Pesta Sayap (Festival of Wings) 2017
~wings over wetlands~ in celebration of World Migratory Bird Day
A healthy planet for migratory birds and people – their future is our future
14 October 2017, Malaysian Nature Society
This year’s Pesta Sayap was organised by the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), together with the District Council of Kuala Selangor, the MNS Selangor Branch Bird Group and MNS-Bird Conservation Council (waterbird study group), and with the support of the Selangor State Government. The Festival was launched by MNS President, Henry Goh together with the representative from the district council. Immediately after the launch a special video entitled “Chasing Corals” was shown.
About 500 participants including 350 schoolchildren, community groups (Penang Inshore Fishermen Welfare Association; Sahabat Raja Rimba; Sahabat Beruang Madu; Kelab Alami KAWA; Sungai Buloh Sasaran), NGOs, Wildlife Department of Selangor and other local governments, walk in public together with MNS members celebrated the 13th Pesta Sayap.
A range of activities highlighting the conservation of wetlands and its biodiversity for the schoolchildren, local community and public were held. Activities include mangrove plant fundraising sale and planting, nature videos, exhibits, guided walks, green music, nursery planting and community sharing sessions.
Started in 2004, the annual Pesta Sayap was developed to create awareness about the coastal wetlands and welcome the migratory birds that flew along the North Central Selangor Coast from the North. This celebration included the world famous synchronous fireflies and the beautiful mangrove forests and wildlife of Kuala Selangor Nature Park.
AWC Malaysia Seminar 2017
15 October 2017, Malaysian Nature Society
In conjunction with the Pesta Sayap 2017, the first Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) Malaysia seminar was conducted. The seminar’s aim was to increase the number of counters and sites, especially on the Peninsular East Coast, Sabah and Sarawak. It was a platform for counters to discuss the running of the census on a national level, and their findings, towards a collective commitment from counters on the way forward for AWC in Malaysia.
Since 1987, MNS members together with the Wildlife Department of Peninsular Malaysia’s staff have been collecting and collating data for the waterbird census run by Wetlands International.
The inaugural AWC Malaysia Seminar was participated by 32 participants from various MNS states branches, MNS council and Board of Trustees, BirdLife International (Asia), and the Wildlife Department.
A welcoming speech by Henry Goh, MNS president, spoke about ‘the importance of citizen science for advocating Flyway site conservation and managed to advocate Malaysia to join the EAAFP and nominated Bako-Buntal Bay (and the Kapar Power Station ash ponds) as priority Flyway Network Sites for Malaysia’. Dr Yong Ding Li, Asia advocacy and Policy manager, BirdLife International (Asia) gave a keynote speech on the role of BirdLife International and EAAF conservation. A keynote address by Yg. Bhg. Dr. Megat Sany Bin Megat Ahmad Supian, under-secretary of Biodiversity and Forestry Management Division, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment was read out by Eric Sinaya, MNS vice president. ‘He mentioned the benefits of Malaysia becoming an EAAF partner and the Bako Buntal Bay flyway site has socio-economic improvements to the community in terms of tourism. The efforts on mainstreaming migratory waterbirds flyway sites in the national policies and spatial planning were mentioned. During the MOP9 meeting in Singapore, Malaysia proposed the next flyway site, Kuala Gula, Perak and work more on CEPA outreach’. He ended the speech by fully supporting MNS effort and launched the seminar.
After the launch, the historical part of AWC in Malaysia was presented by Tan Choo Eng, MNS Bird Conservation Council (BCC) chairman. International Wetlands Census 2018, talks about the role of AWC and other initiatives by Taej Mundkur of Wetlands International (which was presented on behalf by Balu Perumal, MNS Head of Conservation). The Kapar ash ponds counts 2016/17 was done by Chin Choong Liung, MNS BCC Waterbird Study Group. After lunch was the individual MNS state (Penang, Perak, Selangor, Johor, Sarawak) and Wildlife Department of Peninsular Malaysia report results, challenges and recommendations. A new report on Sea birds Surveys in Tioman was presented by MNS Terengganu. The final presentation was the Kampung Sungai Serdang (Kapar) community perception on the Flyway presented by Sonny Wong, MNS.
A panel discussion: on today’s topic and reflection on the Kapar Declaration was conducted with the panelist from MNS, BirdLife, and Wildlife Department. The seminar was fruitful and consolidated the challenges and recommendations brought up by the counters.