Monday, 27 December 2010

Save The Langat South Peat Forest!




The following letter was drafted by this here lummox with no science/conservation background, so please send updates, feedback and comments this way before our Chair sends it out to the Press! Also: Please participate in our phone-in campaign -- this is a participatory democracy after all! Let our Selangor MB know that the conservation of forest reserves matter to the constituents!

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Critical Need To Protect Kuala Langat South Forest Reserve


The Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) Selangor Branch is dismayed to learn of the Selangor Agricultural Development Corporation (PKPS)’s proposal to convert the remaining peat forest in the Kuala Langat South Forest Reserve to oil palm.

Although PKPS in its proposal reported that the aforementioned Forest Reserve does not have valuable hardwoods and consists mostly of trees from the macaranga genus, independent scientific reports note that the Forest Reserve retains a rich diversity of native species, including important commercial trees and notable timber species such as Kempas (Koompasia malaccensis), Meranti Bakau (Shorea rugosa) and Ramin (Gonystylus bancanus), which is listed in CITES. MNS notes that scientists from UKM doing research in Kuala Langat South found that the forest was extremely rich in species, with a high potential for finding insect and animal species that had never before been recorded from Malaysia and some which were entirely new to science. Scientific expeditions in recent weeks further produced evidence of the presence of sunbears and panthers in the Kuala Langat South Forest Reserve.


In addition, peat forests such as Kuala Langat South provide valuable ecological services, such as maintaining freshwater quality, hydrological integrity, and carbon storage and sequestration. The National Conservation Strategy also notes that the Kuala Langat South Forest Reserve plays an important role in flood mitigation. Local and indigenous communities also depend on peatlands for their livelihood. Any human influence on the Kuala Langat South Forest Reserve, therefore, can affect its form and function.


For the above reasons, we urge the Selangor State Government to conserve the Kuala Langat South Forest Reserve for present and future generations.


Selangor Branch Chair
Malaysian Nature Society




PHONE-IN CAMPAIGN!!!



1. Click 'attend' on the FB Event Page

Step 1: Spread the news about this campaign. Tag your friends, email them, RT this info, as many as possible.

Step 2: Get ready on 30th Dec 2010, between 10am – 3pm

Step 3: Pick up phone and call the Selangor MB’s office at 03-5544 7013

Step 4: Ask to speak to MB directly, failing which his PA will do.

Step 5: State your support for the protection and conservation of Langat South. Be courteous and encourage the State Government to do the right thing.

Step 6: Hang up and blog about your experience. FB it. Tweet about it. Spread the news!

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Proposed scripts for the tongue-tied and busy – but better to make it personal and from your own perspective.



IN ENGLISH:



“My name is ____________. I am a concerned citizen. I would like to voice my objection to the proposal to convert the Kuala Langat South Forest Reserve to oil palm. The peat forest has more value standing than being cut down. Please protect the Langat South forest reserve. Our vote for you in the next General Elections depends on how much importance you put on our environment.”



“My name is ____________ and I am a registered voter. I am disappointed that the Selangor State Government is considering converting the Kuala Langat South Forest Reserve to oil palm. Peat forests have more ecological value than oil palm. Please do not let greed take precedence over common sense. We are counting on you to make the right decision — for the rakyat, for the environment, and for Selangor. We demand an answer.”



IN BAHASA MALAYSIA:

“Nama saya ______________ dan saya seorang pengundi. Saya dukacita mendengar khabar bahawa kerajaan negeri Selangor merancang untuk meluluskan kegiatan perladangan kelapa sawit di Hutan Simpan Kuala Langat Selatan. Hutan simpan lebih berharga kepada manusia dan alam sekitar berbanding dengan keuntungan ladang sawit. Mengapa kerajaan negeri Selangor hendak memusnahkan khazanah alam kita, sedangkan pada Pilhanraya Umum yang lepas, parti yang sama berjanji akan memelihara alam sekitar? Sebagai warganegara yang bertanggungjawab terhadap alam sekitar, saya menunggu jawapan daripada Kerajaan Negeri.”



“Nama saya ___________________ dan saya seorang anak jati Selangor. Pada mulanya saya percayai bahawa kerajaan negeri Selangor akan mengotakan janjinya untuk memelihara alam sekitar, tetapi sekarang saya hampa mendapat tahu bahawa ada permohonan untuk menanam kelapa sawit di Hutan Simpan Kuala Langat Selatan. Saya mendesak kerajaan negeri Selangor memelihara dan melindungi Hutan Simpan ini. Kami sudah muak dengan kegiatan penebangan dan pemusnahan hutan simpan. Saya menunggu jawapan daripada Kerajaan Negeri.”

~~~~~~~~

Thank you for your support! Let's create awareness on this -- The Langat South Forest Reserve isn't just "all macaranga"! The well-being of animal and human populations depend on the health of our peat forests too!

9 comments:

Au and Target said...

Love the smoky feel of peat forests. And they're so rare, we should preserve as many as poss.

louis said...

Wishing you great success in this very worthwhile and well-organized campaign.

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

Thank you, dear Ellen, Au and Target. The letter was published today, under the name of our Branch Chair. Not only are peat forests precious and beautiful, they are vital to the ecosystem! There are farms galore around the Langat South peat forest. If the peat forest is cleared for oil palm cultivation, the farmlands will dry out, and areas downriver will be destroyed by flood and silt. Goodbye, short term gains. Goodbye, profits. Goodbye, voters.

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

Dear Louis,
Your kind words and support mean a lot to me. Sometimes you don't realise how much your encouragement means to another -- you think they will just thank you and accept it as a matter of course. But your feedback, erudite comments and encouraging words have given me much comfort and courage in all my campaigns and projects. Thank you, my friend.

iLiYamashita said...

i forwarded it to my sister~ and she was like omg! why?! and i was like.. you're the one in Malaysia. you should know more..
she was kinda bersemangat for this you know. plus she's a oil palm researcher. wishing you all the best!

p/s: i think the comments in my blog is fixed now. (i tot that by changing the layout it would be fixed. i forgot about the comments settings until today..thanks for informing by the way :D)

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

Thanks for coming by and for telling your sister about our campaign, Ili! She's an oil palm researcher -- so she should know which practices are sustainable and which are not. Looking forward to meeting her.

JALAN REBUNG said...

CO78,

Thanks for sharing this info. I'm really shocked and at the same time sad looking at the situation of Reserve Forest in Selangor...what happened to the meaning of "RESERVED". Keep up the pressure ....Good luck

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

Dear Abang Rizal,
Thank you for your support. In Malaysia, Hutan Rizab and Hutan Simpan simply means they're not messing with the hutan for the time being until they can figure out what's the best way to plunder it and trash it.

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

SUCCESS!
Thank you all for your support. The Selangor State Govt has announced today that they will be protecting the Langat South Forest Reserve. They are drawing up a blueprint for its conservation.
Never underestimate the power of individuals working together towards a good cause! Keep the faith that things will keep getting better! And if it doesn't? Well, if it doesn't, we'll just pick ourselves off the ground and have a go at it again until we see results!