Tag Archives: commentary

Green Pest Control Key to Sustainable Paddy Farming

Alternative pest control methods ensure the sustainability and yields of paddy farming in Tanjung Karang, finds student Chloe Holley.

PEST CONTROL is a critical part of agriculture because it can impact yield tremendously. But conventional insecticides can devastate the environment. In Tanjung Karang, Selangor, rice planters have turned to biological methods to control pests, a model for farmers everywhere.

(Feature pic: Rice farmers in Selangor are using environment-friendly means to counter pests | Photo by Maureen Beresford)

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Nibbling Away at Kota Damansara Forest

Inadequate protection of precious urban forests is shrinking them, warns community researcher and organiser Peter Leong.

TAPAN KUMAR Nath’s recent article in Macaranga, Support community efforts to better manage urban green spaces, shines an important light on the urgent need for community based organisations to gain a role in the governance of urban green spaces (UGS).

A 2019 study which found that KL “lost about 88% of its UGS between 2007 and 2017″ is most alarming – it highlights that the door of meaningful opportunity for these organisations’ impact in UGS governance is closing.

(Feature pic: In the densely built-up Klang Valley, remaining forest patches are precious to local communities | Photo by Dorothy Woon)

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Support Community Efforts to Better Manage Urban Green Spaces

Urban communities appreciate green spaces and should be allowed to co-manage these areas for better results, writes interdisciplinary researcher Tapan Kumar Nath.

IN 2022, the Prime Minister of Malaysia outlined directions towards developing and improving the country’s urban green infrastructure, which would turn into therapy spaces in an effort to relieve the stresses of life that directly improve mental and physical well-being of urban people.

To achieve this vision, I urge the authorities to engage community associations actively in the governance structure of urban green spaces (UGS).

(Feature pic: Precious forests stretch across the dense urban clusters of Kota Damansara and Mont Kiara. | Pic from Google Earth Pro, 2023)

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Please Stop Loving Our Corals to Death

The new airport for Tioman has been averted. Now, tourism needs a good relook, writes Reefcheck Malaysia’s Julian Hyde.

AS SCIENTISTS grow increasingly concerned about biodiversity loss and the accompanying loss of critical ecosystem services, the time has come to revisit tourism policy – and practice – in Malaysia.

This is particularly relevant following the recent decision by the government to abandon plans for a new airport on Tioman. The plan projected a four-fold increase in visitor numbers – from 250,00 per year to a million.

(Feature pic: Seeing fish or people? Tourists galore at a snorkelling site in Tioman |  Pic by Alvin Chelliah/Reefcheck Malaysia)

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The Real Meaning of ‘Water is Life’

On World Water Day this 22 March, ecosystem restoration activist Kennedy Michael brings us on a journey of rivers, dams and our role as polluters.

RIVERS. THE watering pipes of mountains and forests and fields and factories. Bringing us fresh and clean water (once upon a time, now maybe not so) from the highest elevations to the lowest lands.

The shift from hunting and gathering to agrarian societies that signalled the start of early civilizations was centred around the fresh water brought by rivers.

And just as it did 6,000 years ago, it remains today for us the main source of our civilization.

(Feature pic: Raw water is carried through main supply pipes from the Klang Gates Dam to the water treatment plants in Wangsa Maju and Bukit Nanas  |  Pic by Alliance for River Three)

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No Fiercer Tiger Defender Than Kae

What does it take to speak up for tigers? Conservationist Wong Pui May pays tribute to her mentor and a great Malayan tiger defender, Kae Kawanishi.

IT WAS IN 1998, the Year of the Tiger, that Dr Kae Kawanishi started her journey in Malayan tiger conservation. She was Malaysia’s first tiger biologist. This year marks her third Tiger Year in Malaysia.

As it draws to a close, I thought it was time that we who are following in her footsteps, thanked Kae for leading the way.

(Photo: Kae Kawanishi in Taman Negara with PERHILITAN wildlife rangers)

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What Happens After Poachers Are Arrested?

Bringing poachers and illegal wildlife traders to court is complex and needs serious attention, says conservationist Nor Arlina Amirah Ahmad Ghani.

MANY Malaysians want to see people behind bars for committing wildlife crimes. But very rarely do they pay attention to the ornate pathway after the arrest and what it takes to convict offenders.

We celebrate arrests and seizures made by our enforcement officers, but the news often ends there, whereas an arrest is almost always only the first step towards reclaiming justice for wildlife in Malaysia.

(Photo: Prosecution and sentencing need to be strengthened when offenders reach the court, such as this Environmental Court in the Temerloh High, Session, and Magistrate Court | Pic by Nor Arlina Amirah for Justice for Wildlife Malaysia)

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Macaranga Joins Global Media in Demanding Urgent Climate Action

This is a joint editorial by Macaranga and global media in conjunction with the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) Energy Day.

CLIMATE change is a global problem that requires cooperation between all nations. That’s why today more than 30 newspapers and media organisations in more than 20 countries (see full list below) have taken a common view about what needs to be done.

Time is running out.

(Photo: For Malaysia to wean itself off GHG-emitting coal and other fossil fuels is critical  | Pic by Nicole Fong)

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Lapangan Terbang Baru Tioman Perlu Difikirkan Semula

Pembinaan lapangan terbang baru di Tioman yang melibatkan tanah tebus guna tidak disokong orang tempatan sepenuhnya, tulis Suhaimi Awang.

DENGAN penuh rasa kekurangan dari diri, saya menulis di sini. Saya anak jati Pulau Tioman, berasal dari Kampung Juara dan keseluruhan family saya juga dari Kampung Juara. Saya pengusaha resort kecil di tanah warisan keluarga saya.

Saya berpendapat bahawa Tioman Development Authority (TDA) seharusnya memainkan peranan yang jauh lebih penting selain menjaga kelestarian Pulau Tioman. [TDA ialah agensi kerajaan yang menerajui pembangunan Pulau Tioman.]

Ya, ada yang mereka buat dengan baik. Tetapi mereka juga harus peka dengan penduduk Pulau Tioman, bukan dengan cadangan orang-orang kaya, tetapi apa yang orang kampung perlukan.

(Foto: Dari laut ke hutan, daya tarikan paling penting Tioman ialah alam sekitarnya | Gambar oleh Suhaimi Awang)

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Now or Never for Malaysian Coral Reefs

Lack of action and funding ring the death knell for coral reefs in the face of warming seas, warns marine ecologist Sebastian Szereday.

CORAL REEFS are the ocean’s most biodiverse ecosystems and provide food, coastal protection and income for many Malaysians.

However, the current threats to coral reefs are acute, and as a coral reef ecologist, I am deeply concerned about the lack of action, management and funding for their conservation. Besides local damage, climate change has become the grim reaper of coral reefs. 

(Photo: Mass coral bleaching can result in nothing but dead coral rubble. | Pic by Atkinson Tan for Coralku)

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