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Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) is one of the leading institutions in tropical forestry research in the world. Founded in 1929, the former Forest Research Institute became a full-fledged statutory body, governed by the Malaysian Forestry Research and Development Board (MFRDB) under the Ministry of Primary Industries, in 1985. From 2003, FRIM and MFRDB were placed under the purview of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE). On 1 October 2016, the new FRIM Act came into force and the MFRDB was replaced by new Members of the Institute with four additional representatives from the corporate sector to assist in its commercialization endeavors. After the 14th General Election in 2018, the NRE was restructured to form the Ministry of Water, Land and Natural Resources (KATS).

The Institute sits on a 545-ha site adjacent to the Bukit Lagong Forest Reserve in the Kepong municipality, 16 km northwest of Kuala Lumpur. Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) was awarded the MS ISO 9001:2015 certification starting 2017. It was gazetted as a Natural Heritage Site on 10 February 2009 under the National Heritage Act 2005, and officially declared as a National Heritage on 10 May 2012. FRIM is working towards attaining recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its nomination to be included in the Tentative List of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites was accepted at the 41st World Heritage Committee (WHC) Meeting held in Krakow, Poland on 7 July 2017. The Institute is led by Dato’ Dr. Abd Latif Mohmod as its Director-General.

Regenerating forest

Malaysia’s tropical rainforest is a treasure trove of flora and fauna. To enrich human knowledge of our world, natural scientists of the British colonial government began planting trees to observe, record and study the ecology of tropical rainforest here.

The oldest arboreta in FRIM were planted with dipterocarp trees and non-dipterocarp trees. Later the arboreta included Coniferatum (gymnosperms), Bambusetum (bamboos), Fruit Tree Arboretum, Monocot Arboretum (palms, gingers, aroids, etc.), and Ethnobotanical Garden (plants for culinary and cultural practices). As FRIM is located beside Bukit Lagong forest reserve, seeds and spores from the neighboring forest were carried by wind, streams and animals to this newly cultivated parkland. These plants had from then on grown luxuriantly in the experimental plantation, filling the gaps in the park’s biodiversity, thus making it more inhabitable for wildlife.

Today, FRIM is home to 18 species of mammals, 182 species of birds, 57 species of snakes, 30 species of lizards, 7 species of tortoises and turtles, and 34 species of frogs.

Nature trails

You can begin to explore FRIM by walking on the asphalt road that circles the parkland to acquaint yourself with the surroundings before venturing into its nature trails. The most well-known trails in FRIM are Salleh Trail and Keruing Trail. Along these trails, you will discover Tongkat Ali, which literally means Ali’s walking stick in Malay, a wild shrub akin to ginseng in the Malay Archipelago; Engkabang trees, whose fats are excellent for making the waxy base of lipsticks for moisturizing the lips; lianas, climbers with long-stemmed, woody vines; Jelutong trees, whose wood is used for making pencils and matches; and Kulim trees, whose branches and leaves bear the smell of garlic. Most of all, the most remarkable scenery in FRIM is none other than “crown shyness”, a mosaic-like pattern formed by the leaves of Kapur trees (Camphor trees) ‘shying’ away from each other, leaving distinguishable gaps in between the tree crowns that can be clearly seen underneath the trees. Kapur trees produce an aromatic resin that can be used to make camphor oil; their wood can be used to make railway sleepers.

Waterfall, stream and wetland

FRIM is a wooded terrain with a wetland ecosystem, consisting of ponds, streams, Sungai Kroh waterfall, and a small lake. These wetland habitats are home to various aquatic plants and animals. It’s always effortless to notice dragonflies and damselflies by the streams and ponds, frolicking, mating, and laying eggs in shallow water. The Sungai Kroh waterfall is a popular spot for picnics and splashing about, where frogs show themselves when night falls. There are small fish and freshwater shrimps in the water and sometimes you might even come across a freshwater crab. Occasionally light-emitting fireflies and their larvae as well as the rare Spiny Turtle might catch your eyes.

The downstream of Sungai Kroh waterfall is a gentle stream that meanders through the forest. Trees grow abundantly on both sides of the stream. The stream is only knee-deep and covered with sand. The scenery here is quiet and calming, a sharp contrast to the atmosphere at the boulder-strewn waterfall.

Get ready to walk among the treetops once again at the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) which recently launched the brand new Forest Skywalk! The impressive structure is a huge upgrade from the former Canopy Walk which closed down in 2017, much to the dismay of Malaysian nature-lovers. The walk was a key attraction on the sprawling site and drew visitors from all over.

Forest Skywalk @ FRIM

Situated in Taman Botanical Kepong, the built-up Skywalk is 250 metres long and stands 50 metres over the forest floor, affording stunning views of the surrounding Klang Valley – and of course the lush tree canopies. You can get up close and personal with the dense canopy here and even examine some of the smaller wildlife that call this lofty space home.

Life finds its way

FRIM is a forest research institute actively involved in research, conservation, and preservation of Malaysia’s forestry biodiversity, products, and biotechnology. It aims to provide effective management and conservation of forest and its natural resources to achieve a win-win solution to sustainable development.

As this reforested land flourishes, life finds its way into this ecosystem and increases its biodiversity. It is a living testament to the restoration of nature. If you see a hornbill fly by or an eagle glide through the sky, it does not happen by chance, but the fruition of reforestation. As such, we ought to cherish this oasis in the city and conserve every natural forest in our country.

How to get there

Those who reside in the northwest and southwest fringe of Kuala Lumpur can drive northbound using the Puchong-Damansara Expressway (LDP). After exiting the toll plaza, drive towards Kepong. Before reaching Kepong, look out for the green signposts to Forest Research Institute Malaysia. Follow them to reach FRIM. For those residing in the north of Kuala Lumpur, drive towards Kepong (Jalan Kepong). After passing by Al-Amaniah mosque, turn right under the bridge to Selayang and follow the green Forest Research Institute Malaysia signposts.

Additional Details

      Q What is the entrance fee?

      For Malaysian adults and Student above 13 years old - RM1, Students under 13 years old - Free Admission. For non-Malaysian adults and Student above 13 years old - RM5, Students under 13 years old - RM1. OKU are entitled to Free admission

      Q Can I hire a nature guide?

      Yes. For Nature trekking the charge is RM150.00, for Night walk the charge is RM250.00

      Q Other FAQs

      Please refer to: https://www.frim.gov.my/contact-us/frequently-ask-questions-faq/

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