Wednesday, January 13, 2010

MNS Bird Conservation Council (MNS BCC) Meeting

Background to the establishment of MNS-BCC

"When Birdlife International appointed Malaysian Nature Society as the Birdlife Malaysian Partner, it was felt that MNS should set up a Bird component within the MNS to present a strong case for MNS tobe accepted as a full Partner.

MNS Council set up a small group comprising of Professor Avadhani, Dr Lim Boo Kiat, Kanda Kumar to hold discussions and to set up a Bird Committee similar to the Councils Committee on Education and Parks. This group, whose name was yet to be given, headed by Professor Avadhani appointed Kanda as Secretary to draw up rules and regulations for the "Bird Committee". Feedback on the formation of the group was invited from MNS Branches and members.

The final outcome was the setting up of the MNS Bird Conservation Council (BCC) and crafting of the terms and references of the BCC. It was hoped that ultimately a staffed bird section would be set up within the Science and Conservation Department of MNS in the future.

MNS Council approved the setting up of BCC in 1995.

The first BCC meeting was held 21st December 1995 with Kanda Kumar elected as Chairman, and Glenda Noramly as Secretary. At the time it was deemed unnecessary to elect a Treasurer."

The background above is by Kanda Kumar.

BCC, now with a few new faces, some very familiar stalwarts and additional representatives from the Branches met for the first time after a long spell at MNS HQ on the 09th January 2010.

Present at the meeting were : Dr Calvin Loh, Executive Director MNS; Yeap Chin Aik, Head Conservation Division; Kanitha Krishnasamy, Senior Policy Officer, Conservation Division; Tan Chin Tong, Conservation Advisory Council Chairman; Ooi Chin Hock, BCC-Chairman; Phang Fatt Kow, Kedah Branch Rep; Nazeri Abghani, Miri Branch Rep; Dave Bakewell, Penang Branch Rep; Allen Jeyarajasingam, BCC; Mohd Rafi Kudus; Glenda Noramly, BCC; and Mee Cheng, Selangor Branch Rep.

Mohd Rafi Kudus was appointed as the new Chairman of BCC at the meeting. All present thanked Ooi Chin Hock for all the hard work he's done over the past years as Chair.

A few salient points that came out from the BCC meeting were:

1) BCC to explore a change of name to reflect it's current role within MNS
2) BCC to remain under the Conservation structure hand in hand with the CAC. BCC Chairman or his representative will be invited to attend to attend CAC meetings.
3) BCC to explore restructuring exercise to align it's objectives and roles within MNS as a whole and the birding community specifically.
4) Raptor Study Group, Waterbird Group, Hornbill Project, Raptor Watch, AWC efforts remain independent mainstays of volunteers with representatives sitting on BCC.
5) BCC wide activities to be streamlined to fall under the following broad headings : Fundraising; Projects; Communications and Publications; Malaysian Issues ie. Bird_i-Witness, Checklists etc; Education, Training and Outreach.

The objectives of BCC remains by and large the same:

a) To promote interest in birds, bird conservation activities, formulate and carry out educational programs. The BCC will support, assist, and wherever appropriate provide its expertise to various project leaders/volunteers on conservation activities.

b) To comment on bird conservation policies and programs Nationally and Internationally.

c) To raise funds for bird conservation

d) To assist and develop Branch Bird Groups

e) To assist other NGOs or Government bodies in bird conservation

f) To maintain the Malaysian BIW database and up to date checklist of birds

g) To prepare for publication bird reports, bird related research papers, news of interest to MNS members or general public with regards to bird conservation or matters of ornithological interest.

Here's looking to BCC, hopefully BCC will play a more visible presence in the eyes of the public and MNS members in furthering the interest in birds, bird welfare and bird conservation.

Next task: to get all BCC in one room for their mugshots!

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