Thursday, December 30, 2010

Reflecting on Promises Made

New Year’s is a time when we reflect on past promises made, whether we achieved these goals, and what we need to do in the new year to improve ourselves.

We remember with great pride and happiness the promises that were made on 27 August 2005, the day Chief Minister of Selangor, together with the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia declared the establishment of Selangor State Park, as Taman Warisan Selangor. 

Today, the Park is known as Taman Negeri Selangor, and will be 108,300 ha once completely gazetted. 

Below, we recall the highlights of the speeches and promises made by both the Chief Minister of Selangor and the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, on that auspicious day, over 5 years ago.  Sadly, this location where the declaration occurred, is the same location that the KLORR is likely to cut through the Klang Gates Quartz Ridge, the key feature of the Park.


Teks Ucapan Pelancaran
YAB Timbalan Perdana Menteri Malaysia
Di Majlis Pelancaran Taman Warisan Selangor

Di Kawasan Rekreasi Empangan Klang Gates Ampang
Majlis Perbandaran Ampang Jaya
Pada 27 Ogos 2005

…….Konsentrasi dan kepesatan penduduk yang terdapat dan akan bertambah di Selangor dan Konurbasi Kuala Lumpur, jika tidak dirancang dengan sempurna, akan menimbulkan kesan negatif terhadap penduduk dan persekitaran fizikal dan sosio-ekonomi di  wilayah ini, jika langkah-langkah pencegahan tidak diambil daripada sekarang.  Diantara kerumitan yang dijanka wujud jika tidak dihindari ialah ketiadaan air minuman yang cukup, kualiti air sungai yang sangat rendah, pemotongan bukit dan penebangan pokok kerana pembukaan tanah untuk pembangunan, kepupusan fauna dan flora kerana kekurangan kawasan semula jadi, dan kekurangan kawasan lapang dan kawasan hijau sebagai ‘green lungs’ bagi kawasan Konurbasi Kuala Lumpur keseluruhannya….

Taman Warisan Selangor yang akan dilancarkan pada hari ini, yang terletak di sepanjang di sebelah timur negeri Selangor dan sangat hampir dengan sempadan Kuala Lumpur, merupakan kawasan warisan khazanah alam semula jadi bukan sahaja kepada rakyat negeri Selangor, tetapi juga kepada warga Kuala Lumpur dan Putrajaya.  Taman Warisan Selangor ini merupakan sumber air bagi penduduk Selangor, Kuala Lumpur dan Putrajaya, dan dengan itu menjadi asas kehidupan penduduk konurbasi Kuala Lumpur.  Ia akan melindungi tanah tinggi dan bercerun supaya tidak menghakiskan sungai-sungai yang bermula dari kawasan Taman Warisan ini….



Teks Ucapan
YAB Dato’ Seri Dr. Mohamad Khir Bin Toyo
Dato’ Menteri Besar Selangor
Di Majlis Pelancaran Taman Warisan Selangor

 ….Degan pengisytiharan kawasan ini sebagai Taman Warisan di bawah pengurusan perbadanan Taman Negeri Selangor, jaminan diberikan bahawa ia akan kekal hijau buat selama-lamanya apa juga berlaku kawasan in tidak akan dibangunkan…

Kita mahu Selangor maju dengan mengekalkan sekurang-kurang kehijauan pada tahap 30 peratus.

Taman ini bukan sahaja sejajar dengan Dasar Kepelbagaian Bio-diversiti Negara tetapi juga bagi menjamin kemapanan sumber asli serta melindungi kawasan-kawasan sensitif alam sekitar selari dengan komitmen kerajaan Negeri ke arah melaksanakan Agenda 21 Selangor….

Seperti yang kita sama-sama maklum, kawasan hutan (ini) dikenalpasti sebagai Kawasan Sensitif Alam Sekitar…

Kelima-lima sungai utama di Selangor…berpunca dari kawasan yang kini dikenali sebagai Taman Warisan Selangor ini.  Dengan menjadikan kawasan hutan itu sebagai Taman Warisan yang tidak boleh diteroka, kita dapat menjamin bahawa kawasan tadahan air utama bagi Lembah Klang ini dilindungi buat selama-lamanya…

…kawasan Taman Warisan Selangor ini sangat kaya dengan spesis semula jadi…ada antara tumbuhan dan hidupan liar di dalam Taman ini dianggap sangat unik dan jarang ditemui.  Dengan menjadikan kawasan seluas 107,000 hektar ini sebagai Taman yang dilindungi, maka kepelbagaian biologi yang terdapat didalamnya, dapat dijamin dari pupus buat selama-lamanya.  Dengan itu, fungsi-fungsi ekologi flora dan fauna, serta pembentukan-pembentukan geologi kawasan itu, akan kekal mengikut hukum alam buat selama-lamanya…

Let's hope in 2011, these promises will be kept.  Once again, Happy New Year!

If you would like a copy of the full speech, that was included in the press kit on the launch day, please email to treateveryenvironmentspecial@gmail.com.  

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Species of the Month - the Hornbill

There are 10 species of hornbill found in Malaysia.  Six species have been recorded in the forests of the Selangor State Park (Taman Negeri Selangor). 

The hornbill is a beautiful bird, famous for the large casque which forms on the top of its beak or bill. The bill is usually a striking colour, and the size and shape of this bill varies between the species.  While the casque looks bulky, it is not solid but filled with a cellular tissue and air pockets, so it is not as heavy as it appears.

Most hornbills have black, white or gray plumage, and beautiful, thick eyelashes that most women would die for! Hornbills may live to be more than 40 year old.  They can fly great distances and when flying, they wind against their wings produces a distinctive sound.

Hornbills mate for life.  The female hornbill will lay her eggs in the hollow of a tree, which is sealed up until only her beak can poke out of the hole to receive food from the male. The male is kept extremely busy supplying food for his mate and offspring. During the course of an hour he may visit the nest up to twenty times to supply food.

The main food sources for the hornbill are berries and fruit. However, they will also eat small living rodents. The bird does have a reputation as a fussy eater, however, and will wait to eat fruit only once it has fully ripened.

The six species that have been recorded in Taman Negeri Selangor are:
Aceros comatus, the White-crowned Hornbill;
Aceros undulatus, the Wreathed Hornbill;
Annorhinus galeritus, the Bushy crested Hornbill;
Buceros bicornis, the Great Hornbill;
Buceros vigil, the Helmeted Hornbill;
And Buceros rhinoceros, the Rhinoceros Hornbill.

The Hornbill is the national symbol of Sarawak. Hornbills can be found in many countries in Asia, down through to the Solomon Islands, and in Africa.  In Malaysia, most species of hornbill are threatened and all are listed as protected species under Malaysian law.

The pressure of encroaching development in Taman Negeri Selangor is a real threat to these magnificent species who make their home in the Park.  By reducing development and fragmentation of the forest, we can help ensure there is sufficient range for the hornbills to continue to live and breed in Taman Negeri Selangor and throughout Malaysia. 

The photos here are from the website of the Department of Wildlife & National Park Malaysia.  Read more about Hornbills at their  DWNP website

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas holiday and a very Happy New Year!

Let's hope that in 2011, the Selangor State Government fulfills its promise to complete the gazettement of the Selangor State Park.  To date, over 93,000 ha has been gazetted under the National Forestry Act Selangor Enactment 2005.  This includes the Klang Gates Quartz Ridge and some of the surrounding forests of the Ridge.  However, there still remains about 15,200 ha to be gazetted, so that the Park reaches the promised area of 108,300 ha.  Let's hope this gets done in 2011!

Happy Holidays!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Nuclear Power Plants in Malaysia


Malaysia's nuclear energy plans - while it may not seem directly related to the Selangor State Park, forests and villages somewhere in Malaysia will be under threat with the location of 2 nuclear power plants and waste disposal sites...if the USA can't manage such disposal, what about Malaysia??





We need exact answers to these types of critical questions before the Malaysian public can decide if we are agreeable to building nuclear power plants in our country.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Not Wise to Prioritise Traffic Over Water Supply

In response to the following article:  Selangor Times - ORR to go Underground

Human activities in Selangor, KL and Putrajaya, as well as development along the borders of adjoining states, are putting tremendous pressure on the Park.  The proposed alignments of the KL Outer Ring Road, a major pressure on the Park, will jeapordise the critical functions the Park plays, particularly in water catchment and biodiversity.

A major portion of the Park has slopes greater than 25 degrees (class 3 slopes), with a significant area also greater than 35 degrees (class 4).  Furthermore, nearly the entire Park area can be classified a ‘very high’ soil erosion risk.  These areas, vulnerable to soil erosion and landslides especially during periods of prolonged rainfall, makes the Park unsuitable for development.

In 2005, JKR (Public Works Dept) announced 100 geo-hazard areas in Peninsular Malaysia, and the Ulu Klang mountain range – located within the Park - was one of the localities.  In fact, there have been about 8 major landslides since 1998 along the Ampang-Ulu Gombak forests around the Park – Highland Towers and the Genting Road being two of the great tragedies.

It is appalling that the KLORR project is going ahead despite the many objections raised by the residents and NGOs.   To-date little information is available on this massive project.  The detailed plans for the proposed road should be made easily available to the public immediately to study thoroughly.

A 200 metre tunnel to protect the Klang Gates Ridge is not enough.  The Selangor State Park is the main source of Selangor, Putrajaya and KL’s water supply.  This year there have been numerous articles in media quoting both Federal and State governments regarding a pending water shortage in Selangor.  It has been said that the current water sources in Selangor will not be able to provide enough water for its needs in the near future.  At the same time the Federal government is spending RM10 billion for the Pahang Selangor Water Transfer project to help meet the projected water demands. 

If this is the case, NGOs and residents are unable to understand the rationale behind the proposed KLORR, a major highway that will cut through the Park, specifically two water catchment areas, the Ulu Gombak Forest Reserve and Ampang Forest Reserve.  The Klang Gates Dam and the Ampang Intake that are fed by these two catchments supply water to the Golden Triangle of Kuala Lumpur, the international face of the nation and the commercial, shopping and entertainment hub.

We are unable to accept that alleviating traffic congestion is more important than protecting the state’s and federal territories’ water supply.

There are many solutions to the traffic problem including an integrated and efficient public transport system and upgrading of the existing roads.   What we need to do is to think outside the box rather than rely on old solutions that are short term with adverse environmental impacts.

It is also very disappointing to learn that the Town and Country Planning Department is supporting the project despite the road cutting through the Selangor State Park.   The department was the key government agency pushing for the establishment of the Park in partnership with TrEES   The proposed road also contradicts the department’s policy based on Agenda 21 Selangor and the National Physical Plan that were produced by the department.

TrEES will continue to oppose the project as we believe protecting the water supply for the present and future generations is more important than alleviating traffic congestion.  Selangor is currently self-sufficient in water.  Why does the state want to move from self- sufficiency to being dependant on other states to meet its water needs? 

We will continue to pressure the government at all levels to ensure that Selangor’s water supply is not jeopardised.  The state and federal government should also seek feedback from the residents on what can be done to alleviate the traffic problem besides building the KLORR. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

More Exciting News on TrEES' School Programme

Check out the article in Wednesday, 8 December, NST Streets section, on TrEES' School Programme - Connecting Communities to Taman Negeri Selangor - the Park that Provides Sustenance to Life in Selangor.

SMK USJ8 Students Bag Top Prize

TrEES is very proud of all the participants - students and teachers - for all their hard work!  Under the programme student project teams reached out to nearly 50,000 people - students, teachers and family members - to build awareness on the Park.  Teams collected over 100 tonnes of paper for recycling, managed to reduce the usage of styrofoam containers and disposable materials in the canteens, and installed simple yet inventive water saving devices to save water with every toilet flush and washing of hands.  All these efforts to help reduce the school communities' impacts on Taman Negeri Selangor.

Great work by everyone!  We look forward to 2011!