KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 — The 250-metre-long Forest Research Institute of Malaysia’s (Frim) Forest Skywalk in Taman Botani Kepong can boost the ecotourism industry and promote sustainability of the country’s biodiversity, said Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.
The Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister said the skywalk is the first structure of its kind to be built using aluminum and is seen as one of the new products for ecotourism activities.
“Based on records, Frim has received 1.145 million visitors from 2018 to March 2023, and this covers public, official visits and leisure passes.
“Visitors to the Forest Skywalk in particular have reached 56,919 people for the period from 2020 to March 2023, giving an income of RM768,168. This is a very encouraging figure because this period was during the outbreak of Covid-19,” he said after officially opening the Forest Skywalk during a working visit to Frim here today.
Nik Nazmi said the Forest Skywalk, which is made up of 11 towers and eight bridges with heights of 18 metres to 50 metres, commenced operations on August 31, 2020. The project was funded by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac).
At the same event, Nik Nazmi also launched a number of insect repellent products under the Ciera brand produced through Frim’s technology and witnessed the presentation of Certificate of Registration of New Plant Variety as well as the Grant of Plant Breeder’s Right for elite clone of Kacip Fatimah plants.
He also planted damar minyak (agathis borneensis) trees to commemorate his working visit.
Meanwhile, Frim director-general Ismail Parlan said the structure was built using heavy-duty aluminium materials with international standards and fortified with the installation of ‘guy wire’ to ensure the highest safety of visitors.
“This will be a permanent structure that will become a landmark for Frim, with effective monitoring and maintenance by competent Frim officers and staff.
“It is our hope that the development of Frim’s Forest Skywalk will enhance Frim’s image as a natural ecotourism centre in Selangor, generating a source of income through direct and indirect tourism activities,” he said.
Frim Ecotourism and Urban Forest programme head Ahmad Azaruddin Mohd Noor said visitors to Frim will also be exposed to various facilities that emphasise educational aspects.
Taking the example of the nature guide facilities provided by Frim, he said the initiative was able to help visitors to recognise and appreciate the country’s natural treasures.
Also present at the event were former Bukit Lanjan state assemblyman Elizabeth Wong and Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Ministry secretary-general Datuk Rosli Isa.
The Frim Forest Skywalk is open from 8.30am to 4pm daily except Fridays. — Bernama