Royal Belum state park in Malaysia could soon be the second location in Perak to gain UNESCO World Heritage listing, while Malaysia’s Taman Negara is also bidding to be placed on the list.
The first site in Perak, that of “Perak Man” was named on the World Heritage list a number of years ago, and Royal Belum is now a hot contender to be placed on the list, along with Taman Negara National Park. With Belum literally meaning “Land Before Time”, Royal Belum State Park is still one of Asia’s best kept nature secrets. It is part of Malaysia’s largest and oldest forest reserve – Belum Temenggor – in the northern part of the Malaysian Peninsula.
Belum Temenggor is home not only to an astonishing number of plants and animals, but to many orang asli or “aboriginal people” who having been living in the forest for millennia. The orang asli are of Australo-Melanesian origin, with many of their earliest burial grounds dating back 10,000 years ago. Semi-nomadic orang asli villages can be found today on some of the islands of Temenggor; they still live in their traditional way in bamboo huts, hunting small mammals using blowpipes, shing and gathering plants and honey from the forest. It is possible to visit a village if pre-organised through the local tour guide in advance.
Along with the Taman Negara National Park, Belum Temenggor is one of the oldest rainforests in world, dating back over 130 million years.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), is studying the proposal which was tabled in 2017 by the Permanent Delegation of Malaysia to UNESCO, following which the IUCN provided the World Heritage Committee with an evaluation for further action.
Hall 26a / Stand 117