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[SHARE] Why We Should Sign To Save These Selangor Forest Reserves From Becoming A Highway

Did you know? The Selangor state government will soon degazette four important forest reserves that forms the Selangor State Park to make way for the development of a new highway.

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The Selangor state government has proposed to degazette 106.65 hectares of four forest reserves that form part of the Selangor State Park (Taman Warisan Negeri Selangor)

A notice announcing this appeared in the New Straits Times Classified Section on 14 February 2014

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A notice announcing this appeared in the New Straits Times Classified Section on 14 February 2014.

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In an advertisement posted in page 17 of the NST Classifieds (see attached file), the Selangor Forestry Department has announced a proposal to degazette 106.65 Hectares of forest reserve for the construction of the KLORR. In relation to this, the department has invited any person in Ulu Langat and Gombak having an interest to file their objections within 30 days of the notice. Most of the proposed area earmarked for de-gazettement is part of Taman Warisan Negeri Selangor.

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This degazettement is to enable the construction of a new road - The Kuala Lumpur Outer Ring Road (KLORR), also known as the East Klang Valley Expressway (EKVE)

The proposed KL Outer Ring Road

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The Selangor Forestry Department has announced that 106.65 hectares (ha) of four forest reserves are proposed to be degazetted to make way for the Kuala Lumpur Outer Ring Road (KLORR), also known as the East Klang Valley Expressway (EKVE).

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EKVE HIghway Phase 1

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The EKVE forms the final section of the KL Outer Ring Road (KLORR) which currently comprises the LATAR Highway, Guthrie Corridor Expressway, ELITE Highway, South Klang Valley Expressway and SILK Expressway. Construction is expected to begin next year.

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By degazetting, the Ulu Langat Forest Reserve, Bukit Sungei Puteh Forest Reserve, Ampang Forest Reserve, and Ulu Gombak Forest Reserve will lose its legal "forest reserve" status

Selangor State Park

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This means 106.65 ha of forests that legally have the “forest reserve” status will lose its status. Some parts of these forests are within the Selangor State Park. Parts of the four forest reserves are the Ulu Langat Forest Reserve, Bukit Sungei Puteh Forest Reserve, Ampang Forest Reserve and Ulu Gombak Forest Reserve.

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Gazetted by the state in 2007, the Selangor State Park is the third largest park in Peninsular Malaysia

Gazetted By The State In 2007, The Selangor State Park Is The Third Largest Park In Peninsular Malaysia

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Taman Negeri Selangor, also known as the Selangor State Park, and also known as Taman Warisan Negeri Selangor. It is over 108,000 hectares in size, is the third largest park in Peninsular Malaysia. The 914.41 square kilometre park was gazetted in 2007 as a state park under the National Forestry Act Enactment 2005 of Selangor and is managed by the Forestry Department of Selangor.

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Biodiversity And Ecosystem: The SSP, the largest stretch of contiguous forest tract remaining in Selangor and the third largest park in Peninsular Malaysia, is an Environmentally Sensitive Area Rank 1. It forms part of Peninsular Malaysia’s Central Forest Spine and functions as the most important watershed for Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya. The gazettement as a State Park was to provide a higher level of protection status to the forests that are not only rich in biodiversity but provide crucial ecosystems services such as water to a vast population of residents and businesses in the greater area.

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The KL Outer Ring Road will damage the Selangor State Park. It is important the park is continued to be preserved because:

Selangor State Park

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Image via blogspot.com

1. Water supply and water quality will be disrupted. The Ampang and Ulu Gombak forest reserves are important water catchment forests, supplying water to over 80,000 households in the Klang Valley.

The Selangor State Park is an important water catchment forest

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Water Resource: The Ampang and Ulu Gombak forest reserves serve as water catchment forests for major areas in the Klang Valley. The Ampang Intake plant supplies 19 million litres of potable water per day to 9,225 accounts in the Ampang area. The Ulu Gombak forest reserve is a catchment for the Klang Gates Dam. This dam reportedly supplies water to 80,000 households and business premises in the Klang Valley.

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Malaysia Nature Society’s (MNS) head of conservation, Balu Perumal, pointed out that two of the four forest reserves, Ampang and Ulu Gombak, form part of the Selangor State Park and are important water catchments for the Klang Valley. “This is part of the main range, Banjaran Titiwangsa, the catchment area for Selangor. “If they are going to disturb this area, it will definitely disrupt the water supply and quality,” he told The Malay Mail Online when contacted.

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It is ironic that the proposal to degazette crucial water catchment forests comes at a time when water shortages are being reported in different parts of the Klang Valley and water levels in the Klang Valley dams are reported as dangerously low.

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Further cementing their objection, the coalition says: “We can live with traffic jams until the public transportation system improves, but we cannot live without water. “We, therefore, strongly urge the state government to rescind its plans to allow a highway to traverse through the Selangor State Park.”

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2. The steep slopes in the Selangor State Park is vulnerable to soil erosion and landslides. Removing part of the natural plantation that is holding the soil in place can increase threats of landslides.

Klang Gates Quarts Ridge

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Protecting Steep Slopes: The majority of the State Park is highland over 300meters above sea level, with steep slopes greater than 25 degrees. This environmentally sensitive area is particularly vulnerable to soil erosion and landslides. The thick forest, together with the leaf litter and other organic debris, help reduce the direct impact of rain on the soil. The extensive root systems of natural vegetation hold the soil in place.

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3. The Selangor State Park is rich in biodiversity with about 114 mammal species, 355 bird species, 104 fish species, 202 reptilian and amphibian species, and 3,140 plant species calling the park home

Selangor State Park is home to thousands of plant and animal species

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The Park area, rich in fauna and flora, is significant in maintaining existing levels of biodiversity resources. The wealth of the biodiversity of the Park also contributes to Malaysia’s classification as one of the mega-biodiversity countries in the world. Documented within the Park are:
• much of some 3140 vascular plant species recorded for Selangor are now conserved
• 114 mammal species have been documented
• 355 bird species can be found
• 104 freshwater fish species have been recorded
• 202 reptilian and amphibian species occur

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4. Allowing the degazettement of these four forest reserves will pave way for more development to encroach upon protected areas

Sungai Tua,Selangor State Park (Ulu Yam)

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MNS conservation head Balu Perumal said based on the current status, no areas within the park could and/or should be degazetted. “Otherwise, it will set a precedent for future developments. Also, there is still the option for the state to provide the right-of-way for KLORR without degazetting the forest reserves.

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“In this case, the developer can also be subject to a yearly concession fee by the state which can go towards supporting the state park,” he said.

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The Kuala Lumpur Outer Ring Road will traverse reserve forests. Environment groups believe the project will have an adverse effect on water catchment areas and endanger the forests.

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According to the notice by the Selangor State Forestry department, residents in the Ulu Langat and Gombak districts can submit their objections until 29 march 2014

According to the notice, residents living in the Ulu Langat and Gombak districts can voice their objections within 30 days from the day of the notice through written submissions to the Selangor State Forestry Department Director (Gombak district includes Ampang, Ulu Klang, Melawati, Bukit Antarabangsa and Rawang, while the Hulu Langat district covers Kajang, Cheras and Sungai Long).

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KLORR is seen as a highway threat

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However, a coalition of NGOs including WWF and Malaysia Nature Society say the objection should not be limited to residents in Gombak and Ulu Langat only

An aerial view of the Ampang Forest Reserve which forms one part of the Selangor State Park.

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Balu said most of the 106.65 hectares of the proposed area earmarked for the degazettement is part of the Selangor State Park and a coalition made up of MNS, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Malaysia, Treat Every Environment Special (TrEES) and Save our Sungai (S.O.S.) Selangor is now on a petition drive to object to the encroachment into the park.

themalaymailonline.com

He said the coalition’s target is to get between 100,000 to 300,000 individuals to submit their protests to the Selangor Forestry Department. “They say if you are a citizen staying within the district of Gombak and also Ulu Langat, then you can submit your objection, but for us the road is going to encroach into the Selangor State Park and this park is the third largest state park in the peninsula, after Taman Negara and Royal Belum. “It's a huge area so there is definitely of national interest,” he said.

themalaymailonline.com

"Two of the forest reserves are water catchments for areas outside of Gombak and Ulu Langat districts. Moreover, the SSP is a beautiful park and should be regarded as the pride of not only the citizens of Selangor, but the entire nation. Thus, every citizen who wants the forests protected should be able to voice their concern as “interested parties”. We don’t think the right to object the degazettement should be limited to only those living in the Gombak and Ulu Langat districts."

freemalaysiatoday.com

“Selangor is the only state to have provisions for a public inquiry and objection for proposals to degazette forest reserves. However, we wonder if it would be just another avenue where concerns will be ‘considered’ but will not change the government’s decision,” says the coalition in a letter to the media earlier today."

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The NGOs aim to get 100,000 to 300,000 individuals to submit their protest.

Here's how you can voice your objection:
1.Snail-mail an objection letter to Selangor State Forestry Department

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Image via imgur.com

2. Optional: CC your objection letter to the Selangor Menteri Besar and relevant state exco members

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A sample of the objection letter can be obtained here:

Individual submissions: CLICK HERE for an example of a objection letter to the Selangor State Forestry Department, MB and Exco

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Group submissions: CLICK HERE

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Sample of an objection letter to the Selangor State Forestry Deparment

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The SAYS team will assist the first 100 readers in submitting their physical objection letters to the relevant authorities. Simply email your signed objection letters to [email protected] by 24 March 2014.

Objection letters, whether group or individual MUST BE completely filled out and signed.
DEADLINE for submission via SAYS is on 24 March 2014. Limited to first 100 people only. Please email all submissions to [email protected].

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Besides that, concerned citizens are encouraged to create awareness by sharing the news with friends and family

• You can help create awareness on this matter. Tell your friends and family members and ask them to voice their concern.
• Write to the media. It is simple to also email your concerns which you have voiced to the government to the media.
• Voice your concerns on social media.

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Post this information on your Facebook.

Tweet about it, if you have a Twitter account.

Post your concerns on elected representatives’ Facebook account. The Prime Minister, Selangor Menteri Besar and some Selangor State EXCO members have active Facebook accounts. Post your concerns there. Some FB account links are as follows:

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