MELAKA: The forest reserve in Tanjung Tuan, Alor Gajah has been proposed to be used as a tourism and education forest in an effort to ensure that nature in the area remains preserved.
Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) president Prof Dr. Ahmad Ismail said the combination of tropical rainforests and mangrove swamps made Tanjung Tuan unique apart from being an important location for bird-watching activities not only in Melaka but also in Malaysia.
"The 607,000 square metre forest has been recognised as an important area for birds and biodiversity, as well as an important place for birds of prey by international organisations and thus should be given attention and all Malaysians should also protect this area, which requires good management.
"The rainforest on land and the mangrove forest off the coast of Tanjung Tuan must be preserved for the benefit of ecology, education, research and ecotourism for future generations," he said in a statement here on Sunday (June 12).
Ahmad said the Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve was one of the remaining coastal rainforest areas on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula gazetted as a forest reserve (1921), a wildlife sanctuary (1971), a no-fishing area and a historic area due to its lighthouse built from 1528 to 1529 by the Portuguese.
He said as the area was an attraction for bird watchers and had good trail or route facilities, it was very suitable to be used as a weekly bird watching activity for bird watching enthusiasts, attracting the younger generation for ecotourism and education activities.
"Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as MNS can also assist in such activities as MNS has many members, including experienced bird enthusiasts across the country.
"As for the mangrove forest area, basic facilities for education, research and ecotourism activities can be provided with facilities such as a boardwalk that does not disturb the mangrove forest," he said.
He said it was a suitable time to prepare the facilities taking into the consideration the current condition of he mangrove forest, which was being restored, to ensure the comfort and safety for school and university students carrying out educational and research activities.
He added that in conjunction with the state-level Environment Day last Saturday, 100 loop-root mangrove saplings, 100 oil mangrove saplings and 400 loop-root mangrove seedlings were planted there.
He said planting mangrove saplings would help the rehabilitation of the mangrove swamp ecosystem in Tanjung Tuan, which was destroyed as a result of an oil spill in 2020. - Bernama