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'Malaysia's flora, fauna can attract researchers and scientists'
BESUT: Malaysia is still able to preserve the uniqueness of its forest landscape by making use of its variety of flora and fauna to attract local and overseas researchers and scientists, said Peninsular Malaysia Forestry Department(FDPM) deputy director-general, Datuk Masran Md Salleh.
He said the biological treasures existing in the tropical rain forests were found to be more than million years, thus making Malaysia among the 12 mega-diversity countries in the world.
He said based on a research there were 17,631 flora species and 9,563 fauna species, from the smallest microscopic organism and bacteria to big species such as the mammals, fish and birds.
Currently, he said, efforts were being made by the agency to collect related information for conservation and development as well as to manage the forestry resources more efficiently, in line with the 1978 National Forestry policy.
"Of the 4.74 million hectares of permanent forest reserves in the peninsula , 2.09 million hectares are protected forests which function as water sources, for biological conservation and environment stabilisers," he told Bernama here today.
He said the agency had also set up a special group to do research on various types of orchids, shrubs and tall trees for socio-economical benefits, particularly in eco-tourism. -- BERNAMA