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