History

Kota Kinabalu Wetland
Timeline of Crucial Events

Discovery

In the 1980s, A group of environmentalists from WWF-Malaysia and their peers came across the Likas swamp and proposed the ideo of lobbying this area…

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Birds Sanctuary

In 1996, the environmetalists met the Sabah Chief Minister, YB Datuk Yong Teck Lee, Who was instrumental in approving the designation of the Likas Mangrove…

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Kota Kinabalu Wetland

The Management Committee was formerly made up of 16 component members including government agencies, private organizations, community groups and local NGOs, each separately constituted and…

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Overview

In the mid 90’s, a group of environmentally-passionate individuals and birding enthusiasts in Kota Kinabalu established the Likas Wetlands Sanctuary Management Committee (LWSMC) to save the last remaining patch of mangrove forest along the Kota Kinabalu coastline. The main threat was encroachment by squatters,mostly illegal immigrants who started building houses in the mangrove forest. This concern group of environmentalists and birders took their concerns to the Sabah State Government and lobbied up to the then Chief Minister of Sabah, The Right Honourable Datuk Yong Teck Lee, for the area to be conserved and rehabilitated with mangrove ecosystem. It was subsequently declared as a protected area by the State Cabinet in 1996 under section 28 of the Land Ordinance (Cap 68) as a bird sanctuary.

It was further declared as a Cultural Heritage Site in 1999 under the State’s Cultural Heritage (Conservation) Enactment 1997. The bird sanctuary was eventually gazetted in December 2000 under section 28 of the Land Ordinance (Cap 68) and publicly known as Kota Kinabalu City Bird Sanctuary (KKCBS) in conjunction with the declaration of Kota Kinabalu as a city.

This group of pioneer in LWSMC manage the Likas-Swamp/Bird Sanctuary and subsequently registered with the Registrar of Societies (ROS) as Sabah Wetlands Conservation Society on 22 August 2005. SWCS is a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) that advocates environmental conservation and awareness on wetlands ecosystem found in Sabah, and indirectly other parts in Malaysia as well as to support wetlands conservation efforts internationally.
During the World Wetlands Day celebration in 2006, Kota Kinabalu City Bird Sanctuary was officially renamed as Kota Kinabalu Wetlands to give emphasis on the conservation of the wetlands ecosystem rather than just focusing on the birds.

Today, being managed by the Sabah Wetlands Conservation Society, KK Wetlands is not only a thriving mangrove ecosystem, it serves as an urban recreation site, ecotourism attraction and environment education centre. People of all ages, from tourist to local residents, flock to the wetlands to appreciate the natural wonders of this oasis in the city.

Ramsar Site in the City

Ramsar Site No. 2290

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