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PETALING JAYA- Climate change has disrupted the fruit seasons in Malaysia, according to the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS).

Its executive director, I. S. Shanmugaraj told theSun that they have observed the changes in fruiting seasons in both local fruit trees like durians and in wild trees in the forest.

"Fruit seasons, even in the trees in the wild, have changed due to the changes in rain and heat patterns. Even the pattern of flowering in plants and trees has changed. When it rains, it is very heavy, places that used to be dry are now facing rain, and when the sun comes out, it gets hot very fast. We did not face this before, even five years ago," he said.

Shanmugaraj added that his team has noticed even the patterns of migratory birds have changed.

"In Ulu Muda Forest Complex, the plain-pouched hornbill, which is a migratory bird that comes from Thailand to Ulu Muda and would go on to Belum Temengor, we noticed that its migration pattern has changed. When it is supposed to come it does not, or it comes earlier. The pattern has noticeably changed," he added.

MNS is currently driving an environmental awareness project for the protection of the 160,000 ha of Ulu Muda Forest Complex within Kedah.

The forest complex serves as a water catchment area which provides as much as 96% of Kedah's water supply dependency, 80% of Penang's, 20% of Perlis', as well as a small percentage of Langkawi's water supply.

The 2016 drought affecting the northern states is directly linked to the logging activities in the forest complex and the continued logging of the area in Ulu Muda will have an ecological fallout with grave economic and emotional impact for Malaysians.

MNS together with MI Cultural Events (Mice) screened a feature film on climate change KadwiHavawhichis directed by internationally acclaimed filmmaker and social activist Nila Madhab Panda.

The film portrays the very real impact of climate change in the lives of farmers who are burdened with debts when they can't grow any crops due to the harsh weather.

Source: The Sun Daily | 10 December 2017

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