Kota Kinabalu & Sabah News

20. July 2017

Ramsar Status for KK Wetlands

Ramsar Status for KK Wetlands

The Kota Kinabalu Wetlands were recently recognized as the seventh Ramsar site, the wetland recognition equivalent to a world heritage site.  It is the second Ramsar site in Malaysia, the first being the Lower Kinabatangan-Segama Wetlands, also in Sabah, covering three forest reserves.

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said that this recognition is a reflection of the efforts of the Federal and State governments in the conservation of natural ecosystems and biodiversity.  In Sabah, conservation efforts have been implemented to ensure the sustainability of forest management in conjunction with the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.  It is also planning to devote 30 per cent of its total landmass comprising 2.2 million hectares as Totally Protected Areas and he hopes that this can be achieved within the next five years.

The KK Wetlands is a mangrove swamp in the middle of Kota Kinabalu City with 30 species of mangrove and plants, 90 species of birds and five species of reptiles.  It is home to three globally threatened species and a nursery ground for fish and aquatic species.

The location of the KK Wetlands is a big advantage for tourism, recreational and educational activities although the threats of pollution, over-exploitation and harvesting cannot be eliminated.

Government Agencies in Sabah Signs Corruption-Free Pledge

The Farmers Orgaization Authority (LPP) became the 53rd government agency to express their commitmet for a corruption-free Malaysia as 130 staff members signed the pledge with Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Tuesday.  The state MACC director Datuk Sazali Salbi said that Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman and the Cabinet members were also among the signatories, with Musa signing the pledge last April.  Also, the Tawau Municipal council is the first local authority to sign this initiative.  Expected to sign on July 24 is the police force, led by Inpector-General of the police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.

Marine Conservation Proposal Submitted

The protection of four shark species and two ray species are the subject of a proposal for marine conservation submitted by the Sabah government.  According to Sabah Shark Protection Advocacy (SSPA) president Aderick Chong, this move is sanctioned under the Fisheries Regulations 1999 (Control of Endangered Species).  He added that the six species subject for protection are all listed in the Convention on the International Endangered Species (CITES).

ESSZone Tour Operators and Resorts Given Deadline to Install AIS on Boats

Tour operators and resorts at the Eastern Sabah Security Zone were given a deadline to install the Automatic Identification System (AIS) on their boats.  They have one month beginning Wednesday July 18 to do so.

Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) commander Datuk Hazani Ghazali said that this is for the safety of tourists going to nearby islands for diving and other water activities.  The AIS allows for easy monitoring of boats especially in areas prone to cross-border crimes.  It also enables government agencies to communicate with the vessel’s crew should the need arise.

After the one-month deadline, Esscom and other enforcement agencies will inspect the boats for compliance.

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