Tag Archives: Remarks

Nurturing a Nature Revival

Nature is trendy again. Conservationist Surin Suksuwan takes a look at the journey of colonial-era ‘Nature Study’ to the present.

NOW, PERHAPS more than ever before, Nature is becoming a concern for all rather than just to a fringe group who are labelled as tree huggers.

Unfortunately, it has taken the combined crises of climate change and biodiversity loss for people to realise that the Earth is in trouble and we cannot go on with business as usual.

(Feature pic: Nature Study was once taught to primary and secondary schoolchildren. | All photos by Surin Suksuwan)

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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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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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Menghormati dan Bekerjasama dengan Orang Asal yang Berpindah

Wong Pui May berkongsi pengalaman Tok Batin Mohammad bin Pokok di Bengkel Dana +20, Jordan. Tok Batin Batek dari Kelantan menambah suaranya kepada seruan antarabangsa untuk bekerjasama dengan ahli komuniti dalam hal berkenaan pemuliharaan dan pembangunan.

Dunia kita kini menghadapi pelbagai ancaman, termasuk perubahan iklim dan kemusnahan alam semula jadi yang mengugat jaminan makanan, merosakkan harta benda dan membahayakan nyawa.

Terdapat banyak yang dapat dipelajari daripada cara hidup Orang Asal yang telah diamalkan secara turun-temurun yang dapat meningkatkan daya tahan alam semula jadi melalui pengurusan tanah dan air yang berkesan.

Inilah pesanan peserta dalam perbincangan antarabangsa yang diadakan pada September lalu, 20 tahun selepas Pengisytiharan Dana, di Rizab Alam Semula Jadi Wadi Dana, Jordan.

(Gambar: Tok Batin Mohammad bin Pokok [tengah] berbincang dengan peserta-peserta Bengkel Dana +20 di Jordan September lalu. |  Gambar oleh Wong Pui May)

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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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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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Plastics in the Body A Worrying Trend

Microplastics are now found in more parts of the human body, writes Professor Dr Lee Yeong Yeh, whose team confirmed the presence of plastics in Malaysians’ bowels. What does this mean?

THIS YEAR, scientists found plastic in the human placenta. This discovery highlights the extent to which plastic permeates our bodies. It should make us very concerned.

By now, it is quite common knowledge that microplastics – smaller than a papaya seed – are ubiquitous in the human food chain, especially seafood and drinking water. This has been shown in many studies, including those in Malaysia.

(Photo: Plastic is entering human bodies when we consume water and seafood. Marine plastic pollution must be tackled, beach cleanups being one way. | Pic by SL Wong)

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