With new lockdowns and closure of international borders, wildlife has been an increasingly common sight in Malaysia’s urban areas. But what does this mean? This commentary was first published on Channel News Asia and is republished here with permission.
[First posted May 27, 2021]
WHO DOESN’T like animal videos? Malaysians certainly do.
With unending COVID-19 lockdowns, a subset of these have become social media favourites: Wild animals in urban areas.
Such visuals feed into the pandemic mantra of “Look how nature recovers when we humans are out of the picture”. But how true is that?
(Photo: Visuals of cute animals in human environments have been going viral during Covid-19; this one hasn’t but registers on the cute scale ~ Pic by Nuratiqah AR )
Continue reading Covid Provides Relief for Wildlife – but Not Really
Though already a World Heritage Site, Kinabalu needs geopark status to conserve oft overlooked natural values, argues geologist Felix Tongkul.
MOUNT Kinabalu, Malaysia’s tallest mountain, is now being assessed for UNESCO Global Geopark status. The proposed geopark encompasses not just the mountain, but the park in which it sits as well as the surrounding districts of Kota Belud, Kota Marudu and Ranau, an area of 4,750 square kilometres.
Kinabalu Park has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000.
Why is there a need for more recognition for Kinabalu Park from UNESCO? Is the Global Geopark status more superior to the World Heritage Site status? What is so interesting about geoparks? These are valid questions I often hear from my friends.
(Photo: Mount Kinabalu is the only glacial landscape in the tropical region. Glacial erosion from melting ice 10,000 years ago formed these parallel grooves. – Pic by Felix Tongkul.)
Continue reading Geopark Not Just Another Label for Kinabalu
(Photo: 沙巴的曼塔纳尼群岛（Mantanani islands）附近海域一枚未爆炸的自制捕鱼炸弹。图片来源：Adzmin Fatta / Reef Check Malaysia)
Continue reading 遏制珊瑚礁间的炸鱼：沙巴州的故事
With tourism hit by the pandemic and local people struggling to make ends meet, many fear a resurgence of this destructive fishing method.
AT THE sound of a muffled “boom”, the divers pause and look uneasily at each other and their divemaster. Luckily, the blast seems far enough for the group to continue exploring the colourful reef.
Fish-bombing is the stuff of nightmares for the diving industry in Sabah. Not only does it put off the tourists, it also devastates marine life and endangers the fishers themselves.
(Photo: An unexploded, homemade fish bomb off the Mantanani islands, Sabah | Image by: Adzmin Fatta / Reef Check Malaysia)
Continue reading Tackling fish-bombing among the coral reefs of Sabah
When floods hit Kemaman, terrapin conservationist Chen Pelf Nyok raised funds to help her local partners who had supported conservation.
In early January, floods hit Kemaman, Terengganu, the district where Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia (TCS), the organization I lead, is based.
Many villages were flooded. My husband asked if we should begin raising funds to help the villagers who were our project partners.
I said no.
(Photo: Flood devastated Kemaman, Terengganu, in early January 2021. Pic from Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia.)
Continue reading Locals Make Terrapin Conservation Successful
Are Malaysians fed up enough of river pollution to assert their environmental rights? Do they even know what these rights are?
ASTONISHINGLY, it happened again: Sungai Kim Kim in Johor was polluted once more in early March. And it happened smack on the second anniversary of the toxic waste disaster there that hospitalised 2,700 and cost RM6.4m to clean up.
While this recent episode was described by the Minister of Environment as “normal pollution” and not hazardous, it raises concerns and questions as to why any pollution has recurred.
Johoreans are not the only ones wondering this.
(Photo: The Barchats: Envirorights webinars on environmental rights drew 435 lawyers and members of the public. Facebook screenshot: Bar Council Committee on Environment and Climate Change)
Continue reading The Environmental Rights To End Pollution
A UN-style Youth Assembly on climate change can give young people a powerful platform to address climate issues, find Kieran Li Nair, Josephine Koay and Lee Ee Jenn of the Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD).
IT WAS 2pm on 12 Dec 2020, the first day of the Youth Assembly, the first-ever Model United Nations-type platform set up solely to discuss climate change issues in Malaysia.
As organisers, we had logged onto the server early and were watching in anticipation as dozens of participant icons lit up.
We had received an impressive 137 signups from 6 different countries, a number unusual even for typical Model United Nations (MUN) events.
(Photo: Youth Assemblies can empower every participant to freely speak their minds. Pic by MYD)
Continue reading Youth Assembly Platform Empowers Climate Activists
Activity: Rock climbing
Interviewed: Chan Yuen-Li, adventure entrepreneur
(Photo: Climbing Batu Caves’ ‘Circumcision’ in the 1990s – pic courtesy of Chan Yuen Li)
YOU SEE them high up a vast, vertical limestone rock face. These are rock climbers: helmeted, harnessed and with ropes hanging off them like vines.
Continue reading Scaling Heights
Locals must be involved in managing their own islands and island resources, says Julian Hyde. It is better for community empowerment and for nature.
“CO-MANAGEMENT of natural resources”: It is in the National Policy on Biological Diversity; it is in the Convention on Biodiversity (of which Malaysia is a signatory); it is in the Sustainable Development Goals.
It is everywhere, except in the communities where it matters most.
(Photo: All together now: Tioman islanders and NGO members remove reef-smothering ghost nets. Pic by Reef Check Malaysia)
Continue reading Islander Partners Improve Resource Management