitable as a sea terrapin habitat, making the place very special compared to other state parks," he said. - Bernama