UiTM and Global Environment Centre (GEC) to Collaborate on Biodiversity Assessment in Upper Kinta Basin, Perak.

Recently, Universiti Teknologi MARA Pahang, Jengka branch was invited by Global Environment Centre (GEC) to join in a biodiversity assessment study at Upper Kinta Basin (UKB), Perak from 19 – 26 July 2020. This remarkable collaboration was intended to provide information to describe the existing species of terrestrial and aquatic fauna in the study areas. The focus of this project is to predict the impacts on conservation and sustainable biodiversity with the current situation of UKB areas that have a potential threat of landslide.

The lecturer of UiTM Pahang, Dr. Farah Ayuni was appointed as a group leader said, “We are working together to identify either the increase of water sedimentation caused by the landslide into the water catchment area can affect the biodiversity and richness of flora and fauna in Kinta Forest Reserve. Even our country is facing a tough situation with the existence of pandemic COVID-19, our researchers always adhere to Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and take it as a challenge to seek the knowledge in our nature, but at the same time, curb the spread of the Covid-19 infection”. The group consisted of other four team members of lecturers from UiTM Pahang namely, Dr. Nur Amalina Binti Mohd Izam, Dr. Mohammad Kamaruddin B Zainul Abidin, and Mohamad Azam Akmal B. Abu Bakar that are expertise in biodiversity conservation.

Though UiTM and GEC focus on the assessment of biodiversity, the bigger picture of the whole project is to empower the stakeholder especially communities that live in that area such as Orang Asli and the urban/peri-urban communities with knowledge on the forest and water monitoring. This also helps other governing agencies that share similar interests especially responsible for river and forest management, pollution control, and local planning and coordination to take immediate action.

The UKB provides potable water for Ipoh and needs to be protected and managed in sustainability. Therefore, a workable financial mechanism needs to be developed to create a sustainable management strategy. The communities need to be empowered through awareness, knowledge, skill as well as a platform to implement their action plans. At the end of the day, water is the most important resource and the necessity for the people. The impact of this project hopefully can secure the quantity and quality of the water supply and at the same time, communities within the area can benefit from knowledge and skill that have been provided.