PRESS STATEMENT 20 MARCH 2013
Statement from the coalition group, Friends of Ulu Muda of which SAM is a part of
20 March 2013, Kuala Lumpur – The Friends of Ulu Muda applaud the Kedah State Forestry Department on the recent gazettement of a total of eight proposed forest reserves as Permanent Reserved Forests (PRF) on January 2013. Some of the gazetted areas had been proposed as PRFs since 2003.
Three of the recently gazetted PRFs are part of the Greater Ulu Muda forest, totalling 20,655ha, including 8,191ha of the Bukit Saiong Forest Reserve, which connects parts of the Pedu Forest Reserve and the Ulu Muda Forest Reserve. Both the latter have been proposed as the Ulu Muda State Park.
The gazettement is a good sign of progress towards the improved protection of the Greater Ulu Muda forest, which serves as a major water catchment for Malaysia’s northern region.
Water conserved in the three reservoirs, namely Muda, Pedu and Ahning, which are supplied by the Greater Ulu Muda catchment, is used for irrigation of the Muda Irrigation Scheme rice-growing area. Water released from the reservoirs enables double cropping in the area, which currently produces 40% of the national rice supply.
The dams also supply water for domestic and industrial usage in Kedah (including Langkawi), Penang and Perlis. The catchment forests themselves are one of the richest depositories of biodiversity in northern Peninsular Malaysia.
“We hope that the State Government of Kedah will now look into rendering this highly important area further protection by changing its status into a state park, where logging of any kind or for whatever reasons will not be allowed,” said the coalition. “Instead, the State should promote more sustainable use of the Greater Ulu Muda Forest like low impact nature tourism and scientific research” it added.
f(Friends of Ulu Muda)
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About Friends of Ulu Muda
FOUM (Friends of Ulu Muda) is a coalition of concerned Malaysian civil society organisations who have come together to stop logging activities in the Ulu Muda Forest Reserve. Its rationale is because any logging activity in water catchment forests is in conflict with the catchment’s role.
For more details go to: http://saveulumuda.com/
FoUM Core Group consists of:
1. Consumers’ Association of Penang
2. Malaysian Nature Society Kedah
3. Malaysian Nature Society Langkawi
4. Malaysian Nature Society Penang
5. Sahabat Alam Malaysia
6. Water Watch Penang
and supported by
9. Environmental Protection Society of Malaysia
10. PACOS Trust (Partners of Community Organisations)
11. Pertubuhan Muafakat Warga Desa (Rural Citizens Negeri Kedah)
13. Third World Network
14. Treat Every Environment Special S/B (TrEES)
15. Wetlands International-Malaysia
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