MYROLE RTM1- Featured GrASS on 25 Jan 2011, 330pm

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Dear Friends,

We here at GrASS need your help to help us gather the below mentioned items to help us raise funds for our shelter and other independent pet rescuers.

The items are:

Scrap Paper
Old Newspapers
Old Magazines
Unwanted uncooked/raw Acidic Fruits ( Oranges, pineapples, lime,lemons)
Unwanted uncooked/raw fruits
Unwanted uncooked/raw Vegetables
Brown Sugar
Rice Bran
Red Earth
Glass Jars/Plastic containers with lids
Cardboard boxes (any other cardboard materials)
Aluminium Cans
Expired Food Products

For more ways on how or what items you can donate to help please visit HERE

Thursday, August 20, 2009

View: Nurture this natural treasure

Thursday August 20, 2009

JOHOR is among the most developed states and the richness of the diverse biodi­versity is still there as seen in the several parks and protected areas.

Mt Belumut, Sedili, River, Mt Ledang (Ophir) and the islands off Mersing coast are some of them, among which Panti forest reserve is a definite "hidden natural treasure".

The mountain range of Panti, in the Kota Tinggi district, may be only about 1,500 feet but the richness of the biodiversity is unequalled, offering an array of rich fauna and flora. It can compete with any of the parks in Malaysia of a similar size.

Fresh sightings of leopards, wild boars and elephant dung are common.

Birding, with more than 320 species recorded, is one of the main activities.

Many Singaporeans and foreigners visit this forest reserve during weekends and public holidays. They are aware of this place as it is regularly featured in foreign bird forums and also in several blogs and foreign Internet bird sites. Birds such as hornbills, pittas, the Malaysian Rail-babbler, Eagle-owl and Rufous-backed Kingfisher are found here.

The second most important activity is trekking up the mountain. It is a three-hour challenging walk with manageable obstacles that are popular with day-trippers. The view from the top is breathtaking and unobstructed. A camp at the peak is a must for nature enthusiasts.

It hurts when villagers indicate that poaching and the removal of rare orchids and birds are common.

These poachers seek wild game including deer, porcupines, ant-eaters and snakes. Some of the wildlife are sent to neighbouring countries.

The modus operandi is to approach from the west side of Panti and do a lot of damage, including illegal harvesting of gaharu, to be sold for direct export.

Bullet pellets are a common sight, especially at the foothills. It could be from the hunters or army personnel who use the reserve as a training ground.

Demarcation here is vital to ensure the safety of visitors. The army must be reminded about the proper upkeep of the environment as army leftovers are often seen.

After doing some Internet research, I gather that the Panti mountain range was designated as a potential state park in 2003. This was announced by Freddie Long, who was in charge of the Environment and Tourism portfolio then.

Why does it take so long to gazette it? The state government needs to act fast to protect this beautiful area, which is only an hour's drive from Johor Baru and Singapore.

If properly managed, it can be a boon to tourism and research. Imagine schoolkids coming to appreciate and learn about nature.

My trekking friends and fellow naturalists from Thailand, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore appeal to the Johor state government to quickly protect this area and gazette it immediately as a state park.

By doing this it will also promote eco-tourism, agro-tourism and local culture under the home-stay programme.

The Johor Tourism Ministry has long complained that the state needs new products – this can be a potential source of revenue.

The possible income generated is enormous considering that it is close to Desaru and Singapore.

Such activities would correspondingly generate employment and create more spin-offs for the local tourism related industries.



This article was taken from: The Star Online: Opinion 20 August 2009

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