Monday, January 12, 2015

Hopes for Kota Kinabalu Wetland Centre to be declared a Ramsar Site

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Wetland Conservation Society (SWCS) is hoping to get the Kota Kinabalu Wetland Centre (KKWC) declared a Ramsar Site at the Ramsar Convention Day this year.

“The convention is expected to be held in Uruguay in June this year,” said society president, Datuk Zainie Abdul Aucasa.

The 24-hectare KKWC has been nominated to be declared a Ramsar Site since 2012. However, since a new procedure was introduced by the Ramsar headquarters, SWCS had no choice but to abide by it.

“We have already submitted the nomination manually through the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry in Europe last year but the procedure has changed which requires the submission to be made online,” he said. The online system is still new to many, including the SWCS members, he told reporters when met at the Jesselton Point Jetty last Saturday evening.

“To be familiar with the system, the federal ministry has sent one representative to Cambodia for training recently,” he added.

SWCS is currently working closely with the Sabah Biodiversity Centre (SBC) to do the filing for the online nomination.

Zainie told reporters that SWCS will try to expedite the process and hopefully by June, KKWC will be declared a Ramsar Site.

It will be a great achievement to SWCS as the KKWC is located within a 10-kilometre radius of the city centre, thus making it as one of the few urban Ramsar Sites in the world.

Zainie said if everything went according to plan, SWCS will hold double celebrations in one ceremony.

“One is for when KKWC is declared a Ramsar site and the other is to launch a book,” he said, adding that the book is now close to completion with only an official write-up and some photographs of KKWC that are pending.

Ramsar Site is a recognition given to a wetland area for the purpose of global biological diversity conservation through ecological and hydrological functions.