Malaysia blueprint to develop rainforest complex

New Straits Times 27 Apr 12;

IPOH: The Perak government will come up with a blueprint for low-impact development in the Belum-Temenggor rainforest complex.

The blueprint is based on guidelines set in an Integrated Master Plan (IMP), prepared by the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA).

State Industry, Investment, Entrepreneur Development, Tourism and Women Affairs Committee chairman Datuk Hamidah Osman said the IMP, to be completed next month, would help the state in carrying out sustainable environmental development projects in the area without compromising the natural setting of the 130-million-year-old rainforest.

"The state intends to preserve the natural landscape of Belum-Temenggor as much as possible.

"Apart from development for tourism, the IMP also contains suggestions on a wide range of topics, including conservation efforts, Orang Asli development and welfare as well as protection of the forest resources," she said after opening an international seminar on biodiversity and tourism here yesterday.

About 100 people, including representatives of the tourism industry, Ipoh City Council and non-governmental organisations as well as academicians attended the two-day seminar.

Speaking later, Hamidah said the state government was aware of security issues and improvements required to curb poaching and illegal logging in the 300,000ha forest.

"We will increase the number of park rangers stationed there."