Thursday, December 23, 2010

Langat South Forest Reserve (Peatland), Banting/Tg. Sepat

YB Elizabeth Wong of Selangor rang the alarm bells of the possibility of the Langat South Forest Reserve, which has the last vestige of the peatland virgin jungle reserve (VJR) of about 270 hectares, is to be converted to oil palm plantations by Perbadanan Kemajuan Pertanian Selangor (PKPS). The VJR together with about 6,500 hectares of  mixed logged-over forest with the fringes already illegally converted to oil palm plantations as well as vegetable farms and tapioca patches. Remember, Banting is a "kerepek" capital of Selangor if not of Peninsular Malaysia.

The MB of Selangor gave the Selangor Forestry Department and Perhilitan (Wildlife and National Parks Department) to work together to do a rapid Ecological Assessment of the forest reserve to indicate whether it is worth keeping.
Langat South Forest Reserve with the illegally grown oil palms cut down and replanted with forest species

With En Yussainy of Selangor Forestry Department and a Meranti Tembaga sapling

Both departments requested for MNS to be in the picture and I think this is a very opportune time for a Nature and Environment-based NGO to work with two of the most relevant departments in Conservation. I gave sent an SOS SMS to the Director-General of the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM), Dato' Dr. Latif to get some assistance in the form of specific researchers such Dr. Lim (Orang Asli and socio-economic issues). We are given two weeks to finish the study and the report. The dates 21 - 26 Dec are considered as fieldwork dates.

We have a short meeting during lunch time of the Kota Damansara Community Forest seminar on 20 Dec at the Club, Bandar Utama. In attendance were En Borhanudin, the Director of Selangor Forestry, Dr. Lim of FRIM (another representative from FRIM but her name slipped my mind), Lim Teck Wyn, Mrs. Pasu and Tan Sri Salleh.

On 21 Dec. 2010 (my birthday!), we (Mrs. Pasu, Teck Wyn and I) drove to Banting to meet up with En Yussainy, Renjer Kamaruddin< En Asri and other staff of the Selangor Forestry Department, who led us into two contrasting compartments - the first was a former oil palm plantation but with the palm trees already felled and replanted with 11 forests species (merbau, kapur, merawan siput jantan, merawan bunga, kelat paya, meranti tembaga, meranti sarang punai, ramin melawis, nyatoh taban merah, chengal, manggis, meranti seraya, kalumpang jari and karas (Aquilaria?)).Total costs of cutting of the oil palm and replanting are about RM 500, 000.

Later they brought us to Compartment 25, part of the VJR mentioned above.
Virgin Jungle Reserve (VJR) signage at Compartment 25
Outside of Compartment 25

Old Tapir tracks just outside Compartment 25

Wild boar hunters' hide at the boundary of Compartment 25

At the boundary of Compartment 25
A forester's marker for a flora species transect

About 50 meters from the outside boundary of Compartment 25

Mrs Pasu with Mr. Chan Yee Choong of FRIM

A 3.1 meter basal circumference of a tree confirmed by En Asri and Teck Wyn

A "kelubi" palm (where are the fruits?)

A confident Teck Wyn crossing a peaty drain :-)

Peaty water due to high concentration of humic acids

Take a look at the photos attached and give us your comments about converting the Langat South Forest Reserve into another oil palm plantation.

Gunung Ledang, 21 February 2010

Gunung Ledang, 21 February 2010
On the Peak of Gunung Ledang after the MNSJ Strategic Planning

Malaysian Nature Society, Johor Branch


I am the present Chairman of the Malaysian Nature Society, Johor Branch (MNSJ) (2010-11) and was duly elected as the President of the Malaysian Nature Society at the 63rd AGM at Taman Rimba Lagenda Ledang, Tangkak on 25th Sept. 2010. It is MNSJ's standing policy to engage directly with the relevant Federal and State agencies/departments on issues related to Nature and the Environment. This non-hostile approach is more effective than the hostile "in your face" attitude but we would have our say if necessary.


About Me

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Skudai, Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
I am an academician in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia situated in the southern state of Johor, Peninsular Malaysia. My fields of expertise are watershed management, water quality and water quality modeling. I did my B. Sc. and M. Sc. at the University of Iowa (1978 - 83) and worked for the Department of Environment (DOE) until 1990, when I joined UTM and later did my PhD in Watershed Science at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. I was the Chairman of the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) Johor from 2006 - 2011. I was the President of the MNS from 2010 to 2014.