Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Pahang seeks your help to protect Camerons

CAMERON HIGHLANDS: Want to preserve the beauty of Cameron Highlands? Then step out and make your voice heard by helping to alert authorities about illegal activities which harm the environment.

The public has been urged to be the eyes and ears for the Department of Environment (DOE) and other enforcement agencies who are facing an acute shortage of manpower.

Pahang Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Maznah Mazlan, in making this call, said the indiscriminate dumping of pesticides or refuse into rivers by some irresponsible farmers and other activities, like illegal land clearing, must be stopped to ensure the preservation of the highlands.

"We cannot do this solely by ourselves, please provide (us with) the information as we are shorthanded in terms of manpower," she said after officially opening the Boh tea centre in Sungai Palas, here, on Thursday.

She stressed that the Pahang state government would strive to ensure that whatever’s left of the jungle fringes in Cameron Highlands would remain as they were.

"Any form of future development here, if allowed, would be subjected to the highest level of scrutiny in terms of its effects on the environment," Maznah said.

She said this when asked to comment on Boh Plantations Sdn Bhd chairman Tristan Russel’s speech appealing to the state government to preserve the jungle fringes surrounding the tea plantations.

Russel had said that these jungle fringes should be regarded as national treasures and the felling of trees on the ridges above them should not be allowed.

"I very much stress that we are supportive of vegetable farming which provides a livelihood to many people and food for the nation. These (vegetable and flower) farms are also important tourist attractions.

"However, they are most suitably located at the bottom of the valley from the point of view of both best agricultural practices and scenic preservation."

Russel also urged the authorities to ban the clearing and bulldozing of ridges which left behind "scars" that could adversely affect vital water resources.

Source : NST
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