TWHS: FRIM Selangor Forest Park, Malaysia

After recharging somewhat overnight in central Kuala Lumpur, we hauled our sore and protesting legs out for a more casual stroll at KL’s other new Tentative World Heritage nomination,

FRIM Selangor Forest Park 

FRIM Selangor Forest Park

The FRIM Selangor Forest Park (FRIM-SFP) is a 544 ha park consisting of man-made tropical rain forest, a meandering stream (the River Kroh), waterfalls, arboreta, and botanic gardens. Today, this verdant man-made forest stands as a result of FRIM-SFP’s succesful reforestation efforts that were initiated back in the 1920s. Among the most famous attractions of FRIM-SFP are the unique crown shyness phenomenon of Dryobalanops aromatica, the forest canopy walkway, the hiking and cycling trails under the shade of the giant canopy trees. The property occupies 170 ha or one third of the total area of FRIM-SFP. The property is protected by approximately 262 ha of buffer zone, and 112 ha of tertiary zone.

Tropical rain forests which contain more than half of the biodiversity of the world are a major carbon sink for the maintenance of global climatic stability. It used to cover all of Malaysia, most of the South East Asia, equatorial Africa, Central America and equatorial South America. The rapid degradation and elimination of tropical rain forests in the past 100 years has been a cause of great universal concern. 

The FRIM-SFP provides the world with a rare and unique example of an area of tropical rain forest destroyed by farming and mining, and re-created through brilliant scientific effort. In the beginning, it was not known whether tropical rain forest could be re-created on such devastated land but the FRIM-SFP shows that it can be done within a human lifetime. All the attributes of tropical rain forest have been restored in FRIM-SFP including a four-layered structure of main canopy, understorey, shrub and ground layers, and very high level of biodiversity. The FRIM-SFP serves as a model to show that re-creation of complex tropical rain forest can be done even on totally deforested and degraded land…

Complex, you say? Just how complex?

FRIM-SFP is an outstanding centre of biodiversity. The level of genetic diversity of FRIM-SFP is comparable to those of natural forests. The tree diversity in FRIM-SFP exceeds the total 814 tree species of Pasoh Forest Reserve, a natural virgin forest in Peninsular Malaysia. FRIM-SFP has in total 2,724 of plant species, of which 1,349 are tree species consisting of 131 dipterocarps, 180 non-dipterocarps, 23 gymnosperms, 89 wild fruit trees, 100 monocots and 50 bamboos. FRIM-SFP has 13  critically endangered (CR), 25 endangered (EN), and 35 vulnerable (VU) species of plants…

OK, that’s pretty complex!

On the ground, it looks like something between a university campus and a recreational park … which is, of course, exactly what it is!

FRIM Selangor Forest Park

The big disappointment you’ll find is that “the forest canopy walkway” everything you’ll find online makes a fuss about? Yeah, it was closed indefinitely June 30 this year. Pffffft.

So, you can walk around and look at the pretty trees and at the locals swimming and playing football and otherwise enjoying themselves, like for instance sitting in the middle of a stream here:

FRIM Selangor Forest Park

You can look it up on TripAdvisor here, and we agree with the general consensus that it’s a nice park.

So if that Quartz Ridge adventure sounded a bit outside your comfort zone, which if you’re not an accomplished backcountry mountaineer it probably should, definitely had us well into the nervously concerned zone…

why then this is just the friendly relaxing nature stroll for you!

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Alex

I go places.

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