SWCS concerned with impending developments close to KK Wetlands
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Wetlands Conservation Society (SWCS) is expressing concern with the high-rise property development in close proximity with the city’s only wetlands, as it celebrates World Environment Day on June 7.
“In our effort towards Green Economy and sustainable development, SWCS has initiated a public signature campaign in support of Kota Kinabalu Wetlands with our slogan “Our Wetlands for Now and the Future Generations”.
“We are particularly concerned with proposed high-rise condominium developments in close proximity to KK Wetlands which would have detrimental impacts on its sustainability. These signatures will be submitted to the relevant authorities at the local and state governments levels so that our objections on any unsustainable infrastructure or condominium development that will affect Kota Kinabalu Wetlands will be given due consideration by the authorities.” said SWCS president Zainie Abdul Aucasa.
Part of the objectives of the campaign is to increase public awareness on the importance of wetlands conservation and SWCS efforts to obtain Ramsar Site status for Kota Kinabalu Wetlands, he said.
“Through the signature drive, SWCS hope to create awareness among city folks on the importance of wetlands and its role in the ecological functions of wetlands to society in various ways,” he added.
SWCS strives to conserve the 24 hectares of mangrove forests at KK Wetlands as a sanctuary for more than 90 species of birds and aquatic animals and to maintain this green heritage for the younger generation to know and enjoy the mangrove ecosystem with its rich biodiversity of flora and fauna.
Unsustainable development such as high-rise condominiums may bring short-term financial benefits to land owners and property developers but has dire consequences in the long term to wetland health, compromising the ecosystem services and often the livelihood of local community, he said.
This year’s celebration will focus on the theme Green Economy: Does it include you? The launching ceremony will be officiated by Datuk Ellron Alfred Angin, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment at 10.00 am at the Kota Kinabalu Wetlands (formerly known as the City Bird Sanctuary at Likas).
Commemorated every year on June 5, World Environment Day is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations, through its Environment Programs (UNEP) stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action.
SWCS has recently opened its interactive Wetlands Exhibition Hall at its Environmental Education Centre at Kota Kinabalu Wetlands and it will be open for public viewing for free during the World Environment Day.
The Society hopes through these activities it will enhance public awareness and appreciation of the importance and benefits of wetlands.
Kota Kinabalu Wetlands Open Day is an excellent opportunity for everyone especially families to bring along their children during this school holidays to visit the wetlands and give them the exposure in understanding the importance of wetlands.
The UN Environment Programs (UNEP) defines the Green Economy as one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. In its simplest expression, a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive.
Wetlands perform a host of ecological and hydrological functions that benefit humankind. Some of the most important functions of wetlands are their roles in water supply, water purification and flood control. Wetlands also perform many other important socio-economic functions, such as provision of habitat for fisheries and forestry resources, and are critical for the conservation of biological diversity.
Considering the important roles that wetlands can play, wetlands conservation, as promoted by the Convention on Wetlands or Ramsar Convention, is essential in order to maximise and sustain the benefits they provide to human populations.
In Malaysia there are six wetlands designated as Ramsar Sites with one in Sabah at the Lower Kinabatangan-Segama Wetlands. SWCS is continuing with its effort to obtain Ramsar Site status for Kota Kinabalu Wetlands and being within the boundary of the City of Kota Kinabalu, the value of a wetland lies in the benefits that it provides to the environment or to people of Sabah, something that is not easily measured.
For any additional information, please contact Kota Kinabalu Wetlands at 088-246955 or the Honorary Secretary, Omar Abdul Kadir at 019-8110125.
|New Sabah Times|