KUALA BERANG: The Terengganu government’s hope of turning Tasik Kenyir into a geopark is expected to be realised next year, says state tourism, culture and information technology committee deputy chairman Sulaiman Sulong.
He said the state government was now working with several agencies to prepare the necessary documents for the purpose.
He added that the effort had been in motion since 2015 with the establishment of the necessary committees, but was delayed due to some technical factors and the local community’s acceptance of the move.
“We hope to get Tasik Kenyir recognised as a national geopark next year, with efforts being made to make it on par with the Langkawi Geopark and others that have been recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco),” he said after closing a course for tour guides at the Kenyir Natural Research Station.
Also present was Terengganu Minerals and Geosciences Department director Habibah Tahir.
According to Sulaiman, the state government is committed to getting Tasik Kenyir recognised as a geopark to attract more foreign tourists to Terengganu, as well as to preserve its natural environment.
“The people need to understand that declaring Tasik Kenyir a geopark will not pose a burden on them.
“Instead, they get to benefit from it through the creation of job opportunities, economic and tourism activities,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Terengganu Forestry Department had temporarily halted logging activities in the area near Tasik Kenyir, which is alleged to be the cause of the water at the Sungai Lasir waterfall turning murky, said Sulaiman.
He said it was understood that logging activities in an area about 4km upstream of Sungai Lasir had been halted as soon as the pollution was reported.
According to him, the operation would be temporarily halted until the waterfall, which is the focus of tourists in Tasik Kenyir, is pristine again.
“The Forestry Department has taken immediate alternative actions to ensure that the logging activities around 4km upstream of Sungai Lasir can be prevented or minimised,” he said. — Bernama