The Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) organised an event, World Wetlands Day (WWD) & World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) 2012, in collaboration with Kampung Bako’s Village Security and Development Committee on 11-12 February 2012 with support from the Ministry of Environment of Japan and BirdLife Asia Division. The event was attended by well over 50 people.
The purpose of the event was (1) to generate awareness on the importance of Bako-Buntal Bay as an IBA/potential Flyway Network site, and (2) to cement foundation for future flyway conservation work at the bay.
The event began with a trip onto the Bako-Buntal Bay mudflats at low tide with the village headman and several honorary wardens of Kampung Bako, one of the important villages located within the Bako-Buntal Bay. Led by an experienced MNS birder, the villagers were given a briefing on the types of migratory waterbirds (including globally threatened species such as the Chinese Egret) and shown birds through telescopes. A local news reporter also interviewed the village headman on his views about the site while a colouring competition for kids was held back at the village.
Subsequently, the group headed back to the village for the official opening of the event by the VIPs (including a local political party) at the village community house. Yeap Chin Aik (MNS Head of Conservation) presented an overview on wetlands, waterbirds and importance of the bay to migratory shorebirds to participants. He said this Bako-Buntal Bay had been listed as one of the Important Bird Areas (IBA) in Malaysia by BirdLife International and there were 22 IBA sites identified in Sarawak. Every year, more than 10,000 of waterbirds of at least 32 species from the northern hemisphere will escape winter to Bako-Buntal Bay to feed and rest.
He also mentioned that current conservation activities such as annual waterbird census, capacity building, advocacy and outreach programmes, mangrove replanting as well as environmental education activities by both government and non-governmental organizations would ensure the bird’s survival for posterity.
Go to download the WMBD Event Report of Malaysia