Kinta Valley’s Geopark Status Not At Risk Despite Quarry Activities

February 22, 2021

IPOH: The national geopark status of Kinta Valley will not be revoked, despite reports of quarry activities near the area.

Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah said the ministry, through the Mineral and Geoscience Department, would continue to help the state government to maintain the status.

“This includes on technical points, by conducting research in order to insert additional information on the geo-site sources and geopark development.

“The Kinta Valley Geopark is slightly different. It does not hinder economic development, but do not let it be affected… assessments are done every year and if someone violates (the assessment’s parameters), it will result in withdrawal of the status.

“But I am confident that it will not happen (the status being revoked) to Kinta Valley,” he told reporters after visiting Gua Matsoorat and Gunung Lang Recreational Park here, today.

Also present were ministry secretary-general Datuk Zurinah Pawanteh and Mineral and Geoscience Department deputy director-general Hisamuddin Termidi.

A re-evaluation of the status, said Shamsul Anuar, would be done this year since it was last done in 2017.

It was reported that pictures of quarrying at the limestone hills, namely Gunung Lanno, Gunung Terundum and Gunung Rapat, had gone viral on social media and sparked a backlash against the state government.

Some environmentalists claimed the activities had marred the image of Ipoh and its surrounding areas, as well as jeopardised the flora and fauna.

Kinta Valley is the country’s second national geopark after Langkawi’s Unesco Global Geopark, Kedah.

On Oct 25, 2018, Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah had graced the declaration of Kinta Valley, with the size of 1,952 sq km, as a National Geopark geology site.

Shamsul Anuar said Gunung Lanno, Gunung Terundum and Gunung Rapat had been gazetted under the Mineral/Rock Basic Industry Economic Zone in the Batu Gajah District Council Local Plan 2025.

“We understand there is a need for development to increase the state’s income, but at the same we must abide by the set rules,” he added.

Shamsul also said Gua Matsoorat, which is located near Gunung Lang, would be the 19th geo-site in the Kinta Valley Geopark.

“So far we have 18 geo-sites in Perak and I believe efforts are still ongoing to enable the area (Gua Matsoorat) to be recognised as as geo-site as it has a high value and many features.

“I hope we will get full cooperation from the state government to enable Gua Matsoorat to become the 19th geo-site in Kinta Valley Geopark,” he said.

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