MIRI: The public should disregard the rumour that Piasau Nature Reserve (PNR) will not become a reality but will be developed into a commercial park instead.
An exco member for PNR and chairman of the Piasau Camp Miri Nature Park Society (PCMNPS) Datuk Sebastian Ting said the rumours are blatant lies to discredit all efforts to make the park a reality.
“There is no truth that the private sector is taking the land for a commercial park. In fact, during our recent meeting in Kuching, concerted efforts are being made to acquire land, especially by the river bank, for inclusion in PNR.
If that becomes a reality with an additional 30 acres, PNR will have a total of 250,” said Ting yesterday when commenting on a posting in social media on the development of PNR.
He added that currently the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) is working on plans to implement facilities in the first phase of the nature reserve that had been handed over by Sarawak Shell on Oct 14, 2015.
Meanwhile, Ting was happy that PCMNPS had in the last three years actively played its role in complementing efforts by the authorities to create greater public awareness on environmental conservation and appreciation, especially at PNR.
He said there is now greater public awareness on nature conservation although undeniably, poachers still threaten the survival of the wildlife including totally protected birds like hornbills at PNR. He added that newspapers like The Borneo Post have consistently highlighted PNR including its recent front page report on Jan 13 titled ‘Foreign poachers on the prowl at Piasau Nature Reserve’.
“A posting on PCMNPS’ Facebook page on Jan 11 about foreign poachers received overwhelming response with over 10,440 people seeing the post. This is a positive indication that we hope the public and media will continue to highlight so that hornbills and other birds continue to multiply at PNR for our future generations to cherish,” he stressed.
Ting added that PCMNPS had during its recent 4th annual general meeting reaffirmed its commitment to intensify its activities this year.
Among the activities to be held are continuation of the monthly Hornbill Walk held every third Saturday of the month, recruitment of more members and issuing them with membership cards, printing of souvenir items, publication of magazine, holding of exhibitions and gatherings.
The society will also continue to work closely with various agencies including Sarawak Forestry Corporation, Shell, Petronas, NGOs and the public on ways of promoting this PNR.
PCMNPS, with currently over 100 registered members, was formed in October 2013 and is the forerunner in garnering public support to get the government to gazette Piasau Camp into a nature reserve on April 2014. It aims to complement efforts by the authorities in creating greater awareness of the appreciation and conservation of nature.
Membership is open to all Malaysians and non-Malaysians aged 18 years and above.
Entrance fee for life/ordinary/associate membership is RM10, junior membership RM1, while the subscription fee (five years) is RM500 for life members and RM10 for ordinary, associate and junior members. For details, contact Karambir Singh (treasurer) at 016-8785500.