Funds and political support are reinvigorating the Pan Borneo Highway project in Sabah. But is there time to consider ways to mitigate its environmental and socioeconomic impact?
WITH 2,239 kilometres of new roads to be built by 2025, the Pan Borneo Highway is expected to boost connectivity, tourism and trade in and between Sabah and Sarawak.
Parts of the current route, however, would severely impact the environment and local communities, say local NGOs and researchers.
Continue reading Must the Pan Borneo Highway Dissect the Tawai Forest?
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
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
Drawing from her environmental experience in three sectors, Ginny SL Ng is concerned that environmental NGOs are not future-proofing themselves.
SO, THE year 2020 has been a blast, hasn’t it? There has been much said and written about the impact of the epidemic and the new normal, and the many communities and sectors that have suffered due to an economy built heavily on travel and consumption.
Unfortunately, one of the sectors that may continue to face such challenges after the pandemic is the non-profit or civil society sector.
(Photo: Being territorial is fine for tigers; less so for NGOs. Pic by Ginny SL Ng)
Continue reading NGOs Dangerously Stuck In The Rut
Scientists make new findings, not necessarily all good, in the iconic Batu Caves, confirming its status as a natural treasure.
FOR THE millions of tourists who thronged Batu Caves in pre-Covid-19 times, and even for the residents who live nearby, the limestone hill is known only for its colourful Hindu temple and the Thaipusam festival.
Overshadowed is the hill’s scientific importance. Batu Caves is actually the best-studied limestone hill in Southeast Asia with many valuable natural history characteristics which are threatened.
In fact, is there even anything of scientific value left to conserve? The answer is a resounding “yes” according to a recent scientific expedition.
(Photo: Collecting Epithema parvibracteatum, endemic to Batu Caves and critically endangered; Ruth Kiew is second from left; Nur Atiqah Abd Rahman is on the left. Pic by SL Wong)
Continue reading Discoveries Support Urgent Protection for Batu Caves
Planners are drafting a new plan for Fraser’s Hill, an environmentally sensitive area. How should development proceed there?
FRASER’S Hill will get a new development concept plan soon. The Raub District Council, which oversees development in Fraser’s Hill, Pahang, has appointed town planner Iktisas Planners to come up with the plan.
The consultant told Macaranga they aim to finish the concept plan in November, and declined to comment more.
The new concept plan adds a new dimension to recent events that have focused discussion on how Fraser’s Hill, an environmentally sensitive area, should be developed.
In particular, some residents and concerned citizens are opposing the building of a hotel there which has been approved by the Council.
(Photo: The iconic clock tower greets visitors to Fraser’s Hill, a destination popular for its cool weather, nature and colonial-style buildings. Pic by : Pashmina Binwani)
Continue reading How to Fit a 15-storey Hotel in Fraser’s Hill