World Wetlands Day 2013
MNS celebrated World Wetlands Day (WWD) on the 2nd February 2013. The date has been adopted during the Convention on Wetlands in 1971 at Ramsar, Iran. This year, Kuala Selangor Nature Park (KSNP) celebrated WWD at the KSNP Amphitheatre with the collaboration of government agencies, NGOs, University and community groups.
2013’s slogan, “Wetlands Take Care of Water”, was geared to raise the public awareness of the interdependence between water and wetlands as well as to promote the responsible use of water and ways to reduce our water footprint.
In conjunction with WWD2013, the organizer, Malaysian Nature Society supported by Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Higher Education, Majlis Daerah Kuala Selangor, Lembaga Urus Air Selangor, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and corporate supporters such as Ricoh, VIVE and HSBC, aimed to generate awareness for the local community and members of the public on our precious wetlands especially Kuala Selangor Nature Park which is critical to human health and the overall well being of our society.
This year’s event focused on youths’ participation in wetlands and water conservation, led by our partner Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) for the school children under their SEE Nature program, a youth volunteer program jointly conducted by UKM and MNS
Amongst the activities organized included guided nature walks, talks, video screenings, tree planting, bird-watching, a mangrove clean-up activity, and exhibitions.
MNS President, Prof Dr. Maketab Mohamed commented to the 200 strong crowd, “MNS is heartened to SEE our youths here today, demonstrating their love and commitment towards nature conservation. It is my hope that more can be achieved to reconnect the youths of today to Mother Nature, here especially in Kuala Selangor Nature Park”.
The SEE Nature programme in KSNP is an innovative youth volunteer programme jointly organised by UKM and MNS, and supported by Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE). The inaugural program began in 2012 where 24 UKM’s students received community-based experiential training by MNS. With the success of this pilot initiative, the SEE Nature Programme was launched this year. The abbreviation “SEE” refers to Seek, Educate and Embrace Nature, and the overarching aim is to inculcate awareness of nature, provide outreach to the community and develop critical workplace competencies among university students.
Prof Dato’ Dr Saran Kaur Gill, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Industry and Community Partnerships at UKM, added “this strategic collaboration between UKM and MNS is one example of a creative knowledge-driven project that successfully integrates elements of research, education and service, and encompasses the important theme of environmental conservation, education and youth volunteerism.”
It was also MNS intention to launch a campaign called the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Campaign (EAAFC) to protect the North-Central Selangor coastal (NCSC) wetlands for the migratory water birds, as well as the livelihood of the local communities. “Being part of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership, to which, Malaysia was the 28th partner, Malaysia should conserve existing wetlands and restore back their wetlands along the Flyway. With KSNP centrally located along the NCSC, the pursuit to be listed as a Ramsar Site will facilitate the conservation work of the Flyway”.
Ramsar listing and subsequent Ecotourism activities will further enhance the image of the country and provide long term sustainability for local stakeholders as well as to turn Kuala Selangor Nature Park into a world-class destination”.
“Examples of protected wetlands like the KSNP ‘Ramsar Site’ can then be replicated elsewhere in the country to sustainably manage the wetlands at the same time taking care of the water resources for the future generations”.
The event also hosted 2 local schools who participated in cleaning up the park and planting mangroves. This is in line with MNS strategic plan to empower current and future generations of Malaysians to act for the protection of our natural heritage.
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