Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Kota Damansara forest regazetted as permanent reserve


This article was published by the Sun on March 3, 2010. You can read the original article HERE 

KUALA LUMPUR (March 3, 2010): The Selangor state government has re-gazetted the Kota Damansara Forest, covering an area of 321.7ha, as a permanent forest reserve from Feb 18 after eight years of campaigning by Friends of Kota Damansara (FKD), its co-chairman, Jeffrey FK Phang, said today.

FKD, a non-governmental organisation, is a coalition of 20 residents associations and environmental groups campaigning for the Kota Damansara Forest to be used for recreation, education and research purposes.

Originally known as the Sungai Buloh Forest Reserve, the forest was first gazetted in 1898 with an area of 6,590 ha.

"It held the enviable record as the oldest gazetted forest in Malaysia until 1983 when half of the original reserve was excised for agriculture," he said in a statement.

In 1992, 1,600ha were given to the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) to develop the Kota Damansara township and a year later, the state government excised 402.6ha from the forest reserve for a botanical garden.

When plans for the botanical garden were cancelled and development proposals for the parcel were published in May 2002, the residents staged their first protest.

In December 2007, the Draft Petaling Jaya Local Plan 2020 revealed that nearly the whole of the parcel of land was zoned for residential development with just a small area for recreation.

But the latest gazette by the state government had restored the parcel as a permanent forest reserve, which also classfified it as an amenity, research and education forest, Phang said. -- Bernama


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