Posted by: ulumuda | October 21, 2008

MNS wants reserve to be made national park(NST-17 August 08)

ALOR STAR: The Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) will propose to the Kedah government that the Ulu Muda Forest Reserve be converted into a national park.

The proposal will be submitted through Derga state assemblyman Dr Chia Soon Hai during the next state assembly sitting.

“This is an alternative to consider instead of the plan to log for timber at the water catchment area,” he said at the “Save the Ulu Muda Forest” forum here yesterday.

There was no representative from the state government at the forum.

“If the forest reserve is converted into a national park, it will be protected and can be a source of income for the state government.

“The forest reserve is a repository of biodiversity and should be gazetted into a national park.”

Chia said the Federal Government should support the proposal and assist the state government in turning the forest reserve into a national park.

“We cannot allow logging there. Water from the catchment is not only used in Kedah, but also in Perlis and Penang. Water is also piped to Langkawi.”

The Ulu Muda forest is home to elephants and other wildlife. There were also more than 10 salt licks in the reserve.

Kedah Malaysian Nature Society chairman Phang Fatt Kow said the Ulu Muda forest would be the largest national park in the northern region.

According to the Bird Conservation Council of MNS, Ulu Muda is also an important bird area.

“There is evidence of a rare species of hornbill — the plain-pouched hornbill,” he said.

The panel of speakers at the forum included nature lovers and environmentalists from MNS, World Wide Fund Malaysia, Water Watch Penang, Muda Agricultural Development Authority and Sahabat Alam Malaysia.

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