Sunday, February 28, 2016

Kota Kinabalu Wetlands to be seventh Ramsar site


KOTA KINABALU: Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar yesterday disclosed that the Kota Kinabalu Wetlands will be declared the seventh Ramsar site in the country.

“There are currently six Ramsar sites in the country namely Tasik Bera, Pahang; Tanjung Piai, Pulau Kukup and Sungai Pulai, Johor; Kuching Wetland National Park, Sarawak; and Lower Kinabatangan – Segama Wetlands, Sabah.

“There are also a few criteria which wetlands must fulfil, for example a diverse biodiversity as well as functional role the wetlands play as a breeding ground for waterbirds before they can be declared as a Ramsar site

“The Kota Kinabalu Wetlands have already fulfilled these criteria,” Wan Junaidi told reporters after launching the national level World Wetlands Day 2016 in conjunction with the anniversary of the Ramsar Convention of 1971 at the Kota Kinabalu Wetlands here.

He added that the Ramsar Convention was an inter-governmental treaty that provided an action plan at the international level for the conservation and use of wetlands.

Today, there are 169 member countries of the Ramsar Convention including Malaysia and a total of 2,227 wetland areas covering 214, 875, 598 hectares worldwide had been declared as Ramsar sites.

Wan Junaidi also said the Sabah Wetlands Conservation Society (SWCS) had asked the federal government to declare Kota Kinabalu Wetlands as a Ramsar site.

“All we need to do now is to nominate and declare it as a Ramsar site,” he explained.

He said unlike Kota Kinabalu Wetlands, most wetlands and Ramsar sites were outside the city.

And, he said that making Kota Kinabalu Wetlands a Ramsar site was important for flora and fauna conservation.

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