SWCS campaigns against condominium projects

The creeping onslaught of the concrete jungle threatens wetland territories and stresses out birds and other creatures.

Wetland information lessons

People's livelihood and wetland environment

Nature's roots of life for many creatures and anti-tsunami barriers of the mangrove wetlands.
Tourists love such intimate solitude with nature along a walkway through the wetlands.
Calm waters of the wetland.
Humans the main enemy of the sustainable environment
Start of a tranquil exploration walk.
Exhibits include a horseshoe crab of the wetlands
Entrance to a peaceful walk in the park.

Sabah marks World Environment Day on June 7 with a ceremony at the Kota Kinabalu Wetlands (formerly known as the City Bird Sanctuary at Likas).

This year’s celebration focuses on the theme Green Economy: Does it include you?

Commemorated every year on June 5, World Environment Day is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations, through its Environment Programs (UNEP) stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action.

The UN Environment Programs (UNEP) defines the Green Economy as one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.

In its simplest expression, a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive.

In Kota Kinabalu, the Sabah Wetlands Conservation Society (SWCS) is opposing high-rise property development next to the city’s only wetlands.

“SWCS has initiated a public signature campaign in support of Kota Kinabalu Wetlands with our slogan “Our Wetlands for Now and the Future Generations”.

“In our effort towards Green Economy and sustainable development, we are particularly concerned with proposed high-rise condominium developments next to KK Wetlands which would have detrimental impacts on its sustainability.

“These signatures will be submitted to the relevant authorities at the local and state governments levels so that our objections on any unsustainable infrastructure or condominium development that will affect Kota Kinabalu Wetlands will be given due consideration by the authorities,” said SWCS president Zainie Abdul Aucasa.

Part of the objectives of the campaign is to increase public awareness on the importance of wetlands conservation and SWCS efforts to obtain Ramsar Site status for Kota Kinabalu Wetlands, he said.

Wetlands conservation, as promoted by the Convention on Wetlands or Ramsar Convention, is essential in order to maximise and sustain the benefits they provide to human populations.

In Malaysia there are six wetlands designated as Ramsar Sites with one in Sabah at the Lower Kinabatangan-Segama Wetlands.

SWCS is continuing with its effort to obtain Ramsar Site status for Kota Kinabalu Wetlands.

“Through the signature drive, SWCS hopes to create awareness among city folks on the importance of wetlands and its role in the ecological functions of wetlands to society in various ways,” he added.

SWCS strives to conserve the 24ha of mangrove forests at Kota Kinabalu Wetlands as a sanctuary for more than 90 species of birds and aquatic animals and to maintain this green heritage for the younger generation to know and enjoy the mangrove ecosystem with its rich biodiversity of flora and fauna.

“Rapid development such as high-rise condominiums may bring short-term financial benefits to land owners and property developers but has dire consequences in the long term to wetland health, compromising the ecosystem services and often the livelihood of local community,” he said.

SWCS has recently opened its interactive Wetlands Exhibition Hall at its Environmental Education Centre at Kota Kinabalu Wetlands and it will be open for public viewing for free during the World Environment Day.

SWCS hopes through these activities it will enhance public awareness and appreciation of the importance and benefits of wetlands.

Wetlands perform a host of ecological and hydrological functions that benefit humankind. Some of the most important functions of wetlands are their roles in water supply, water purification and flood control.

Wetlands also perform many other important socio-economic functions, such as provision of habitat for fisheries and forestry resources, and are critical for the conservation of biological diversity.

Considering the important roles that wetlands can play, wetlands conservation, as promoted by the Convention on Wetlands or Ramsar Convention, is essential in order to maximise and sustain the benefits they provide to human populations.

In Malaysia there are six wetlands designated as Ramsar Sites with one in Sabah at the Lower Kinabatangan-Segama Wetlands.

SWCS is continuing with its effort to obtain Ramsar Site status for Kota Kinabalu Wetlands and being within the boundary of the City of Kota Kinabalu, the value of a wetland lies in the benefits that it provides to the environment or to people of Sabah, something that is not easily measured.