Sungai Wi Expedition 2017-Planning
In line with Reach policy of studying and documenting the wildlife of Cameron Highlands, Reach is planning a scientific expedition to Sungai Wi towards the middle of 2017. Sungai Wi Forest Reserve is on the north eastern area of Cameron Highlands bordering Kelantan and covers an acreage of 11,417 hectares. It was gazetted in 1997 and is the largest forest reserve in Cameron Highlands. With altitudes ranging from 500 metres above sea level to 1900 metres above sea level (near the peak of Gunung Swettenham at the Kelantan border), we expect to see a range of vegetation. This would include the Hill Dipterocarp Forest, Upper Dipterocarp Forest (750 m to 1200m), Lower Montane Forest or Oak Laurel Forest (1200-1500m) and Upper Montane Forest or Cloud Forest (>1500m). Besides Sg Wi, the other 2 rivers draining this area is Sg Rening and Sg Bertak.
Reach will be collaborating with JPSM (Forestry department of Peninsular Malaysia) and the Pahang Forestry Department. Reach is now in the midst of seeking funding for this expedition. Participants are by invitation only and would include experts from FRIM (Forest Research Institute of Malaysia), local universities such as UiTM, UKM, UPM. MNS( Malaysia Nature Society) Retired Scientists, JPSM , Perhilitan and State Forestry Department. We will provide the logistic support, food , accommodation at the base and field camps. We will also organise a seminar 6 months after the expedition. Participants are required to share their findings and Reach will collaborate with them in the publication of these findings.
The first meeting was held on the 19th October 2016 at the Local Forestry Department and was chaired by Dato’Hj Azmi bin Nordin, Director of Division, Silviculture & Forest Biodiversity Conservation Division. The other officers in attendance include Tn.Hj.Azmeer bin Mohammad, the Assistant Director (Development) of the Pahang Forestry Department, En Mohd Rizal bin Sabran, Senior Assistant Director ( Natural Forest), Cik Nurul Hidayah bt Hadzuha, District Forestry Officer of Cameron Highlands .Reach was represented by Prof. Dr Maketab bin Mohamed, our scientific adviser, Mr Ramakrishnan Ramasamy ,our President; Dr Liau Tai Leong, vice president; Mr Wong Seng Yee, Dr Cheam May Choo and Melody Woon.
The following day, a few participants from the meeting and other forestry officials went to reconnaissance the proposed expedition site. Some areas around the base camp which had been reclaimed from illegal farmers during Operation Gading was again encroached upon.
On the 23rd January 2017, a follow-up meeting was held at the local Forestry Department. The dates proposed for the expedition was from the 23rd July 2017 to 29th July 2017 and the number of participants to be around 60 persons. The seminar on this expedition will be held 6 months later.
We look forward to this scientific expedition as it will bring a wealth of information on our wildlife here.