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Title: Loagan Bunut in Sarawak to host World Wetlands Day
Date: 03-Feb-2007
Category: Malaysia
Source/Author: Eastern Times (Malaysia)
Description: A seminar on wetland and fishery will be held from Feb 3-4 at Loagan Bunut National Park, in conjunction with the annual World Wetlands Day that falls on Feb 2.

MIRI— A seminar on wetland and fishery will be held from Feb 3-4 at Loagan Bunut National Park, in conjunction with the annual World Wetlands Day that falls on Feb 2.

The seminar is organised by the United Nations Development Programme/Global Environment Facility (UNDP/GEF) in collaboration with Education Department, Forest Department, Agriculture Department, Natural Resources and Environment, Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC), and Loagan Bunut Fishery Management Committee (LBFMC).

According to the organising spokesperson, Loagan Bunut National Park (LBNP) had been chosen as the venue for the state level celebration since the park was composed of more than 80% peat swamp forest and its associated wetland ecosystems.

"With the importance of the lake to the ecosystem integrity of the LBNP especially the fishery hence the livelihood of the ethnic Berawans, it is very appropriate that the event be commemorated and celebrated there," he said.

Loagan Bunut National Park is composed of a huge, natural freshwater lake and is home to many variety of fish species while the local population, the Berawans, depend on the lake and its ecosystem for their livelihood since time immemorial.

During the seminar, UNDP/GEF National Expert Dr Alexander K Sayok will speak on the management and sustainable use of peat swamp forest and associated wetlands ecosystem while fishery experts from the Agriculture Department and the Sarawak Development Institute will speak on prudent fishery management in Sarawak.

Chairman of the Local Fishery Committee, Tingang Api, will also speak on the management of fishery in park.  

Second Minister of Planning and Resource Management and Minister of Public Utilities, Dato Sri Haji Awang Tengah Ali Hasan will officiate the event, and also lead in releasing fish fry into the lake.

Other side events are also arranged where members of the public will have the chance to cruise on the lake, taking a tour along Sungai Bunut to witness Berawan traditional fishing implement, Selambau, trekking along the wetlands, and also sampling some of the local fish delicacies at the stalls erected by the locals.

World Wetlands Day is celebrated each year on February 2, since 1997 to commemorate the signing of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar Convention) in Ramsar, Iran, on February 2, 1971 .

Government agencies, non-government organisations and community groups around the world have celebrated World Wetlands Day by undertaking actions to raise public awareness of wetland values and benefits, promote the conservation and wise use of wetlands.

These activities include seminars, nature walks, festivals, launching of new policies, announcements of new Ramsar sites, newspaper articles, radio interviews and wetland rehabilitation.

The international theme for World Wetlands Day 2007 is 'Wetlands and Fisheries', in recognition of the importance of fish and fisheries to all people around the world.


Author(s) Norni Mahadi
Website (URL) http://www.easterntimes.com.my


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