JOHOR BARU - A BILATERAL study between Malaysia and Singapore to tap the eco-tourism potential of the Sungai Pulai wetland reserve in south-western Johor is expected to be completed by June.
This marks the two countries' first joint ministerial committee project on tourism, reported The New Straits Times on Thursday.
Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said an international consultant has been engaged to draw up a proposal on how to turn Sungai Pulai, one of Malaysia's six Ramsar sites (wetlands of international importance), into a tourist destination.
The effort will be based on the same method and strategy used by Singapore in promoting its first wetland reserve, Sungei Buloh, near Kranji.
'The study will identify the kind of the eco-tourism activities, the categories of visitors who may be interested and the need for strict management of the wetland reserve,' he said here on Wednesday. 'Johor is also blessed with an abundance of natural wonders, and Sungai Pulai is a good example... Together with the rapid development in Iskandar Malaysia, the state aims to preserve its natural beauty and carry out sustainable development.'
Spread over 9,126ha, the Sungai Pulai forest reserve is the second largest mangrove area in Peninsular Malaysia. It was gazetted by Johor in 1923 and was listed as a Ramsar site on Jan 31, 2003.