Friday, February 17, 2012

Keep an Active Watch on the Forests that You Love

Some exciting you can be even more involved in protecting our forests...

Transparency International-Malaysia has launched a Forest Watch Project under its Forest Governance Integrity (FGI) Programme.  Forest Watch involves the public to become the eyes and ears of the forest by monitoring the forests you love, using Google Earth and your own eyes. 

If you see something in the forest that doesn’t look right (clearing of land, for example), go to TI's Forest Watch website to make a report on what concerns you.  This may be something you see while hiking in the forest, or driving past the forest, or while searching via Google Earth.

The reports made by the public will be followed up by a monitoring and advisory team, which consists of representatives from Transparency International FGI Programme, the Forestry Department of Peninsular Malaysia, Institute of Foresters and the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission.

This programme helps to empower the community to be more involved in protecting our forests, and makes it much easier for people to write-in on something that they may see in a forest area, by simply using the internet to write your concerns, and pinpoint the location on Google Earth.

How does it work?
  1. You see something irregular while driving past a forest, or you are scanning Google Earth and you see something in the satellite image of the forest that makes you concerned.
  2. Go to Forest Watch website
  3. REGISTER as a user.  Wait for a password to be emailed to you (should be almost immediate)
  4. LOG-IN using your user name and new password
  5. Hit REPORT
  6. Fill the report and then hit PUBLISH

From there, the monitoring team should take over and investigate your report.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tiger Skins & Elephant Tusks Seized

Unfortunately, it's back to some bad news...

The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP or PERHILITAN) just raided a house and seized 8 tiger skins, 9 elephant ivory tusks and 22 plastic bags believed to be filled with bones and body parts of the barking deer (Read about it in The Star )

It is unclear whether these animals were from Malaysia.  But where ever they were originally from, they are all endangered or threatened species, and each individual really counts. There are less than 4,000 tigers world wide.  The highest population is in India, with about 1,200 individuals.  Malaysia has an estimated 500 tigers, sadly considered the second highest population of tigers in the world.  So when we lose 8 tigers, it can be considered a significant loss.

While it is good that PERHILITAN is hot on the tails of the poachers and illegal wildlife traders, it would be even better if we could protect the animals BEFORE they are killed - a seemly difficult task indeed.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Celebrating Taman Warisan Negeri Selangor

It’s time for some positive news about the Park…

There was a ‘Celebration of Taman Warisan Negeri Selangor’ held at the Ampang Recreational Forest, at the end of last year.  As the name suggests, the celebration was a fun and exciting event, building a bond between the community and the Park. 

For many of the participants, it was the most fun they had in a long time.   To some it was also an introduction to Selangor’s magnificent tropical forest.   The Ampang Recreational Forest, a hidden natural gem, was abuzz with laughter and good spirits as residents took part in the different activities that were organised for the day.  

The main event was the heritage hunt, an amusing and educational race emphasizing the importance of Taman Warisan Negeri Selangor.  Running helter-skelter from one station to another, teams had to solve puzzles, become water scientists, break codes and feed leeches while looking for names of trees.    The hunt was flagged off by Tuan Haji Yusoff bin Muda, Director of the Forestry Department of Selangor.

Various activities were open to the rest of the public who were present and not participating in the hunt.   While some went on the guided jungle trek, others browsed through the exhibition, participated in the stream ecology and nature craft sessions, face painting and family fun games that were being run.   

The event also introduced the community to tips on going green.  For example, for many participants, this was the first time they saw environment friendly packaging in the form of sugarcane fibre eco-packs.  

There was a rush towards the end of the heritage hunt as teams raced to return their completed forms within the time limit. While waiting for the results to be announced, participants relaxed and had a bite to eat.  They also checked out the other activities that were going on and took part in fun games.     

Prizes were given out by YB Tuan Lee Kim Sin, ADUN Kajang.   The winners for the heritage hunt were the team from Setapak High.   Bringing the celebration to a memorable close, residents together with YB Tuan Lee planted trees to commemorate the event.

“Celebrating Taman Warisan Negeri Selangor” at Taman Rimba Ampang was organised by TrEES in partnership with the Forestry Department of Selangor and Lembaga Urus Air Selangor (LUAS) with the support of the Selangor State Government.   

TrEES hopes to organise more celebrations in and around the Park.  Contact TrEES if you’d like to get involved!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Comments to the DOE on the DEIA Sent In

Thank you to all those who sent in their comments on the DEIA for the eastern route of the KLORR, also known as the EKVE (East Klang Valley Expressway).

Every effort makes a difference.  We hope to post links to some of the comments sent to the DOE soon.

Thanks again for all your efforts.