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)
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)
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)
Pig farmers must install expensive wastewater treatment systems to curb environmental pollution. Add this to rising costs and diseases, and alarm bells ring about pork prices and supply. Part 2 of 2.
THERE ARE many ways an interview about pigs can begin. Wong Soon Ping of Kampung Selamat, Penang showed off a whole roast duck on a baking tray. Half of it was coated in truffle powder. “I’m trying a new recipe!”
It turns out roast ducks are a new product for Soon Ping, a third-generation pig farmer who had sold his pig farm in November 2021 and now processes and distributes pork. His village is one of the two pig farming areas in the state, notorious for decades-long river pollution.
(Photo: Farms that cannot afford to modernise operations call it a day | Pic by Lee Kwai Han)
Notorious for its river polluting pig farms, Penang is mandating its farms modernise or shut down. But pig farms might not be the only, or main polluters along the whole river. Will this mandate bring relief to the ecosystem and impacted communities? Part 1 of 2.
A STENCH drifts up the 5 metres from the river to the bridge where we are standing. A sour, nasty smell, it lingers even after we leave the site. A local says the smelly river water comes from Kampung Valdor.
Their wastewater has been tarred for impacting everything from paddy fields and fisheries to high-end residential areas. But change is in the air as pig farming legislation and regulations kick in, though it is unclear if they will actually solve river pollution.
(Photo: The polluted waterway from Kampung Selamat (right) flows into Sungai Kereh; note the healthy riverine vegetation, a sign of possible excessive nutrients | Pic by SL Wong)
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)
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)
Eating turtle eggs in Terengganu is often attributed to culture. But fears it could jeopardise the trade ban on June 1 might be unfounded.
MANN THE turtle sanctuary ranger suddenly raises his finger and points at the ocean blue. “There are turtles mating,” he says. I follow his line of sight to two turtles in a tight embrace and bobbing on the surface of the water.
My heart leaps and I hope for the best. Maybe the female will survive to lay her eggs here at the sanctuary. Maybe those eggs will hatch, like many have before. After all, this is the Chagar Hutang Turtle Sanctuary on Redang Island, Terengganu’s most productive sea turtle nesting grounds.
(The ban on the sale of turtle eggs in Terengganu targets traders. | Photo: Bryan Yong)
Bilangan burung pantai hijrah semakin meningkat di Teluk Bako-Buntal di Sarawak. Tetapi trend itu mungkin mencerminkan masalah di tempat lain. Diterjemahkan oleh Noorainie Awang Anak.
AIR PASANG datang dengan cepat. “Anda perlu bergerak, bergerak, bergerak,” kata Rose Au. “Dalam beberapa minit, ianya sampai ke paras lutut anda!” Di tambah pula dengan bahaya terbenam dalam lumpur atau terserempak dengan buaya, usaha mengira burung tidak lekang dari keadaan yang mendebarkan.
Au dan beberapa pemerhati burung amatur Persatuan Pencinta Alam Malaysia Cawangan Kuching (MNS) di Sarawak, telah mengharungi berbagai rintangan sejak 16 tahun yang lalu. Matlamat mereka: untuk mengira beribu-ribu burung pantai yang datang ke Sarawak setiap tahun dalam perjalanan ke selatan dari tempat pembiakan mereka di Siberia.
(Mengira burung pantai di Teluk Bako-Buntal, Sarawak. Burung singgah di teluk setiap tahun dalam perjalanan dari Siberia. | Imej: Batrisyia Teepol/MNS)