Tasik Chini Retains Status As Unesco Biosphere Reserve

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Tasik Chini Biosphere Reserve consists of wetland, Bukit Chini and the Tasik Chini State Park Reserve Forest. Photo by MH graphics
Tasik Chini Biosphere Reserve consists of wetland, Bukit Chini and the Tasik Chini State Park Reserve Forest. Photo by MH graphics

Periodic reviews of Tasik Chini found that the site fulfilled the criteria set by the agency, taking into account the ongoing efforts to improve its management

KUALA LUMPUR — Tasik Chini, which is located in Pekan, Pahang, has retained its status as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) biosphere reserve.

Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said this was decided at the 35th Session of the International Coordinating Council of Man and the Biosphere Programme (ICC MAB35) 2023 in Paris, France on Tuesday, 13 June.

He said the meeting found that the periodic review of the site fulfilled the criteria of the Statutory Framework of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) and the recommendations of the International Advisory Committee on Biosphere Reserves (IACBR), taking into account efforts made to improve the management of the site.

“This includes updating the zones to maintain the function of the Tasik Chini Biosphere Reserve, gazetting Chini Permanent Forest Reserve, establishing the Pahang State Park Corporation and implementing a moratorium on mining activities,” he said in a statement.

Proud Moment

Describing the decision as a  proud moment for the country and Pahang, Nik Nazmi congratulated the state government for the recognition and hoped that the management of the site would continue to improve.

The Pahang Government hopes to make Tasik Chini into a sustainable ecotourism destination. Picture: Tourism Pahang

The 12,565-acre (5,085-hectare) Tasik Chini is the second largest fresh water lake in Peninsular Malaysia and is made up of a series of 12 lakes. It was recognised as Malaysia’s first biosphere reserve in 2009.

Almost all of the reserve area is covered by Tasik Chini and it’s feeder river, Sungai Chini, which drains from the lake and flows into Sungai Pahang. The rest of the reserve include a 641m hill (Bukit Chini), and the Tasik Chini State Park Reserve Forest.

The lake shores are inhabited by the Jakun branch of the Orang Asli. The lake is also naturally endowed with a rich bio-diversified lush tropical wilderness that is home to 138 species of flora, 300 species of non-aquatic live and 144 species of fresh water fish.

Between August and September the lake is transformed into a floating garden with thousands of white and pink lotus flowers covering the surface.

Studies also showed Tasik Chini contain habitats that are endemic only to that area.

Menteri Besar of Pahang, Datuk Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail, through a media statement said that the Pahang Government is committed to maintaining the status of Tasik Chini as a Unesco Biosphere Reserve, describing the recognition as being very meaningful to the state government.

There are two other biosphere reserves in Malaysia, the Crocker Range in Sabah and Bukit Bendera in Penang, which were recognised in 2014 and 2021, respectively. — Mediahit

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