UPSI’s ‘Edu-Forest’ poised to become new attraction in Tanjung Malim

TANJUNG MALIM – Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris’ (UPSI) ‘Edu-Forest’ here is set to become a new attraction to conduct nature-based educational, research and recreational activities.

UPSI Board of Directors chairman Puan Sri Rohani Parkash Abdullah said its strategic location on the side of the Titiwangsa Range, which stretches several mountain peaks including Mount Liang, Mount Sanggul, Mount Kerjul, Mount Tumang Batak, and Chondong Geliting is a haven for nature lovers and enthusiasts.

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“I am proud of the noble idea and effort and even confident that the initiative can spur the efforts of making UPSI the number one university in the country.

“UPSI’s efforts are in line with the government’s intention to preserve forest reserves for the mutual benefit of the community based on the principles of the Malaysian Family,” she said in a statement after officiating the UPSI Edu-Forest today.

Also present were Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Prof Dr Suriani Abu Bakar and Assistant District Forest Officer, South Perak District Forest Office (Tapah), Mis Maizura Amat Kaulan.

Rohani added that she was confident that the area was very strategic as the Behrang Forest Reserve is located close to UPSI’s Main Campus, and has a bountiful of untouched and unpolluted natural treasures.

UPSI Vice-Chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Md Amin Md Taff said the UPSI Edu-Forest station, which covers an area of 10 hectares (25 acres), had obtained permission to use the land for a 30-year term from May 14, 2019, from the Perak Forestry Department.

“I hope it will be a new attraction for those in UPSI, the community around Muallim, recreation enthusiasts, researchers and Malaysians as well as the international community to come to Tanjung Malim.

“UPSI Edu-Forest will be an eco-tourism destination with a unique educational concept such as outdoor recreational educational activities, and maintaining the status of the Permanent Forest Reserve as a measure of conservation and protection of existing wildlife in the Behrang Forest Reserve.

“There are many waterfalls located around the UPSI Edu-Forest, such as Lubuk Kawah, Lubuk Hantu, Strata Waterfall, Lubuk Graha, Lata Berembun, Lata Rimau and Lata Manik,” he said.

He said among the activities that could be carried out there were whitewater kayaking, whitewater rafting and water tubing, besides mountain biking, 4×4 challenges and marathons, which are often organised by UPSI and the Tanjung Malim District Council.

Meanwhile, UPSI’s Community Transformation Centre director Assoc Prof Dr Norkhalid Salimin who spearheaded the effort said the establishment would make UPSI the first educational university to have a ‘Living Lab’ for students from various fields such as Biology, Chemistry of Natural Compounds, Geography, Sports Science, Soil Science, Music, Arts, Recreation, Psychology and other disciplines at the national and international levels.

It is in line with the National Biodiversity Policy, which was approved by Parliament in 1998, and the Convention on Biological Diversity which Malaysia had signed in 1992, along with 154 other countries at the Rio ‘Earth Summit’.