HELP SAVE KUALA LANGAT NORTH FOREST RESERVE

About Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve (KLNFR)

Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve (KLNFR) is mainly peat swamp forest, with smaller areas of lowland dipterocarp forest. Peatlands are critical for preserving global biodiversity, provide safe drinking water, minimise flood risk and help address climate change (i.e. important carbon sink in climate change mitigation measures).  It is an area of importance for biodiversity conservation that supports rare species such as Meranti Bakau, the Malayan Sun Bear, Selangor Pygmy Flying Squirrel and the rare Langat Red Fighting Fish. The forest is also of significant importance to local indigenous (locally known as Orang Asli) communities from Temuan tribe that have been their home for more than 150 years (with photographic evidence since 1886) 

The unique hydrology of this habitat provides a critical buffer against flooding during the wet season and insurance against drought in the dry season. The swamp retains heavy rainfall and slowly releases the moisture over an extended period. It also helps supply water to the surrounding area. As climate change results in more extreme weather events and irregular precipitation this ecosystem service is becoming even more critical.

Most of the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve is situated on peatlands which have a naturally high water-table. Such peatlands are important stores of carbon because the organic matter of the forest has been accumulating for thousands of years. There are now several meters of below-ground organic matter underlying this forest reserve. Clearing and draining the forest would result in the oxidation of this organic matter and the release of carbon into the atmosphere. 

Selangor State Government has proposed to degazette 930.93 ha (97%) of the forest reserve for a mixed development project. The Selangor State Forestry Department has, by way of a notice in the media on Feb 5, 2020, invited stakeholders in the Kuala Langat district to voice their objections to the proposal within 30 days. 

DEGAZETTEMENT PROPOSAL OF KUALA LANGAT NORTH FOREST RESERVE

The Selangor State Government has proposed to degazette 930.93ha of the forest reserve for a mix development project. The Selangor State Forestry Department has, by way of a notice in the media on Feb 5, 2020, invited stakeholders in the Kuala Langat District to voice their objections to the proposal within 30 days. It has been stated that a major reason is that the forest reserve is continually burning to destroy 40% of the forest with smoke affecting the adjacent highway. Developing houses in the area has been proposed as a strategy to reduce fires. 

Surrounded by rapid developments, the forest is under increasing pressure. Between 2011 - 2014, fires burnt a large area of the forest. However, at the request of the State Government, in 2014, rapid action was undertaken by the local Orang Asli community supported by the State Forest Department, NGOs and other partners to prevent fires and restore the forest. More than 10,000 trees have been planted, and 300ha of forest have recovered and only one significant has occurred in the past 5 years.   

 

The 60% of the forest that the State confirms has not been affected by the fire has many large trees, some hundred years old. They represent some of the best remaining lowland forests in Southern Selangor. The forest is underlain with a layer of 2-4m of peat which stores more than 1.5million tonnes of carbon which has formed over the last 8.000 years old. 


WHY DO WE NEED TO OBJECT TO THE PROPOSAL

KLFNR is an Environmental Sensitive Area (ESA/KSAS) - Level 1 under the Third National Physical Plan (RFN-3) and Disaster Risk KSAS under Development Goal Policy 16 (MP16) in the Selangor State Plan 2035 (RSN). Meaning any development in the area should not be allowed and will have detrimental environmental, economic and social impacts especially towards the Orang Asli communities that have lived in the area for hundreds of years as well as affecting the broader community and nation. 

The proposed degazettement of KLNFR is not in line with the Selangor State Government's plan in the 2035 State Structure Plan to maintain 32% of the forest area in the State of Selangor. This proposed degazettement is also not in line with the Act 313, National Forestry Act 1984, National Action Plan for Peatlands (2011-2020), the National Policy on  Biological Diversity (2016-2025) and the Third National Physical Plan (NPP-3), the Land Conservation Act 1960 (Act 385) related to conservation and protection of environmental resources and other obligations both in Malaysia and abroad.

WHAT IS AT STAKE?

  1. Degazettment of KLNFR would disregard the rights of the Orang Asli people who have lived for more than 134 years (since 1886). The State Government must be fair and equitable to protect the interests of the indigenous communities in the area;
  2. The clearing of forest area for development purposes will endanger ecological degradation, loss of wildlife habitat, flora and aquatic extinction;
  3. Increase the risk of fire in the KLNFR and surrounding peatland areas;
  4. Increase soil subsidence and flood risk in the area and the surrounding peatland areas;
  5. Increase the risk of floods in oil palm plantations managed by the Orang Asli;
  6. Ecological disturbance to the Langat and Klang rivers basins;
  7. Development of KLNFR (including tree felling, peat and drainage) leads to the release of 5.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), which contributes to local, and global warming and climate change problems; and
  8. Loss of research and education, recreation, eco-tourism sites and local socio-economic.

Peat Swamp Forest degradation is held responsible for large scale greenhouse gas accumulation in the atmosphere. It is one of the main contributors to global climate change. If we don’t stop deforestation, and degazettement, the KLNFR will completely disappear soon. Therefore, there are many impacts including :

  1. The fight against global warming and climate change;
  2. Ecosystems and biodiversity protection: preserve critically endangered species or fauna and flora;
  3. Protection of natural resources including wetlands;
  4. People’s right to the healthy local living environment, resulting in sustainable production systems;
  5. Preservation of the cultural identity of the forests’ dependence populations.
  6. Payments for ecosystem services— Hope for avoiding the worst outcomes in the increasingly rely on the belief that people will be burdened and were shocked soon by the payment will request for the services provided by undisturbed and healthy forests ecosystems. These services—which include biodiversity maintenance, rainfall generation, carbon sequestration, and soil stabilization, among others—have traditionally been undervalued by markets, but there are signs that the situation is changing.

We, therefore call on the Selangor State Government to stop the proposed degazettement of the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve and instead protect it in perpetuity and manage it in partnership with the Orang Asli community. We need all the support from the public (including the youth groups, universities, climate change and environmental focused groups) in this effort to Save Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve by providing additional information on values of forest in payment for ecosystem, biodiversity (flora & fauna), carbon assessment, social values for OA and others. If you have any information, please e-mail to outreach@gec.org.my 


Materials 

If we do not end deforestation or degazettement, it will jeopardise our efforts to reduce global warming and mitigate climate change. Please voice out your objection. Download and share it on your social media and talk to your family and friends about it. Share the updates world-wide and tag influencers. #kualalangat #kualalangatforestreserve #HSKLU #KLNFR #ClimateJustice
 


Photos

 


News Coverage 

Online/Printed News

Coalition reminds Selangor gov't to abandon Kuala Langat degazettement plan (The Edge Prop, 17 April 2020)

K'jaan Selangor digesa tangguh penyahwartaan hutan simpan di Kuala Langat (Malaysiakini, 27 March 2020)

44,292 bantahan berhubung pemansuhan pewartaan Hutan Simpan Kuala Langat Utara (Bernama, 17 March 2020)

We cannot take trees for granted (New Straits Times, 10 March 2020)

In eyeing Kuala Langat development, conservationists say Selangor government risks floods and destruction (Malay Mail, 9 March 2020)

‘Objection period for Kuala Langat plan too short’ (The Star, 7 March 2020)

No extension given for stakeholders to submit objections over degazetting of forest reserve (The Star, 5 March 2020)

43,000 objections to plan to cut down Kuala Langat forest (The Malaysian Insight, 5 March 2020)

PAS bantah menyahwartakan status HSKLU (Harakah, 2 March 2020)

Amnesty International, Frim voice opposition to Kuala Langat forest reserve move (Malaysiakini, 27 February 2020)

Orang Asli berdemo mohon MB selamatkan Hutan Kuala Langat (The Malaysian Insight, 26 February 2020)

Bantah pembangunan hutan Kuala Langat, Orang Asli berarak ke pejabat MB (The Malaysian Insight, 26 February 2020)

Orang Asli hand protest note on forest development to Selangor MB (The Malaysian Insight, 26 February 2020)

Hutan di Kuala Langat kini tumbuh semula, kata kumpulan alam sekitar (Oh Semput, 25 February 2020)

Kuala Langat green lung not degraded but re-growing (The Malaysian Insight, 25 February 2020)

Hutan di Kuala Langat kini tumbuh semula, kata kumpulan alam sekitar | The Malaysian Insight (Head Topics, 25 February 2020)

‘Do not develop green lung' (The Star, 24 February 2020)

Tok Batin kecewa, sedih (myMetro, 23 February 2020)

Orang Asli mohon MB S'gor pulihara Hutan Simpan Kuala Langat (Malaysiakini, 23 February 2020)

'Forest is our home, please don't take it away from us' (New Straits Times, 23 February)

Civil society presses on with plans to halt forest reserve destruction (The Malaysian Insight, 23 February 2020)

Selangor flouting own plan to protect Kuala Langat forest (The Malaysian Insight, 23 February 2020)

Menteri: Hutan Simpan Kuala Langat kekal penting buat 4 kampung Orang Asli (Malaysiakini, 22 February 2020)

Selangor MB blasted over plan to degazette forest reserve (Free Malaysia Today, 22 February 2020)

ECRL: Track crosses Kuala Langat forest but we want to avoid de-gazettement (Malaysiakini, 21 February 2020)

PKNS: No plans to build mega business park in forest reserve (The Star, 21 February 2020)

Selangor govt to replace 931 hectares of forest reserves that will be de-gazetted (The Star, 21 February 2020)

Amirudin kritik Xavier bantah pemansuhan hutan simpan Kuala Langat (Malaysia MSN, 21 February 2020)

FB Posts Protesting Degazettement of Kuala Langat Forest Reserve “Disappear” (The True Net, 21 February 2020)

Selangor Govt Is Degazetting Over 930 Hectares Of Forest Reserve. Here's What That Means (SAYS Malaysia, 21 February 2020)

Facebook users infuriated after posts protesting degazettement of Kuala Langat forest reserve ‘vanish’ | Malaysia (Martin TF Wong, 21 February 2020)

Facebook users infuriated after posts protesting the degazettement of Kuala Langat forest reserve removed (Malay Mail, 21 February 2020)

We'll take in all views before decision on Kuala Langat forest reserve - MB (Malaysiakini, 21 February 2020)

Amirudin chides Xavier for opposing degazetting of Kuala Langat forest reserve (Malaysiakini, 21 February 2020)

Malaysia's Pakatan Harapan at loggerheads over a Selangor plan to clear forest reserve (The Straits Times, 21 February 2020)

Selangor govt to replace 931 hectares of forest reserves that will be de-gazetted (I3investor, 21 February 2020)

KLNFR to be degazetted for development (Head Topics, 20 February 2020)

S'gor govt urged to reconsider plan to develop Kuala Langat North forest reserve (New Straits Times, 18 February 2020)

Green lung under threat (The Star, 18 February 2020)

Netizens' Posts Against PH Developing Protected Forest Mysteriously Reported & Taken Down (World of Buzz, 17 February 2020)

JPNS Wants To Cut Down 97% of Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve (Juice, 17 February 2020)

Komuniti Temuan kecewa tanah adat nak dibangunkan (Malaysiakini, 14 February 2020)

Xavier calls for halt to degazetting of Kuala Langat forest reserve (Malaysiakini, 14 February 2020)

 

Broadcast New

Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve: Time to Rethink? (Video Conference by JEDI, 30 April 2020)

Development Goes On, Despite COVID-19 Pandemic? (BFM Radio, 30 March 2020)

ORANG ASLI LAND RIGHT'S & KLNFR (KUALA LANGAT NORTH FOREST RESERVE) (Astro Awani, Bernama TV, 16 March 2020)

Consider This: Kuala Langat Forests (Part 2) - When No One Was Watching (Astro Awani 4 March 2020)

WHY NOT PRESERVE THE KUALA LANGAT NORTH FOREST RESERVE? (BFM Radio, 24 February 2020)

(GEC) Protests against Selangor State Government's proposal (NTV7, 23 February 2020)

ISU HUTAN SIMPAN | NGO Bantah Cadangan Menyahwarta (TV3, 23 February 2020)

NGO bantah pemansuhan status Hutan Simpan Kekal Kuala Langat Utara (Bernama News Channel, 23 February 2020)

(SSG GEC MBS) 7 NGOs protesting degazettement of Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve (Bernama News Channel, 23 February 2020)

(SSG GEC MBS) 7 NGOs protesting degazettement of Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve (Bernama News Channel, 23 February 2020)

Orang Asli Kuala Langat bantah pembangunan di hutan simpan (The Malaysian Insight - Youtube, 21 February 2020)

PRESERVING THE KUALA LANGAT NORTH FOREST RESERVE A MUST (BFM Radio, 19 February 2020)

Tarik balik cadangan mansuh hutan simpan (Harian Metro - Metro TV, 19 February 2020)