Friday, January 13, 2012

The Kota Damansara Community Forest

1. Somw years ago ca. 2003 the Malaysian Nature Society and the concerned Friends of Kota Damansara took the case of Kota Damansara Forest Reserve to the state government. At that time the communities were so much concerned with the physical development occurring around their residences within 6 km of the green lung. After a long social fights the Forest Department gazetted it as a permamament forest reserve in 2010 and designated it as a community forest.
2. In April 2010 the Forestry Department and MNS organised a 4-day scientific expedition to this fragmented island forest and more than 80 scientists and KD residents too part. The JMG staffs came to study the geology, the PERHILITAN staffs came to observe the small mammals and the young scientists from FRIM, UM, UPM, UKM, Putrajaya Botanic Garden and MNS came to study the various aspects of flora and fauna. And this week on 11-12 January 2012 we all met at SEGi University College KD campus to discuss the findings.
3. En. Awg. Shaffie of Selangor Forestry Department introduced the concept of community forest and showed us the slow and steady loss of the former Sungai Buloh FR to the current 321.7 ha of Kota Damansara FR. Dato' Shaharudin Mohd. Ismail ex Deputy DG of Forestry Dept. Semenanjung Malaysia gave us an excellent historical perspectives of forest management in Selangor beginning in 1896 to the present day. Dr. H F Lim also gave us the social perspectives and fate of Temuan of Bukit Lanjan.
4. Ms Phon of FRIM told us that there are records of 17% of the peninsula's butteflies are found here. And this was supported by Dr. Norela Sulaiman of UKM. Dr. C Y Choong reported 48 species of odonates and Mr. Daicus Belabut of UM reported 24 species of amphibians and 8 species of reptiles and Dr. Y F Ng reported three new records of thrips for Malaysia, 2 generic records (Priesneriola & Amarothrips) and 1 specific record (Phibalothrips longiceps).
5. Ms. Thi of FRIM and Dr. Y S Tan of UM briefed us on the diversity of macrofungi observed and collected in Kota Damansara FR.
6. En. Ahmed Zainuddin of Putrajaya reported more than 129 species of angiosperms oberved here and this was supported by the assessment done by Rafidah A. Rahman of FRIM. Rafidah addede that the populations of Orchidantha fimbriata and Cyrtandra cupulata are worth studying in details. Mr. Razali Jaman of UKM reported more than 24 species of ferns. Ms Y M Chan reported two begonia species endemic to the peninsula are found here, B. holttumii and B. aequalateralis.
7. Mr. Henry Goh of MNS reported 67 species of birds from 16 families including some migrants and this supported by Ms. Farah Shafawati who did some mist-nettings. Prof. MMaketab of MNS & UTM read the analyses on water quality. All in all it was a very successful seminar as the KD communities and SEGi were very supportive. Let us wait for more outcomes of this in some planned actions to show-case the KD Community Forest.

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