Friday, September 22, 2017

Klias Wetlands eyed for RAMSAR nomination

KOTA KINABALU: The Kota Kinabalu Wetlands, the first wetland situated within an urban area, has been accorded recognition as a RAMSAR site.

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun, noted that there was another urban wetland site located in Tokyo that has been given the recognition, but the site was treeless.

“We have mangrove trees,” said Masidi during a ceremony to launch the Kota Kinabalu Wetlands RAMSAR site yesterday.

The arduous process of applying for the RAMSAR nomination for the Kota Kinabalu Wetlands began as a dare made eight years ago by Masidi to the Sabah Wetlands Conservation Society.

The application was approved by the State Cabinet in March 2013, and was subsequently submitted to the RAMSAR Secretariat by the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry in August 2016.

Last year, on December 22, the society finally received the long delayed good news that their application has been approved.

The Kota Kinabalu Wetlands has finally been designated as RAMSAR site no. 2290 – the second RAMSAR site for Sabah.

Now, Masidi said, he is eyeing the Klias Wetlands, which was part of a forest reserve and famous for the sighting of proboscis monkeys, for the RAMSAR nomination.

“But we need to engage with the local community because this will entail restrictions and regulations concerning the land use at the area,” he said.