PENANG Hill Corporation (PHC) will focus on promoting education on natural heritage and biodiversity preservation by working with relevant federal and state agencies following the listing of Penang Hill Biosphere Reserve (PHBR) as the latest Unesco Biosphere Reserve.
This will include The Habitat and the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry.
PHC general manager Datuk Cheok Lay Leng said with the recognition, they would now focus on promoting research and understanding of biodiversity and sustainable development.
"We must work together with the public as well as private sectors so that economic activities can co-exist and balance with biodiversity conservation. A view of the food court,
"With the Unesco listing, we hope to promote eco-tourism including The Habitat, allowing the public to have a better appreciation of natural forest and natural heritage in Penang.
"The authorities and PHC will have to coordinate and we will facilitate collaboration with researchers and find ways to better create a harmonious relationship between the community and natural assets that we have in the PHBR areas.
"We have to work hard to preserve the heritage that we have and at the same time, recognise the need for modernisation and strengthening certain infrastructures, to cater for the increased number of visitors to Penang Hill Biosphere Reserve areas.
"We have to take a more scientific approach and leverage the latest technology for sustainable development practices.
"The number of visitors and tourists will definitely increase. Visitors queueing at a funicular rail station
"What we need to do is ensure infrastructure development is done in a proper manner and we must learn from the best practices within the UNESCO MAB World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR), so that there will be zero or minimal environmental impact," he said in a phone interview on Saturday.
PHBR, which spans across 12,481ha, encompasses three terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems. Aside from the core area, this includes 7,285ha of terrestrial tracts and 5,196ha of marine space.
This covers Penang Hill, Penang National Park, Penang Botanic Gardens, Teluk Bahang Dam and Ayer Itam Dam.
Also included are six permanent forest reserves namely Bukit Kerajaan Forest Reserve, Teluk Bahang Forest Reserve, Laksamana Forest Reserve, Penara Hill Forest Reserve, Highlands Forest Reserve and Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve on top of several water catchment areas on Penang island.
PHBR was listed under Unesco's Programme on Man and the Biosphere (MAB).
The PHBR zoning is divided into the core area, buffer zone and transition areas.
Its core area comprises four main regions: Penang National Park, six permanent forest reserves, the water catchment areas and two dams. The buffer zone covers 50m around protected areas, terrestrial core boundary and a radius of 0.5 nautical mile around the marine zone.
The transition areas are connected to the core area by the buffer zone and encompass human activities like settlements, commercial and recreational spaces.
Cheok added that most visitors would go to Penang Hill to enjoy the cool air and great scenery, indulge in the local street food at the astaka and then go home.
"Only a handful will go off track into hiking trails in the forest reserve areas.
"In 2019, we had around 1.86 million visitors. However, around 95% of them visited only the main area.
"They did not go off the main paths and did not capture insects or destroy the biodiversity," he said.
Cheok added that one of the big perks of getting the recognition was to be able to connect with other biosphere reserves in the WNBR and learn from them.
"It is important as it encourages people to appreciate more, understand biodiversity better, and it is also an economic activities generator, for example eco-tourism.
"We hope to work with experts from non-governmental organisations and professionals to enhance the way we do things," he said.
Meanwhile, Cheok said the food court at Penang Hill was already opened to fully vaccinated visitors but not all stalls were operating yet.
"Only traders who have been fully vaccinated are allowed to operate.
"We have to adhere to strict standard operating procedures to ensure the good health and safety of the public," he said.
- Chàm Island successfully protect biodiversity
- Cham Islands successfully protect biodiversity
- Kenya, China sign MOU to promote cooperation in science, innovation
- Sustainable bamboo value chain turns heads of international partners
- Soc Trang develops eco-tourism in Dung islet
- Food Security, Sufficiency: We’ll sustain agric interventions-Buhari
- Devising sophisticated ways to develop Vietnam’s tourism
- The Hill's Morning Report - Tempers boil over at the White House
- Corruption, illicit flow of funds have negative impact on peace, prospects of developing countries – Buhari
- HILL: Obama’s Economy Kept America Down — Trump’s Economy Is Lifting Us Up
- The Latest: GOP on track to keep legislative supermajorities
- NZ keeps interest rates unchanged, dashing easing expectations
- NZ central bank keeps rates unchanged
- Full text of BRICS Summit Brasilia Declaration
- World's conservation hopes rest on Ecuador's revolutionary Yasuni model
- Wood exporting blocks chopped down by VPA
- 10 great conservation-led places to stay around the UK
- Forest restoration set to conserve grey-shanked doucs in Quang Nam
- Full text: What Modi, Obama agreed on
- Concrete: the most destructive material on Earth
PHC to promote biodiversity while keeping development sustainable on Penang Hill have 852 words, post on www.thestar.com.my at October 14, 2021. This is cached page on Law Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.