On 13 to 14 March 2015, a study visit for students under the TROPIMUNDO program was held in the area of Kenyir Lake. The two-day visit involved 16 students under the TROPIMUNDO program, several staff members from Kenyir Research Institute (IPK), Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) and two representatives from Panomatics Malaysia who are involved in photographing the area for a Coffee Table Book. Professor Dato’ Dr. Nor Aieni binti Haji Mokhtar, UMT Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International), Puan Nor Azizah bint Kasim, UMT Treasurer and Professor Emeritus Dr. Faizah binti Mohd Sharoum, Director of IPK, UMT also participated in this visit.
TROPIMUNDO, which stands for Erasmus Mundus Masters Course in Tropical Biodiversity and Ecosystems, is a program that was established through the cooperation of several universities on the primary basis to maintain and conserve ecosystems globally. University Libre de Brussels (ULB), Belgium has offered to collaborate in this TROPIMUNDO program that aims to connect researchers and experts from the existing higher educational institutions in order to share their knowledge of tropical rain forest and coastal ecosystem research. Through this masters program, students will have the opportunity to focus their studies on botany and zoology in an integrated ecosystem approach. Thus, IPK have taken this opportunity to introduce the variety of biodiversity found in Kenyir Lake to these International students for their information and study research later.
Participants were taken to several destinations around the lake in 3 boats provided by UMT. This popular tourist trail known as Island hopping began with a trip to the island known as the “Tropical Gardens” The participants subsequently visited the Orchid Garden, Bird Park, Butterfly Park and Herb Park and were taken to a house boat in Tanjung Mentong for lunch. In the afternoon all participants were given the opportunity to chat with graduate students from the Center for Kenyir Ecosystem Research (within IPK) that have conducted their research on biodiversity in Tanjung Mentong forest. After dinner, all the participants listened to a presentation from the Director of IPK, Professor Emeritus Dr. Faizah binti Mohd Sharoum regarding Geopark Tasik Kenyir and animals that were found in Kenyir Lake.
On the second day of the visit, all participants explored Bewah Cave, taking in its beauty and appreciating the animals to be found there, before the group was divided into two groups for the afternoons activities. One group visited aquaculture cages at Sungai Como, the Orang Asli villages in Sungai Berua and Kenyir Elephant Village whilst the other group, of mostly TROPIMUNDO students, went to Lasir Waterfall to experience the beauty of the flora and fauna there whilst relaxing and swimming.