From: Associated Press
Published February 27, 2007 06:43 AM

NGO, Residents to Buy Malaysian Forests to Prevent Urban Development

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Malaysian conservationists and residents plan to buy up the few remaining forests in urban areas to prevent development, a news report said Tuesday.

The Malaysian chapter of World Wide Fund for Nature and at least two resident associations in central Petaling Jaya city -- next to the country's largest city Kuala Lumpur -- intend to buy up forest tracts for conservation purposes, the New Straits Times reported.

Edward Lee, leader of one of the resident associations, said homeowners have long protested development that has threatened the environment near their homes, but seldom succeeded in stopping the work.

The organizations have joined hands and will develop a trust fund to purchase threatened forest areas and turn them into national heritage sites, Lee said.

"By setting up the fund, we are putting our money where our mouth is," Lee was quoted as saying.


Environmentalists and residents have blamed overdevelopment on several landslides near housing areas in Malaysia. They accuse the government of not doing enough to save forests and coastal areas.

The Malaysian forestry department was not immediately reachable Tuesday morning for comment.

Source: Associated Press

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