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NGOs want a green pledge in Perak

 | May 1, 2013

Commit to our six-point demand and we'll tell 10,000 members to vote for you, coalition tells parties and candidates vying for seats in Perak

TAIPING: A coalition of five environmental NGOs wants an undertaking from political parties and their candidates to help halt wonton unsustainable development in the silver state.

The five are Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM), Malaysia Nature Society Perak Branch (MNS), Persatuan Alam Sekitar Perak (PASP), Kumpulan Activis Sahabat Alam (KUASA) and Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam Malaysia (PEKA).

PASP president Abdul Rahman Said Alli said that the coalition’s 10,000 members will be urged to support and vote for only those parties and candidates who signed the Perak Green Pledge to safeguard the environment.

“We don’t want the environment to be destroyed in the name of progress as we want our future generations to live in an environmentally safe and friendly atmosphere,” he said.

Over the years, pleas to the BN state government to arrest the environmental degradation and mismanagement of natural resources had fallen on deaf ears.

The coalition feels that the coming general election will be a golden opportunity to press all political parties to subscribe to the policy of sustainable development.

Last Friday, the coalition conveyed the six-point green pledge to all political parties and the 120 candidates standing for elections in the state.

It will make public on Friday, the names of the candidates who have signed the pledge and encouraged Perakians to fully support and vote for them.

The NGOs want them to pledge within 100 days after being elected to office to make a serious and concerted effort to implement the six demands in the green pledge.

The Perak Green Pledge

The pledge the coalition wants are:

1. To amend the state forest enactments to make prior mandatory public announcements and public consultations (relevant NGOs included) prior to the future excision of forest reserves.

2. To take steps to regazette the excised Forest Reserve in Tanjung Hantu Forest Reserve (THFR), located at Segali Melintang Forest Reserve in Lumut.

3. To take concrete steps to gazette the proposed (by the Perak state government) Kinta Nature Park (KNP) under the Perak State Park Enactment and to adopt and implement balanced stakeholders Consulted Management Plan.

4. To take the necessary actions to stop further excision of Pondok Tanjung Forest Reserve and to re-gazette perimeter state land to enlarge Pondok Tanjung Forest Reserve (PTFR).

5. To adopt and implement the Belum-Temengor Integrated Management Plan presented to Perak state government by NCIA (Northern Corridor Implementation Agency) and to engage Environmental NGOs in the monitoring of its implementation.

6. To stick closely to all the relevant Master Plans (local and national) when embarking on new development so as not to repeat the environmental destruction as in the case of Vale Inc (the iron-ore distribution activity in a tourism belt).

The chairman of Conservation Advisory Committee of Malaysian Nature Society Tan Chin Tong said that the THFR is the only coastal ecosystem in Perak which is home to the endemic Shorea lumutensis and threatened Shorea glauca tree species.

The proposed degazettement and industrial entrails the coastline of Telok Rubiah is zoned as Tourism development in the development plan but has yet to be implemented he lamented.

Tan pointed out that the KNP is a piece of mining land with unique flora and fauna but the BN state government did not have the political willpower to gazette this as a natural park.

The PTFR has a unique ecosystem with ‘young’ peat swamp forest, which is diminishing in size over the years due to greed and over development.

All future developments by those coming into power in the coming polls should not ignore the sustainable safety nets like the National Physical Plan and the National Forestry acts.


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