Bako-Buntal Bay consultation workshop was held to raise stakeholders’ awareness on Bako-Buntal Bay being included in the Flyway Site Network (FSN) of the EAAFP on 17-18 December 2012. About 300 people from Bako, Buntal and Asajaya and non-governmental organisations attended the workshop.
The bay is the first site to be recognised as such for Malaysia, 28th Partner of EAAFP. Several globally threatened and near-threatened species such as the Chinese Egret, Nordmann’s Greenshank, Asian Dowitcher and Far Eastern Curlew make their stops in Bako-Buntal Bay. A senior government officer said the inclusion in the FSN would also draw attention to the site’s connection to sites in other countries, increasing site’s profile, encouraging information exchange, transfer of skills and joint researches among bird watchers, scientists and naturalists. According to him, Bako-Buntal is an important wintering site for waterbirds. Thirty-two are shorebirds which comprise an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 birds in the bay and nearby surroundings. “The inclusion will make the government more determined to protect the bay through conservation, education, promotion and awareness activities,” he said.
On the workshop participants’ request to include Asajaya in the FSN of the EAAFP, the senior government officer said he would inform the state government on the matter so that it could be further deliberated upon in the cabinet meeting next month.