Ahmad Nazri Muhammad Ludin Associate Professor
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai, Johor, Malaysia.,
Email: [email protected]
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
Email: [email protected]
Wetlands are among the most important and productive ecosystems in the world as it provides critical nesting, rearing, feeding, and stop-over habitat for bird and other wildlife populations in the wet condition. Wetlands are essential to estuary, river, and watershed health, trapping sediments and cleaning polluted waters, preventing floods, recharging groundwater aquifers, and protecting shorelines. These ecosystems are thus extremely valuable whereby assessment and decisions about their use should be made with great caution. However, through progressive development, wetlands have been modified from their natural state by the influence of man. The importance of wetlands and the gravity of threats to their integrity was recognized intemationally in the 1960s and the Ramsar Convention was concluded in 1971, in recognition of the values of wetlands and the need to protect them from encroachment at the international level. Chapter 22 in the 9th Malaysian Plan also caters for environmental resource protection which shows the government’s concern on environmental aspect in the future development. Therefore, any type of development planning in wetland areas should present serious consideration and assessment on planning guidelines and management as well as elements that may possibly threaten the natural condition in order to conserve the environmental and ecological attributes of the wetlands for the benefit of future development. Natural resource assessment problems such as catchments management, salinity mitigation or biodiversity conservation require a ‘whole-of-landscape’ view. Information on all vegetation across the landscape provides a baseline for assessing the multiplicity of issues impacting on vegetation retention, planting and management. Hence, cross-sectoral approaches are required to achieve sustainable resource use and biodiversity conservation objectives. For these reasons, information needs to be integrated across multidisciplinary elements encompassing landscape management and environmental planning. Information is required to aid in the assessment and decision-making needed for delivering the different goods and services provided by natural landscape resources. By integrating and assessing landscape resources so that others can see them as a diminishing resource, GIS can provide the planners and architects with a more comprehensive form of mapping and analysis for conservation and protection of landscape treasure. A study on Ramsar area involving Sungai Pulai in the state of Johor was done using the GIS application, with emphasis on sustainable wetland development issues. This paper will discuss on how to integrate landscape resource assessment in achieving sustainable wetland development with the use of GIS.
Keywords: Integrated Landscape resource assessment, sustainability