KUANTAN: The Pahang government has approved 127.893ha of land in Sungai Yu, Mukim Batu Yon, Lipis as a permanent forest reserve to protect wildlife, including the Malayan tiger.
The move would help connect the existing permanent forest reserves of Ulu Jelai and Tanum to form what is known as an ecological corridor.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail said the "environment-friendly" and "wildlife-friendly" decision was made at the state executive council meeting on Wednesday (Nov 27).
"The state government has also agreed to close the 5.2km Jalan Lama Sungai Yu, as well as gazette 2.05ha of government land as the Pahang development, research and Central Forest Spine (CFS) one-stop centre," he said in a statement on Thursday (Nov 28).
Wan Rosdy explained that the closure of Jalan Lama Sungai Yu was reasonable as it was rarely used by villagers following the completion of the Central Spine Road in the area.
Even if Jalan Lama Sungai Yu was used, it was only as an alternative road to their farms, he said.
"The closure is also appropriate based on suggestions by the Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (MYCAT).
"MYCAT informed us of a report that there were poachers, trespassers and illegal loggers using Jalan Lama Sungai Yu for their unhealthy activities. This move will prevent easy entrance into the forest beside the Federal Government's Eco-Viaduct project worth RM60mil," said Wan Rosdy.
He added that according to MYCAT, there was proof of poachers targeting the Malayan tiger and other wildlife using the Eco-Viaduct between February and April.
"Therefore, our decision is right and it also proves the high commitment of the state government to the success of the CFS Masterplan, which is developed in accordance with the tigers' need for a broad and connected forest landscape, especially in Pahang," he said.
Wan Rosdy also said the gazetting of the 2.05ha land involved the existing Sungai Yu recreational park.
"This decision was made as the basic facilities available at the Sungai Yu recreational park have deteriorated and the level of hygiene is unsatisfactory due to the increased number of visitors during the weekends and school holidays.
"By making it the Pahang development, research and CFS one-stop centre, we will provide researchers, both local and overseas, the opportunity to conduct research on the flora and fauna.
"Furthermore, the management of the CFS ecological corridor can be performed more efficiently including the financial aspects, through research fees to be charged," he said.
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