Tag Archives: conservation

The Problems and Promise of Forest Plantations in Kelantan

#LADANGHUTAN

The Problems and Promise of Forest Plantations in Kelantan

A retiring forester needs committed planters and data to solve the many problems of overexpansion in the state.

Producer/writer: YH Law; Editor: SL Wong

Produced in collaboration with the Rainforest Investigations Network at the Pulitzer Center.

Published: 9 March 2022

(Eucalyptus trees are a popular choice in forest plantations worldwide. These were planted in 2019 in the Batu Papan Forest Reserve, Kelantan. | Pic by YH Law)

Continue reading &#x2192

Locals Feeling Loss of Wild Pigs

African Swine Fever in Sabah has devastated wild pig numbers since February last year. Has this hurt the Kadazandusun-Murut communities, whose livelihood and culture are tied to this wildlife? Part 2 of a series on the impacts of the disease.

LEAN HUNTING dogs eagerly patrol the dirt roads, viewing strangers with caution. Stands of oil palm, rubber and food trees surround houses with zinc roofs. A large cross marks St Bede’s Catholic church.

This is Kampung Pangas Ulu, a village in Keningau, Sabah.

Like all rural indigenous Kadazandusun-Murut (KDM) villages, this kampung was once surrounded by forests. And one forest animal, babi hutan, the Bornean bearded pig (Sus barbatus), was integral to their culture and identity.

(Photo: All dressed up and no pigs to hunt: Ahmed bin Pintin (right) with his buddy and hunting dogs  | Pic by Alven Chang)

(more…)

Where Are All The Sabah Pigs?

African Swine Fever has devastated wild pig populations in Sabah. To understand its impact on the animals, the forest, and people, data is needed. But counting pigs is tricky. This is Part 1 of a two-parter on the impact of the disease.

IT IS December 2020 and in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, Sabah, a dead Bornean bearded pig (Sus barbatus) lies on the ground. It was the first of 14 that would be found in the following weeks.

“We knew something was very wrong when more pig carcasses started to pop up,” says Dr Benoit Goossens, director of the Danau Girang Field Center, which is located there.

(Photo: Since ASF, camera trap photos of wild pigs like this one from 2013 are rare | Pic by Danau Girang Field Centre)

(more…)

Lessons Learned from #HutanPergiMana

An examination of how environmental NGOs banded together and drove public discourse to save the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve from development.

THE MALAYSIAN public almost always has no say over one thing that covers one-third of their country – forest reserves. Going against that norm is the fate of the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve (KLNFR) in Selangor. 

Last August, the Selangor state government degazetted 536.7 hectares of the KLNFR. But unrelenting public outcry and political pressure pushed the government to announce it would gazette the reserve again. Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari has since said that the gazettement will be completed within the first three months of 2022.

(Photo: Shaq Koyok (left) and other members of the PHSKLU coalition protesting the degazettement of the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve | Pic by Shaq Koyok)

Continue reading Lessons Learned from #HutanPergiMana

The True Value of Limestone

Quarrying limestone is worth billions but how does that compare to the ecological, touristic, cultural and historical values of this ecosystem?

DRIVING on the North-South Highway to Batu Gajah, Perak from Kuala Lumpur brings back many childhood memories of my balik kampung ritual.

We would pass limestone hills topped by dipterocarp trees fighting for space at canopy level while the sun created shadows in the hills’ crevices.

These views always made me ask my mother, “Do you think dragons live in these hills and caves?”

(Photo: Perak’s limestone hills are valuable as a source of raw materials for construction but is that all they should be valued for? | Gunung Kanthan pic by Sakyamuni Caves Monastery) 

Continue reading &#x2192

Reconsider ban on turtle egg sale, say Terengganu traders

To conserve turtles, the Terengganu state legislative assembly passed an amendment to ban sales of all turtle eggs by June 2022. But in the face of strong traditional demand for the eggs, will the ban work?

THE SLEEPY market of Pasar Payang in Terengganu springs to life on Saturday mornings. Customers weave through the tight maze of stalls, some looking for a delicacy rarely found elsewhere – turtle eggs.

One vendor, who only gives her name as Mak Kiah, picks up 10 eggs from a bag of 100 and drops them into a transparent plastic bag. The eggs are covered in sand and cold to the touch.

Sembilan puluh ringgit”, she says to a customer. Ninety ringgit.

(Photo: On a busy weekend, hundreds of turtle eggs are sold at the Pasar Payang market, Kuala Terengganu | Pic by Bryan Yong)

Continue reading &#x2192

Menggunakan Parang untuk Menyambungkan Hutan

Menggunakan Parang untuk Menyambungkan Hutan

Di kawasan Hilir Kinabatangan, Sabah, sekumpulan wanita menggunakan parang, memandu bot dan menjaga anak-anak pokok, untuk menyambungkan kawasan hutan yang telah terkesan akibat aktiviti pembalakan. Inilah suara mereka.

Temuduga dan foto oleh Chen Yih Wen. Penterjemahan oleh Adibah Abdul Ghani.

[English version]

Diterbit: Disember 4, 2021 [Updated Disember 17, 2021]

(more…)

Mapping Every Hill

Interviewed: Dr Liew Thor Seng, biologist [thorseng@ums.edu.my]

IF YOU don’t know where all the limestone hills are, how will you know which to protect, which to quarry? Moreover, if you want to protect them, which ones do you begin with?

Well, decision-makers now have at their fingertips, Malaysia’s most comprehensive database and map of limestone hills.

(Photo: Screen capture of the online gazetteer showing details of limestone outcrop of interest in Malaysia | Courtesy of Liew Thor Seng)

Continue reading Mapping Every Hill