Kota Damansara forest re-gazetted as permanent forest reserve

PETALING JAYA: The Kota Damansara forest, covering 321.7ha, has been re-gazetted as a permanent forest reserve from Feb 18 by the Selangor state government after eight years of advocacy by the Friends of Kota Damansara (FOKD).

Originally known as the Sungai Buloh Forest Reserve, the forest was first gazetted in 1898 with an area of 6,590ha.

"It held the enviable record as the oldest gazetted forest in Malaysia until

1983 when half of the original reserve was excised for agriculture," FOKD co-chairman, Jeffrey F K Phang, said in a statement on March 3.

In 1992 1,600ha was given to the Selangor State Development Corporation or PKNS for the Kota Damansara Township, while in 1993 the former state government excised 402.6ha from the forest reserve for a botanical garden.

When plans for the botanical garden were cancelled and development proposals for the parcel were published in May 2002, the residents staged their first protest.

In December 2007, the Draft Petaling Jaya Local Plan 2020 revealed that nearly the whole of the parcel of land was zoned for residential development with just a small area for recreation.

But the latest gazette by the state government had restored the parcel as a permanent forest reserve, which also classified it as an amenity, research and education forest, Phang said.

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