PESTA SAYAP 2018 @ Kuala Selangor Nature Park, Malaysia
The annual Pesta Sayap (or Festival of Wings) was first celebrated by MNS in Kuala Selangor Nature Park (KSNP) in 2004. This year’s festival was on October 20th & 21st, welcoming the birds to the Kuala Selangor District’s wetlands. With this years’ theme– Unifying our Voices for Bird Conservation, the festival was celebrated with our partner, the Kuala Selangor District Council. On the second day, a KSNP for Ramsar BioBlitz Seminar 2018 was conducted in preparation for submission of the Ramsar Information Sheet to the government.
The celebration was officiated by the Bukit Melawati State Assemblyman, Y.B. Juwairiya Zulkifli, together with the presence of District Counsellor, Y.D.P. Rahilah Rahmat, MNS president Prof. Dr. Ahmad Ismail. During the speech by Y.B. Juwairiya mentioned that ‘MNS had work hard managing KSNP for the past 30 years with the support from the District Council and now it’s time for a new era to recognize KSNP as an international important wetlands or Ramsar to further protect the site and establish sustainable management practices for the benefits of the migratory birds, other wildlife and communities’.
The launch message was the KSNP for Ramsar together with The Birds Sungai Buloh Sasaran community brochure. At the same time, the BirdLife International’s Nature Heroes 2018 was awarded to MNS member Mr Lim Koon Hup for his contribution to the Society. The festival was attended by 1,210 participant from various government agencies, 133 PAKAS Komuniti from 13 groups, MNS members, NGOs, universities, 758 school children and teachers from 29 schools, and not counting the unregistered walk-in visitors.
This festival focused on the value of wetlands and the migratory birds and the unifying voices of the various community groups present on that day. Activities included, guided interpretative walks along the four-km trail through the secondary forest, lagoon, and mangroves by the MNS Nature Guides; interactive activities organized by the 19 exhibitors; about 600 mangrove seedlings (Rhizophora) were potted at the mangrove nursery conducted by the Friends of Mangrove Forest from the Kuala Gula community group; and nature talks were delivered by four MNS special interest group members and nine local community groups throughout the day.
There are some specialties from the PAKAS Komuniti exhibitors like mangrove products (Sonneratia jam, Sea Holly tea, cockle shell crafts among others), other exhibitors highlighted their wildlife, flyway, wetlands awareness activities (e.g. from the Friends of Malayan Sun Bear, Malayan Tiger, Hornbill, Firefly, Mangroves, Peat Swamps, etc). The PAKAS Komuniti is an umbrella body for the rural communities located either in or around high conservation value or protected areas, where human- wildlife conflict occurs. Formed in July 8 during the inaugural World Firefly Day 2018, this is a platform where the various community groups can share, network, discuss and support each other while at the same time, promoting their ecotourism products and services. On the eve of the Festival, a nomination for PAKAS Komuniti committee members took place under the stars.
Post prepared by S.P. Maichal Isthyben and Sonny Wong from Malaysian Nature Society