[First published: 1 April 2021; updated 19 April 2021]
(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)
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
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
#FORESTFILES: PART 4
Juggling between development and environmental conservation is difficult when it comes to forest-use. But there are ways to be more inclusive. This is Part 4 of Forest Files.
MALAYSIA has had decades of continuous economic and population growth since independence.
In 2019, the country achieved a gross domestic production (GDP) of about RM1.5 trillion, more than a hundred-times the GDP in the 1960s. The population almost quadrupled over the same period.
However, before Malaysia industrialised in the 1980s, it exploited its natural resources, including its most accessible at that time: primary forests, some of the oldest in the world.
(Public participation allows citizens affected by forest-use change to voice out; pictured at the North Kuala Langat Forest Reserve degazettement townhall are [clockwise from top] Kg OA Pulau Kempas’s Tonjoi Bin Pipis and Batin Raman Pahat, and Kg OA Busut Baru’s Rosnah Anak Senin. Pics by Shakila Zen/KUASA)
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#FORESTFILES: PART 3
To understand forest-use dynamics in Peninsular Malaysia, one must know how state governments – the sole authority on land use – perceive forests. This is Part 3 of Forest Files.
IN AUGUST 2019, when then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad launched a forestry exhibition in Kuala Lumpur, he took the audience down memory lane.
“At the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, as the Prime Minister of Malaysia back then, I made a pledge that Malaysia is committed to maintain at least 50 percent of our land mass under forest cover,” said Mahathir.
(Photo: Logs, like these harvested from a permanent reserve forest in Johor, are an important source of revenue for many state governments. Pic by YH Law.)