WORLD WETLANDS DAY 2012 CELEBRATION AT RAJA MUSA FOREST RESERVE
Theme: Wetlands and Tourism
With the aim of raising publicawareness on wetland values and benefits, World Wetlands Day is celebrated on 2nd February every year across the globe. Hundreds of government bodies, NGOs and other community based groups around the world make use of this event to take action at raising government andpublic awareness on the importance of protecting wetlands. The date has been adopted from the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands which was signed on 2 February 1971 in the Iranian City of Ramsar. Presently there are over 159 signatories to the Convention with over 1883 wetland sites designated for inclusion in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Significance (as at February 2010).
The theme for World Wetlands Day this year is Wetlands and Tourism and is linked to the theme for the next meeting of the Conference of the Parties, COP11 of the Ramsar Convention.
Global Environment Centre (GEC) in collaboration with the Selangor State Government, Forestry Department, Kuala Selangor District Council (MDKS) and HSBC Bank Malaysia is organising the World Wetlands Day 2012 Celebration on 18th February 2012 at Raja Musa Forest Reserve (RMFR). We are also proud to announce that this celebration is a state-level celebration of the World Wetlands Day 2012 by the Selangor Government.
This World Wetlands Day 2012 celebration is an illustration of this year’s theme to promote potential tourism in and around Raja Musa Forest Reserve. It is anticipated that around 100 participants, comprising of government agencies, corporate members, volunteers and school children will take part in the tree-planting activity. The celebration will launched by YB Elizabeth Wong, the Selangor State Exco for Environment and Tourism. This event received financial & in-kind support from the Selangor State Government and corporate bodies including HSBC Bank Berhad.
On the same day GEC will launch the establishment of “Friends of the Peatland Forest or Sahabat Hutan Gambut (SHB)” and school environmental programme called “Forest Ranger” which is linked to Raja Musa Forest rehabilitation activity. The effort is supported through the on-going HSBC-GEC Project, “Involving Local Community in the Rehabilitation of Raja Musa Forest Reserve”. The project initiated in 2011 aims to enhance the level of Environmental Awareness, Education and Conservation related to peat swamp forest at Raja Musa Forest Reserve.
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Event details :
Date : 18 Feb 2011 (Saturday)
Time : 8.00 am – 6.00 pm
Venue: Raja Musa Forest Reserve, Parit 6, Jalan Timur Tambahan, 45600 Bestari Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan (see location map)
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Tel: 03-7957 2007
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Website : www.gec.org
NOTES TO THE EDITOR:
. The Ramsar Convention came into force inMalaysiain 1994, with the designation of Tasek Bera in Pahang as its first Ramsar site. Since then,Malaysiahas added another 5 sites to the list: Tanjung Piai (Johor), Pulau Kukup (Johor), Sungai Pulai (Johor),KuchingWetlandsNational Park(Sarawak), and most recentlyKinabatanganRiver(Sabah) in November 2008. All six of our Ramsar sites support a large number of species, notably vulnerable and threatened species, and provide both livelihoods and important functions for the local populations.
. Wetland Communication Education, Participation and Awareness (CEPA) is a tool developed by the Convention as a coordinated and targeted programme for wetland conservation and wise use. It aims to develop and establish critical tools for communication, education andpublicawareness for the Convention and wetland conservation globally.
 Project Venue – Raja Musa Peat Swamp Forest
Raja Musa Forest Reserve is located in the north western part of Selangor. Together with Sungai Karang Forest Reserve, it makes up the largest peat swamp forest complex in Selangor. It is approximately 23, 000 ha. in area cover and of this 1,000 ha were degraded due to illegal encroachment and forest fires. These areas are in dire need of rehabilitation effort. Even though the degraded areas are situated within the forest reserve and falls within the jurisdiction of Forestry Department, it is an enormous task to undertake even for a government agency to rehabilitate 1,000 ha of the degraded areas. Hence, collaboration between Forestry Department with NGOs and local community in this matter was deemed crucial. This happens to provide the local community with a platform to work hand in hand with the government agency and at the same time, get to understand about the functions and values of peat swamp forest while planting the trees. Since 2008, GEC had managed to rally more than 4,000 volunteers for the numerous tree planting events that has taken place at this site. So far about 40,000 tree seedlings have been planted in an area covering some 80 hectares.