Sunday, September 30, 2012

Save Water At Home: Start Today!



“Water conservation at home is one of the easiest measures to put in place, and saving water should become part of everyday family practice.”


Source: http://www.mrrooterpgh.com/2012/08/06/save-water-at-home-start-today/

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sembulan River Park Official Opening

Sembulan River Park Official Opening
YB Datuk Masidi Manjun attended the Official Opening of Sembulan River Park which was officiated by YAB Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Hj Aman, Chief Minister of Sabah on the 24th June 2012 at the Park compound.

Source: http://kepkas.sabah.gov.my/2012/06/27/sembulan-river-park-official-opening/

Thursday, September 27, 2012

In Desperate to Save the Sumatran Rhonocerous


Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) Director Dr Laurentius said the department is desperate to save the Sumatran Rhinocerous and are still unsuccessful in breeding the animal though they have discussed (the matter) with lots of partners in Sabah and IZW (Institute for Zoo and Wildlife in Berlin, Germany). He said in his opening remarks at the Forum on the Findings of Imbak Canyon 2012 Wildlife Survey held at a resort near here yesterday. Additionally, he said they were also working with their Indonesian counterpart who has recently seen the birth of a rhino calf in June, this year. At the same time, he also mentioned they would like to conduct rhino surveys at Danum Valley. He also commented on issues facing the orangutans and pygmy elephants in Sabah, where a study on the orangutan population at Lower Kinabatangan had been blown out of proportion by NGOs outside of the state. He hopes that the survey will propose like the linkages of those fragmented forest, where the best that can happen is to connect Ulu Segama, Danum Valley, Imbak Canyon and its surrounding areas.

Source: Borneo Post


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Immediate Measures Needed to Conserve Environment










Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said environmental conservation efforts must be carried out fast due to the environmental crisis that is increasingly worrying.

People all over the world, including in Malaysia are feeling the effects of climate change said Dompok. The effects including frequent droughts and flooding, weather changes, rising sea water levels, and frequent vector-borne disease outbreaks have caused many loss. Dompok urges everybody to play their part in ensuring sustainable use of natural resources by protecting and conserving the environment. Public awareness on the importance of greening and preserving the environment should be taken proactively.

Remove Oil Palm Tress along Riparian Reserve - Saddi

Sukau Assemblyman Saddi called on the large number of oil palm trees planted along the riparian reserve in Kinabatangan , particularly in Sukau, to be removed immediately in order to protect the river from pollution. Authorities will take serious action towards errant oil planter that refuse to comply the order.

Irresponsible palm oil mills will be suspended by the State if they keep discharging effluents into Sabah's rivers. Fishermen in Sukau along the river have been complaining that the fish and prawn catches from the river have been depleting and this affected their earnings. Saddi said he has raised the same issue on mills polluting the Kinabatangan river several times in the State Legislative Assembly and called on the relevant authorities to take action on those found committing the offence and destroying the environment, unfortunately no concrete action has been taken. In a related development, he proposed that the inter departmental committee headed by the permanent sec of Masidi's ministry's, Michael Emban, should include the elected people's representatives in the respective areas and the local authorities like the district office; he also recommended that the environmental issues affecting the Kinabatangan be brought up and fully addressed in the committee.

Imbak Canyon Wildlife Conservation Research Centre, next year says Waidi

Yayasan Sabah Conservation and Environmental Management Division Group Manager Waidi Sinun said the Imbak Canyon Wildlife Conservation will have its own research centre such as the ones in Danum Valley and Maliau Basin next year.

During the Forum of the Findings of Imbak Canyon 2012 Wildlife Survey, Sinun said the expedition is part of the request made by the stakeholders. Part of the survey includes to find out the access roads used by villagers to get to the area, to determine if their roads will be affected by the conservation and what kind of effect it would bring to the villagers. Yayasan Sabah will conduct a workshop to validate what the team had done in relation to the stakeholders' requests hence to see if the requests have been fully satisfied. They hope to launch it in Nov 2013, whilst Petronas will be the one who is making arrangements through its public awareness programme.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Stop the killing in Sabah


SABAH, without a shadow of doubt, is losing much of its wildlife to the rampant expansion of palm oil plantations.

State Minister for Environment and Tourism Masidi Manjun is on record as saying so.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Dr Laurentius Ambu agrees, as well as "Traffic", the worldwide wildlife trade monitoring organisation. The most recent scientific report has confirmed the disappearance of some 300 orang utan over the past eight years.

Protected species such as orang utan, rhinos, Proboscis monkeys, elephants and a raft of other species are all disappearing fast.

The loss of biodiversity is one thing, but the potential commercial loss caused to Sabah’s ecotourism industry runs into many millions of dollars annually.

 We call on Masidi Manjun to publicly and immediately declare a zero tolerance to the killing of protected wildlife.

This is not about creating a new law. It is about publicly reaffirming the existing law which is being blatantly ignored. A clear statement from the minister is urgently needed reminding criminals and law enforcement officials of the law.

Sean Whyte from Nature Alert commented, “If Minister Masidi Manjun is serious about protecting Sabah’s orang utan and other iconic species as well as the ecotourism industry, then we call on him without delay to introduce a "zero tolerance: no kill" policy for Sabah.

Failure to commit to this policy will undoubtedly attract ever more criticism, fewer orangutans and fewer tourists.

Last February we bent over backwards to assist the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) with introducing a NO KILL policy and measures to ensure its enforcement. The MPOB made excuses as to why such a policy was not necessary — when everyone knows it is.

If the palm oil industry cannot be trusted to police themselves, the government must enforce the law.

We invite Masidi Manjun to respond with urgency to this request.

Source: Malay Mail 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Environmental protection is crucial, says Linda











Member of Parliament for Batu Sapi, Datin Linda Tsen Thau Lin, urged everybody to take part in the programme that involves environmental protection.

Datin Linda who launched the newly introduced programme ‘Friends of the Environment’ (RAS) for the parliamentary constituency of P.185 Batu Sapi at SK Sung Siew said environment is a very important element for the future of the world. Linda told that it is everybody's responsibility to protect the environment hence the awareness of environmental protection should be nurtured among the society. Through this, it will encourage them to come forward to protect the environment together. She hoped the selected schools that received a grant of RM5,000 for carrying out RAS activities throughout the year will take advantage of this assistance to realize all activities that lead to environmental sustainability as well as the implementation of environmental education.


Picture source: parlimen.gov.my

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tallest Tropical Tree in the World, Tawau



Tawau, Sabah has the tallest tropical tree in the world.  In 2006, American scientist Dr Roman Dial and two friends climbed up a 'Seraya Kuning Siput' (Shorea faquetiana) in Tawau Hills Park or Taman Bukit Tawau. The trio risked life and climb in order to find out the accurate measurement of this tree, a tropical rainforest plant, located in the forest reserve of some 29,000 hectares.


After placing the end of the measuring tape at the tip of the highest point on the tree, Dr Dial, a professor in Biologi and Mathematic of Alaska Pacific University,  finally recorded the tree's height at 88.32 meters. That measurement made the Seraya Kuning Siput in Tawau Hills Park the highest tropical rainforest tree in the world.
After recording the tree's height, Dr Dial and his team then moved on to look for trees of other species in the park. In two square km there, they found seven more that measured more than 80 meters in height.



Dipterocarpus species or keruing 
































Source: SabahParks.org.my
Picture source: Sabah Parks.org.my and junglediary.com

Monday, September 17, 2012

Wastewater Treatment in Sabah

The provision of wastewater treatment facilities is as crucial as the provision of water and electricity supply. Wastewater needs to be treated appropriately, normally via a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), before it is discharged to drains, rivers and seas. The discharge of inadequately treated wastewater may cause adverse impacts such as:
• Water pollution
• The spread of waterborne diseases
• Aesthetic and odour nuisances
• Depreciation in land value
• Decrease in tourism potential.
 
Due to the environmental problems caused by the discharge of untreated wastewater, a sur vey of wastewater treatment systems, particularly wastewater treatment plants, applied in Sabah has been undertaken as one of the project outputs under the State’s Environmental Conservation Department - Capacity Building (ECD-CAB) project. As a part of the overall project, this survey was conducted in order to map out the status of wastewater treatment in Sabah. This will be useful for planning and managing future wastewater treatment system. The survey reveals a need for improved planning, management and regulation
of operation and maintenance of wastewater treatment systems. The Capacity Building project of the ECD is supported by the Danish Cooperation for Environmental Development (DANCED), and is a collaboration
effort between the Malaysian and Danish governments.

The wastewater treatment systems applied in Sabah can be grouped as follows:
• Common wastewater treatment system
• Individual wastewater treatment system (housing estates)
• Individual wastewater treatment system (apartments)
• Individual septic tanks
• Sludge treatment.

In the common wastewater treatment system, wastewater from buildings and houses is collected via a common sewerage line, see Annex E. Two types of the system are applied in Sabah: Common collection and treatment. The collected wastewater will be channelled into a WWTP. The WWTP used in Sabah to treat the wastewater from the common wastewater system are simple oxidation ponds. Oxidation ponds have been used because these ponds accommodate a high number of populations, normally more than 5,000, adopts a simple biological treatment system that requires minimum maintenance, and are cheap to construct compared to other WWTP systems. An illustration of the oxidation pond system can be seen in Annex E. The larger cities in Sabah like Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Lahad Datu and Keningau use the common wastewater collection and treatment system for their town centre and main residential areas. In Tawau, the common wastewater collection and treatment system covers only part of the western urban areas. Collection only. The collected wastewater is channelled directly into rivers and seas. Papar, Semporna, Kudat, Tawau town centre and part of Sandakan are utilising this system for their downtown areas.

For individual wastewater treatment system. Some housing estates that are not connected to the common wastewater treatment system or common sewer lines have constructed their own WWTP that collects and treats wastewater within the housing estates. The individual WWTPs used in Sabah undertake a mechanical treatment of the wastewater. In Sabah the most commonly used individual WWTP system used is Extended Aeration, but also systems such as the Bio-Filters, Rotating Biological Contractor (RBC), Oxidation Ditch and Imhoff tanks are used, see Annex E. 

Individual WWTPs for housing estates and apartments/condominium blocks are constructed by the developers. Individual WWTPs for housing estates shall ½-1 year after construction be handed over to and maintained by the respective Local Authorities. Most apartment and condominium block developments, however, have their own Management Corporation to manage the collection and treatment of wastewater.

Individual holding or septic tanks are being used mainly in the older and rural residential areas. In this treatment system, solids in the wastewater settle to the bottom of the septic tank to form sludge leaving the fluid wastewater to overflow into drains. In order to function as treatment system, septic tanks have to be desludged regularly to prevent excessive build-up in the tank, over flow, blockages and loss of the tank capacity. Individual septic tanks are maintained by the respective owners. Desludging of the tanks can be carried out by local authorities or private contractors as and when required by the owner. The sludge is then normally disposed off into the common wastewater treatment plants. Septic tank design is included in 
Annex E.

Sludge is the solids that settle at the bottom of septic tanks or treatment ponds. Sludge can be dried by pressing, sunning or burning and can then be processed into manure. However, these processes are not carried out in Sabah due to the absence of sludge treatment plants.

There is no master wastewater treatment plan for Sabah. There are, however, various regional studies, such as the comprehensive development plan for Kota Kinabalu (includes Penampang), Sandakan and Tawau. These plans, which include planning for sewerage, was prepared by consultants for the State Ministry of Town and Country Development in the early 1980s. Although the plans were meant to be statutory plans, they have, due to financial constraints and political priorities, not been fully implemented. Local plans, also statutory, amplify the policies and proposals of the comprehensive development plans affecting its area and identify the designated use of each land parcel and all factors influencing the parcel’s development. The Town and Regional Planning Department are also preparing local plans for districts that do not have a comprehensive development plan such as Papar, Kudat, Kota Marudu, Tuaran, Ranau and Beluran. 26 local plans have been prepared statewide with 10 being approved by the local authorities and 16 still in draft form. Although sewerage lines are not clearly indicated, local plans include the positions and dimensions of sewage lagoons reserves. 

Before development of individual housing estates or apartments can commence, a permit in the form of an approved development plan has to be issued by the local authorities. The development plan will include requirement for treatment and discharge of wastewater.

The local authorities are responsible for financing construction of common  wastewater treatment systems and for operation and maintenance of individual wastewater treatment systems. The local authorities have two main sources of funds; one from the State budget and the other through collection of rates. Since local authorities are under the State Ministry of Local Government and Housing (MLGH), MLGH can allocate budget to local authorities from the State budget. However, for DBKK, since it is under the supervision of the Chief Minister of Sabah, its budget comes from the State Budget through the Chief Ministers Department. The Gazetting Rating Order states that between 2% and 7% of the collectable rates should be allocated towards sewerage treatment services. In districts where JKR constructs, operates and maintain the common wastewater treatment system, JKR can allocate funds via the Federal Budget. However, these funds cannot officially be used for operation and maintenance, since it is Federal policy that WWTP is a privatised area, thus not eligible for Federal funding.

Construction of the individual wastewater treatment systems are financed by the developers, while budgets for operation and maintenance of these come from the local authorities. Construction, operation and maintenance of the individual septic tank are financed by the individual land owners.


Source: Environment Protection Department 
Picture source: Insight Sabah

Friday, September 14, 2012

Musa Aman’s Consistency reduces dependency on timber revenue

Cynicism often creates blind spots which distort vision. Of late Sabah political scenario seems to be hugely afflicted by this malady which is going undiagnosed. Heart-warming developments emerging from various parts of Sabah are being clouded by the dust of allegations of corruption and malfeasance of gargantuan proportions in governance.

It was reported widely that Switzerland’s Attorney General has opened a criminal investigation into the country’s largest bank, UBS AG, over suspected money laundering of about S$38 trillion which includes US90 million of timber corruption proceeds from Sabah. The case against UBS was opened on August 29, following a criminal complaint by the Bruno Manser Fund over the bank’s close ties with Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman. The existence of the investigation was confirmed on August 29 by the Office of the Attorney General in the Swiss capital, Bern.

The Bruno Manser Fund accuses “Musa Aman and his nominees” of laundering more than US$90 million of corruption proceeds from the tropical timber business in Sabah, Borneo, through a number of UBS bank accounts in Hong Kong. The Bruno Manser Fund alleges that Musa Aman “has personally benefited from the large-scale logging” of these rainforests near the Danum Valley. The Swiss government reportedly said that it was ready to freeze Musa’s accounts in Switzerland if the Malaysian authority made a request for legal assistance.

These allegations however sounds very Dan Brown, singling in on the conspiracy theories.

One such positive development comes from this whole accusation. Sabah Forestry Department director Sam Manan is an internationally celebrated forest scientist. In his current assignment as adviser on forestry to Sabah chief minister Musa Aman, Sam has been focusing on good forest practices in the state. And he has an interesting story to tell. Despite being hit by accusations of rampant illegal logging of its forest, the state is all set to post an increase of about 20 percent of Sabah’s total land area under the totally protected area (TPAS) reserves reaching 1.3 million hectares exceeding even the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) standard of 10%. By all yardsticks, this is not only unprecedented but phenomenal too.

How has this miracle become possible? Sam explains it very succinctly, “Perseverance and desire at the top.” Musa Aman has been consistent in his approach to reduce the dependence on timber revenue soon than later, ever since taking over the state as chief minister in 2003 and this was his agenda. The forest revenue is about RM150 million a year today as opposed to RM500 million to RM1 billion in the past. His objective is simple: to ensure that the forests are given a chance to recover.

And according to Sam, the money Bruno Manser Fund is alleging about is a US$90 million “nest egg” purportedly derived from widescale illegal logging activities in Sabah. This amount of US$90 million , if indeed true, would mean that not less that one million m3 of timber have been illegally felled. That represents plundering of at least 20,000 hectres (50,000 acres) of well-stocked forest. This scale of logging would then represent 50% of the timber produced from natural forest in 2011 or about 30% of Sabah’s timber production in 2010.

Sounds rather ridiculous and far fetched this whole US90 million story.

If anything, a badly logged well-stocked forest of 20,000ha would have been easily detected by satellites and attracted the attention of NGOs, environmentalists and the communities living nearby. Besides, the enormity of the alleged extent of illegal felling [1 million m3] could not have escaped the attention of the world. So, no way could such acts be committed and passed without notice. Also, if 50% of the annual production of timber from Sabah was alleged to be illegal, world markets especially sensitive ones like Europe, North America and Japan would have long ago stopped buying timber from Sabah. This enormous economic and financial implication would have been so harmful to the state as a whole and the state budget could have gone topsy-turvy.

Musa Aman worked overtime with the forestry to improve on good forest practices and continue to attract the attention of certifying bodies and NGOs, who want to be partners and to assist Sabah in obtaining veritable and certifiable good governance. Under his leadership, SFM [sustainable forest management] had improved by leaps and bounds. Short-term licences that caused tremendous damage to the environment were being drastically phased out and Sabah’s forest management credibility is now at its highest.Sabah now has an open-book philosophy whereby, logging and forest management areas are all open to third party and NGO scrutiny. Currently at least 800,000ha of Sabah’s forests are partially or fully certified under various internationally recognised system such as FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), MTCS (Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme) and PEFC (Pan European Forest Scheme). This included the 250,000ha of fully certified and 150,000ha of partially certified forest areas under the Sabah Foundation.

In fact, many more forest areas are being earmarked for certification as Sabah has set 2014 as the year for all long-term licensed areas to be fully certified.The process of certification means independent third party is on the ground auditing to assess credibility. Musa has created model forest centre and ensured that the forest in Sabah will never be “raped” like in the past by unscrupulous people. At the same time, there has been a consistent effort to educate everyone involve in the timber industry about good forest practices without disturbing the forest.This endeavor, carried out silently, is about to bear fruits now, an indication that Sabah’s forest are well run. And the spill-over effect is evident by the wildlife corridor linking Maliau Basin, Imbak Canyon to Danum/Ulu Segama and the re-classification of Ulu Segama (130,000ha) to total protected status.

 As The Duke of Cambridge Prince William and Lady Catherine Middleton prepares for a visit to Danum Valley on the 15th of September, a testament to their longstanding interest in conservation, we should perhaps see this as an indication that the rumours of deforestation and illegal logging is not true. Why would Musa allow the Royal couple into Sabah if the home to some of the last remaining areas of tropical rainforest in South East Asia were indeed in dire straits?

In fact, Sabah has been uniquely placed in Malaysia’s context. Given its good forest practices, pressure on forest is intense. Timber revenue was a major source of livelihood in absence of industrialisation. Perhaps Sabah stands out as a paradox in the Malaysia Shining story. Still the state has been consistently growing at the rate of over 8 percent, one of the highest in the country. There is no doubt that much of this growth comes from the state spending on social welfare schemes and building up of infrastructure.

By economic standards, Sabah virtually offers an inverted model of growth inconsistent with the overall growth narrative. Musa aman has been making all-out efforts to inject buoyancy in rural market by improving agriculture and tourism. Perhaps he seems to be aware of his handicap that the timber from the forest is getting too scarce and priced to be given for industrial growth. That is why he has been insisting on reducing the dependence on timber to save the forest for future generations. Similarly he turns to be an environmentalist when it comes to allotment of mining rights in and around Maliau Basin. Sabah is firm that no mining activities should take place in first class forest reserves and protected areas such as the Maliau Basin in the south central part of the state. “No mining can be allowed in Maliau Basin,” he told Datuk Lim Keng Yaik when requested him to open coal mining to give fillip to growth. And then the Sabah government’s decision to bar any development on the seafront totalling 1,555ha from Tanjung Aru to Likas Bay through the Land Ordinance (Amendment) 2012 Bill, approved by the state assembly in July 2012, was a significant and bold move, and motivated by the need to protect the marine ecosystem.

On the face of it, Sabah appears to be posting a growth which is not sustainable if one believes in prescriptions of neoliberal economists. But there are enough straws in the wind to suggest that Sabah is on the cusp of defying this theory and evolve a new model which may be far more inclusive and environment-friendly than the existing models. If Musa Aman’s growth story proves to be true, this innovative model is bound to fuel an intense political and economic debate in the country.

So the allegations are therefore baseless and made with bad intention to discredit the sacrifices made by Musa Aman’s state government to achieve good forest governance and SFM [sustainable forest management in the shortest time possible, despite the economic financial and social challenges.
 
Source: http://selvarajasomiah.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/musa-amans-consistency-reduces-dependency-on-timber-revenue/
Picture source: http://malaysiansmustknowthetruth.blogspot.com/

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Royal visit testimony of our good conservation work – Masidi


KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has done well, especially when environment conservation is concerned, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit bears testimony to it.

Prince Williams and Kate Middleton will be visiting the state’s Class I (Protection) Forest Reserve, the Danum Valley Conservation Area (DVCA), located on the western side of the upper reaches of the Segama River in Southeast Sabah on September 15.

They are currently on their nine-day Southeast Asian and Pacific tour marking Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. The royal couple is currently in Singapore.

“We are pleasantly surprised that the Royal Highness Prince William and Princess Kate have chosen to visit Sabah in this part of the world. I think it is an honour and testimony of the good conservation work that Sabah is doing,” said Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun, yesterday.

Met at the Petronas Raya Open House here, he said the Royal Highnesses are expected to visit the Royal Society’s South East Asia Rainforest Research Programme (SEARRP), a British non-governmental organisation that has been working in DVCA for about 25 years.

SEARRP was established in 1985 in response to mounting concern over the future of South East Asia’s rainforests and through a conviction that by gaining a scientific understanding of tropical rainforest systems, ecology and dynamics a significant contribution could be made to their sustainable management and conservation, particularly in the context of global environmental change.

Although the scope of the programme includes all of South East Asia, their efforts are primarily focused on Sabah.

“That itself shows not only the confidence in the international NGO and our policy, which is to conserve, but it bears testimony to the fact that, in a small way, a stamp of approval from the Royal Highnesses on all the good job by our international NGOs, the Sabah Forestry Department and all who are involved in the conservation work,” he said.

His Royal Highness Prince Henrik, The Prince Consort of Denmark and Queen Margrethe II, had also visited Danum Valley and according to Masidi, the royal couple had extended their two-night stay to five nights, “because they were overwhelmed by the richness of flora and fauna found in Danum Valley.”

Prince Hendrik, who is the president of Denmark’s World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), was a guest of WWF Malaysia and had also toured various conservation spots including Likas Bird Sanctuary, Kinabatangan Floodplain, Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre in Sandakan and Sukau Rainforest Lodge.

He visited the 43,800ha Danum Valley Field Centre in Lahad Datu and Maliau Basin, also known as Lost World, which lies in the interior of southern Sabah, and participated in a village home-stay programme in Ulu Padas near the Sarawak-Kalimantan border.

“This, for us, again, is an eye opener to many Europeans. Unfortunately Asians and the Third World countries in general are always in the news for the wrong reasons, and we are always being accused of turning our back to conservations, but I think what is happening in Sabah is exactly the opposite.

“I think we are doing better than other countries, including the First World countries and I think all Sabahans should be very proud,” he said.

Masidi reiterated his calls for the people to continue conserving and preserving the environment.

“The tourists come here for nature adventure, they like to see our sea, they like to dive and go to our mountain, and they simply want to go to our jungle because we have pristine jungles. I have said this many times and I want to say it again that for so long as we look after nature and environment, tourists will keep on coming.

“In fact I am happy to inform that for the first seven months of this years, the Chinese tourist arrivals to the state had gone up over a massive 40 per cent and this, to me, is again a testimony to conserve nature. Sabah is known to be a nature paradise, and we should keep it that way. I hope the people will understand that the moment we start destroying all the best of nature that we have, it is the beginning of the end of the tourism industry and I think we need to remember that,” stressed Masidi.

Source : Borneo Post
Picture sources: malaysiakini.com

Danum Valley Conservation Area

Danum Valley Conservation Area is one of the last remaining pockets of protected primary lowland tropical rainforest in Asia and is one of the world’s great storehouses of genetic diversity.

In the early 1960s, between the fading years of the British rule and the promising years of Sabah's independence through a merger with independent Malaya, soil surveyors first carried out soil studies in Danum Valley. They observed that there was an abundance of wildlife and diverse forest types and then recommended setting up a wildlife sanctuary within. In 1976, the Sabah Natural Parks Board sponsored a scientific expedition into Danum Valley, which was funded by the World Wildlife Fund. The report recommended that Danum Valley should be converted into a natural park. Luckily, in 1980 the Sabah Foundation retained the Danum Valley as a centre for conservation where natural flora and fauna will be preserved for the purposes of research and education. In 1986, the Sabah Foundation officially opened a scientific field study center, Danum Valley Conservation Area, in the eastern part of Danum Valley. In 1996, the protective status of Danum Valley was further enhanced when it was announced as a Protection Forest Reserve. Danum Valley holds a unique status in the sense that before it became a protected area there were no human settlements within the area, meaning that hunting, logging and other human interference was non-existent.

It is a pristine rugged terrain that carpets 438 square km of Malaysian Borneo; it is bordered by the Danum and Segama Rivers and a vast timber concession area. Its immense size makes this area the largest lowland reserve in Malaysia and boasts the world’s most complex ecosystem.

The 60 million year old rainforest preserves many flora and fauna species found only in Borneo; over 200 species of tree per hectare thrive here. A Dipterocarp forest covers over 90% of the area that can grow to an amazing height of 70m.

This virgin rainforest is home to more than 300 species of birds including the endemic Bornean Bristlehead, Bulwer’s Pheasant, Bornean Ground-Cuckoo, Bornean Wren-Babbler, Black-throated Wren-Babbler and Dusky Munia, just to name a few. It is also home to all eight species of the Bornean Hornbills and six species of Pitta, including the impressive Giant Pitta. Also calling Danum Valley home are 75 types of reptiles, 40 species of fish, 56 species of amphibians, and 110 species of mammals. A few of the mammals include the Clouded Leopard, Borneo Pygmy Elephant, Sumatran Rhino, and Sun Bear. Also included are 5 species of Deer (including the Yellow Barking Deer, the Mouse Deer, and the Sambar Deer).

In Danum Valley you can see the nocturnal Tarsier – one of Sabah’s cutest mammals that is 13 cm in length with a tail nearly twice its length, enormous eyes, soft velvety fur and webbed feet. Though very,  tiny it is one of Sabah’s strongest mammals. Almost every single Borneo primate species can be found in Danum Valley such as the Orang Utan and Proboscis Monkey with the exception of the Silver Leaf Monkey.

Arthropods form by far the most diverse group at Danum with perhaps as many as 15,000 species. These species include 600 varieties of moths, more than 350 butterfly species, tens of thousands of beetle species, with flies and wasps also being extremely species rich. With all of this to behold you can see why Danum Valley has a reputation for being one of the best places to view and photograph Borneo’s extensive wildlife.

Striking rivers and waterfalls thread throughout the park including Tembalang Falls, and Sungai Purut which is a spectacular waterfall 20m tall with 7 tiered pools making it a destination not to be missed.
 
For the bird lovers there is a 170m long 27m high canopying walkway that offers a peek into abundant bird life in the tropical jungle. Gunung Danum or Mt. Danum at 1093 metres is the highest peak in the Danum Valley Conservation Area. Trekkers preferring a leisurely hike could take the 3 days 2 nights’ trip. However, hard core trekkers take only about 4 hours to reach Gunung Danum. In the park there are over 50km of marked trails for visitors to hike.

In order to fully appreciate Danum Valley’s richness it is advised to stay in The Borneo Rainforest Lodge that has 24 chalets that house 31 twin-sharing rooms. All rooms have a private bathroom with hot shower and a balcony. These comfortable and environmentally friendly chalets are designed like local village houses on stilts overlooking Sungai Danum in the midst of the teeming jungle. They are made up of local “belian” (ironwood) and stones from the nearby rivers. The main building with a spacious lobby that overlooks the forest is the ideal place to have your meals and compare notes on the day’s findings. There is a bar for those who like to enjoy a drink or two. Borneo Rainforest Lodge amidst the tranquil tropical forest is nature at its best.

Another overnight option is to stay at the Danum Valley Field Center which gives preference to researchers but if others can stand its studious, if sparse atmosphere, there may be a spot for you (depending on the management’s mood and the relations with the BRL). The accommodation is a separate male female dormitory with bunk beds and cold water showers. They offer a communal lounge and dining area at a budget price.

Danum Valley is about 80 kilometres southwest of Lahad Datu, Sabah's fourth largest town and lies within the upper reaches of Sabah's second largest river, the Segama, and its tributaries. Remote from human habitation and almost alien to modern civilization makes the Danum Valley a naturalists’, nature lovers and ordinary travellers paradise.


Source : sensiborneo.com
Pictures source : flickr.com (samjawed65)

All Saints Secondary School’s sustainable farming effort sets a good example

KOTA KINABALU: Talks of green living and eating healthy food are becoming hot topics among people, especially health and figure conscious individuals.

Many are opting for sustainable farmed organic food, and lean meat instead of pesticide contaminated vegetables or hormone injected farm animals for their daily dietary supplement.

Realising the importance of cleaner food, air and environment, one teacher, Wong Foo, from the All Saints Secondary School near here have set up a horticulture club to promote sustainable farming.

 The physics teacher came up with an idea of changing the school’s landscape into a “gardenscape” concept early April last year, and gathered several pioneer members to assist him.

“The students and I started off small, and planted vegetables at a small piece of land behind the school without using pesticides or chemical fertilizers,” he said during the launch of the horticulture club last week.

“It was hard at first because resources were limited and our manpower was small, but after a few months, our first few patches of vegetables grew magnificently and I decided to expand this initiative by starting a club (unofficially) in January this year,” Wong said.

Since then, over 40 students from the Forms 4 and 5 Science classes have worked hand in hand to plant more vegetables in the school compound, with an accumulated plantation area reaching about half an acre now.

This effort had also attracted the Sabah Environmental Protection Association (SEPA) and the Environment Action Commission (EAC) to help the club members and school in their sustainable farming programmes.

In this respect, club president Ricky Wong said the sustainable farming in the school was made possible because of the support from students and teachers.

“We started with the preparatory stage, then maintaining the vegetable patch so they would grow well for harvesting, and lastly to be sold among school teachers and parents,” he explained.

Ricky said the teachers have also shown support by advising them on how to go about the project and bought the vegetables when they were ready for harvest.

He said fertilizers were self-made using carbon, rice bran, chicken dung and molasses.

“The process to make these fertilizers take about two weeks, whereas vegetables which are planted on rotation basis take about one to three months to grow, depending on the type of vegetables,” he said.

The types of vegetables planted include spinach, Chinese cabbage or bak choi, yam, bittergourd and baby kailan.

Wong said they also plant flowers around the vegetables so that insects and other pests would nibble on the flowers instead of the vegetables to keep them fresh and edible.

Meanwhile, Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry permanent secretary, Datuk Michael Emban who represented the minister, Datuk Masidi Manjun hopes the programme continues and spreads on to other schools.

“This is an area which the ministry is responsible, so we will definitely support these initiatives with the hope that other schools will emulate,” he said.









Source: http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2012/9/13/southneast/12007547&sec=southneast
Picture source: thestar.com.my

Sabah's Potential High To Be Among World's Best Spa Services Providers

Sabah has the potential to be among the best spa services providers in the world, says Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun.

Comparing it with Bali, the world's leading spa provider, he said Sabah had an abundance of natural resources for the production of spa products as well as in the provision of spa treatment services.

"According to Tourism Malaysia's forecast, the spa industry can expect to generate as much as RM830 million by 2020.

"In view of this potential, the spa and wellness industry players must upgrade its standards and professionalism in all areas in order for the services to be on par with international standards," he told reporters after opening the Rafflesia Spa Essentials, a wholesale and retail outlet of spa products, here.

Masidi said due to increasing demand in spa services, spa outlets will soon be rated based on star ratings in order to give the industry credibility and confidence to potential customers.

However, he warned that the industry should not be interpreted as an activity for vice.

"Too often the word 'spa' has been misused for illegal activities. We hope the star rating would change people's perception so that the industry could be seen as a healthy activity in improving one's beauty and wellness," he said.

Meanwhile, Rafflesia Spa's Director Eddie Abdullah said the family-operated company expects to expand its operations to Sarawak and Brunei.

He also said setting up a training centre for spa and reflexology practioners was also in the company's future plans.


Source: Bernama 
Picture source : kepkas.sabah.gov.my

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ketua menteri Datuk Musa Aman bantu sejukkan dunia

Sebuah Boeing 747 terbang dari London ke Kota Kinabalu, dengan jarak 11,300km (7,000 batu) mengeluarkan tiga tan karbon dioksida. Setiap tahun, 600 juta tan CO2 dibebaskan ke atmosfera ketika 16,000 pesawat komersial menerbangkan penumpang di seluruh dunia untuk tujuan perniagaan dan bersantai. Dalam masa 10 tahun, pengembaraan udara akan menjadi penyumbang terbesar kepada pemanasan global, kata pakar alam sekitar. Dan disebabkan itulah, Sabah mengambil pendekatan untuk menerajui "pelancongan mapan" bagi membantu menghentikan suhu daripada terus meningkat.

Ketua Menteri Datuk Musa Aman memberitahu 490 delegasi yang hadir Persidangan Pelancongan Dunia selama dua hari yang beliau menerajui pelancongan mapan untuk melindungi hutan, hidupan liar dan pulau-pulau sebab tempat inilah yang menarik kebanyakan daripada 2.3 juta pelancong untuk datang ke pulau Borneo yang kaya dengan sumber semulajadi ini. Pelancongan eko adalah perniagaan pengembaraan yang paling pesat di dunia. Sabah memperolehi kira-kira RM4 bilion setahun daripadanya walaupun berlaku kemelesetan dunia, menjadikan ia pendapatan kedua paling besar selepas kelapa sawit.

"Semakin ramai pelancong mahu pergi ke negara-negara yang ada operator perjalanan, pusat peranginan dan hotel yang menghasilkan kurang karbon," kata Musa di sidang itu di Kota Kinabalu pada 4 Oktober. "Kami mahu memastikan aset pelancongan kita dilindungi dan memenuhi jangkaan melalui amalan kemampanan yang terbaik."

Musa mendapat pujian daripada Royal Society Britain kerana memulihara kawasan luas hutan bagi mengurangi pengeluaran CO2. Pakar iklim cuba mengekalkan purata pemanasan global dibawah 2oC. Selebih daripada angka itu boleh membawa kemudaratan, kata mereka.

Malaysia menjadi tuan rumah sidang itu buat kali kedua: pertama kali di Kuala Lumpur pada 2007. Tetapi inilah kali pertama bagi Sabah dan Musa terharu dengan maklum balas daripada mereka yang hadir. Jumlah peserta melebihi jangkaan Sabah. Ada tujuh menteri pelancongan daripada 185 peserta asing daripada 42 negara. Semuanya mahu mempelajari kejayaan Sabah di sidang itu yang bertemakan "kisah kejayaan dan kebangkitan bintang pelancongan."

Musa berkata, Sabah menerima kedatangan pelancong melebihi sejuta pada 2000 dan jumlah itu berganda pada 2006. Tahun lalu, negeri ini memperolehi RM3.9 bilion daripada 2.4 juta pelancong. Katanya, Sabah mahu matlamat untuk menggandakan angka itu pada 2020.

Timbalan perdana menteri, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yang merasmikan pertemuan itu berkata, pelancongan adalah kunci utama kepada ekonomi Malaysia. Malaysia adalah destinasi kesembilan paling ramai menerima pelancong, katanya. Tahun lalu, negara ini mengalu-alukan ketibaan 23.6 juta pelancong dan memperolehi RM53.4 bilion. Muhyiddin berkata, dibawah rancangan transformasi pelancongan Malaysia, lebih daripada satu kali ganda jumlah pelancongan dijangka tiba di sini dalam masa 10 tahun dan ini akan menggalakkan pendapatan sehingga RM168 bilion daripada 36 juta pelancong.

Victor Wee, pengerusi Lembaga Promosi Pelancongan Malaysia berkata, Malaysia adalah salah satu daripada tujuh negara yang menyaksikan perkembangan pesat dalam sektor pelancongan pada tahun lalu, walaupun berlaku kemelesetan dunia dan ancaman selesema burung H1N1.

 Taleb Rifai, Setiausaha Agung organisasi Pelancongan Dunia Pertubuhan Bangsa-bangsa Bersatu (PBB) memuji tindakan Malaysia melindungi alam sekitar demi untuk pelancong. "Industri pelancongan hijau dan bersih bukan saja memberi manfaat kepada Malaysia. Ia adalah contoh eko pelancongan yang boleh dicapai yang akan memberi faedah kepada setiap destinasi pelancongan." Rifai nampak pelancongan hijau sebagai ekonomi hijau global.– Insight Sabah

Sabah masuki industri biomass besar-besaran

Nilai sisa buangan kelapa sawit lebih besar daripada kelapa sawit mentah (CPO): anggaran RM30 bilion berbanding RM22 bilion daripada jumlah eskport 5.4 metrik tan CPO dari Sabah - ketiga terbesar daripada jumlah keseluruhan dikeluarkan oleh Malaysa. Usaha bersungguh-sungguh dilakukan untuk menukar 27 juta tan sisa buangan kelapa sawit kepada papan lapis, briket, tilam jerami, baja bio dan tenaga elektrik. Sisa itu merangkumi 6 juta tan tandan kelapa sawit, 19 juta tan pelepah kelapa sawit and dua juta tan batang kelapa sawit daripada 1.3 m hektar kawasan penanaman kelapa sawit di Sabah. Ada bertan-tan lagi sisa buangan cecair kimia daripada kilang kelapa sawit.

Pakar kelapa sawit berkata, hanya satu persepuluh daripada pokok kepala sawit adalah minyak. Selebihnya adalah sisa atau biomass.

"Kita mungkin akan mendengar lebih banyak inisiatif daripada kerajaan dalam masa beberapa bulan ini," kata Pang Teck Wai, Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif POIC Sdn Bhd sambil menambah: 'Kita mencipta infrastruktur yand terbaik daripada industri biomass."

Beliau berkata, Sabah adalah negeri pertama yang membangunkan industri biomass dan menambah, apa yang diperlukan ialah pelabur ialah jaminan bahawa bekalan bahan mentah mencukupi untuk jangka panjang dengan harga kompetitif. Kerajaan katanya, memberikan laluan kepada "para pelabur akses kepada manfaat biomass".

Pada 29 Julai, Ketua Menteri Sabah memberitahu penanam kelapa sawit dan pemain industri yang mereka tidak patut melakukan kesilapan sepertimana yang berlaku kepada industri balak yang gagal dibangunkan industri hilirannya.

"Kita mungkin berada di zon yang selesa, dan sebelum menyedarinya, kita sudahpun ketinggalan di belakang and hari ini, kita tidak boleh katakan kita ada industri hiliran kayu balak. Kita tidak boleh ulangi kesilapan ini lagi," katanya ketika melancarkan pameran tiga hari Palmex 2010 di Kota Kinabalu.

Musa berasa gembira tindakan pantas industri minyak kelapa sawit untuk meneroka bidang biomass dengan bantuan kerajaan yang menyediakan kemudahan infrastruktur dan mewujudkan tanaman berkelompok di Lahad Datu dan Sandakan. POIC Lahad Datu adalah pusat baja terbesar yang ada lapan syarikat yang dijangka mengeluarkan lebih sejuta tan baja setahun.

Ia bakal menjadi pusat penapisan minyak sawit yang terbesar. Dan Musa juga mahu pengilang untuk mempelbagaikan industri itu daripada hanya menumpukannya kepada CPO. Lahad Datu akan menjadi pengeluar bio-disel yang terbesar di dunia.

Menjadikan biomass kepada tenaga, ia juga akan membantu Malaysia, negara kedua terbesar pengeluar kelapa sawit selepas Indonesia, mengurangkan bantahan daripada pencinta alam sekitar terhadap kepesatan penanaman kelapa sawit y ang mereka salahkan sebagai mempercepatkan pemanasan global, memusnahkan hidupan luar dan kepelbagaian hayat.

Kebanyakan produk seperti brisket and palet daripada sisa buangan kelapa sawit dieksport ke Eropah untuk dijadikan penjana tenaga. Penggunaan baja bio juga boleh mengurangkan RM1.4 bilion jumlah import baja kimia kepada separuh sahaja dan ini boleh mengurangkan pencemaran sungai, kata pakar dalam industri ini. – Insight Sabah

Hutan, emas dan galian Sabah boleh hilang jika bukan kerana Musa

Datuk Musa Aman adalah satu-satunya lelaki yang boleh melindungi hutan Sabah, hidupan liar dan kepelbagaian hayat yang akan mampu memperseimbangkan pemanasan global. Beliau adalah ketua menteri yang menghentikan pembalakan di Ulu Segama Malua dan Maliau Basin serta mewujudkan hutan penampan yag mempunyai keluasan tiga kali besar daripada Singapura untuk melindungi Lembah Danum daripada pembalakan, perlombongan dan pembukaan tanah untuk tujuan pertanian. Tanpa Musa, hutan dan bahan galian seperti emas di pantai timur Sabah mungkin akan hilang. Kelapa sawit mungkin menggantikan hutan hujan yang ada.

"Kita mesti ucap syabas kepada Sabah dibawah kepimpinan Musa Aman kerana memulihara hutan," kata Lorna Casselton, setiausaha luar Royal Society yang berpusat di Britain. "Jika mereka tebang hutan, mereka akan untung berbilion dolar, tetapi mereka tidak lakukannya dan itulah yang penting."

Pada 27 Julai di Kota Kinabalu, Musa menyaksikan majlis menandatangani perjanjian persefahaman di antara Royal Society dan jawatankuasa pengurusan Danum Valley untuk lima tahun kerja-kerja menyelidik dan latihan hutan hujan. Acara itu juga sempena 25 tahun Program Penyelidikan Hutan Hujan Asia Tenggara (SEARRP) yang bermula di Danum pada 1985, menjadikan ia projek penyelidikan yang paling lama dalam 350 sejarah persatuan itu.

Penyelidikan merangkumi daripada gambaran mengenai hutan Sabah kepada kesan akibat pembalakan, pemuliharaan hutan dibalak dan perubahan cuaca ketika hutan diubah menjadi perladangan. Untuk lima tahun akan datang ini, ia akan memberi fokus kepada perubahan lanskap hutan hujan dan kesannya terhadap iklim.

Dibantu oleh orang Kanada, Lembah Danum yang mempunyai keluasan 43,000 hektrar, kira-kira dua saiz Pulau Pinang, dikenal pasti untuk pemuliharaan pada 1969 apabila jabatan perhutanan melakukan iventori hutannya yang pertama. Ia membentuk sebahagian daripada konsesi hutan Yayasan Sabah pada tahun berikutnya dan secara ironinya ditanda sebagai sebahagian daripada hutan simpan komersial Ulu Segama walaupun ia sepatutnya dipulihara, kata Datuk Sam Mannan, pengarah Jabatan Perhutanan Sabah.
Yayasan itu diwujudkan untuk membantu sosio ekonomi dan pembangunan pendidikan Sabah dengan menyediakan bantuan sosial dan pendidikan seperti pakaian seragam sekolah percuma, biasiswa dan pinjaman belajar kepada rakyat.

Tetapi tiada kerajaan nampak keperluan memberi perlindungan kepada Danum daripada pembalakan sehinggalah Musa menjadi pengarah Yayasan Sabah pada 1995. Musa menghentikan pembalakan di Danum selepas mewujudkan 250,000 hektar hutan penampan di sekitarnya setahun sebelum itu dan melaksanakn pengurusan hutan mampan.

Bagaimanapun, kerosakan pada hutan simpan Ulu Segama sudah berlaku ketika pemerintahan pemimpin sebelum Musa yang "menjarah" kira-kira 4,000 hektar di sana, kata Mannan merujuk kepada tempoh itu sebagai "Zaman Gelap."

Situasi itu merampas sebahagian besar daripada kawasan di utara Danum. Hasilnya ialah hujan asid di Danum dua tahun yang lalu ketika musim jerebu teruk melanda Borneo. Para saintis cuba menilai kesan jangka panjang bahan penyubur kimia yang diguna ladang di sekitar Danum.

Mannan kesal kerana mereka sebenarnya boleh melindungi Danum dan Ulu Segama Malua ketika itu tetapi mereka enggan melakukannya "atas sebab hanya mereka yang tahu" dan membenarkan "pembalakan haram". Hutan-hutan diubah menjadi perladangan kelapa sawit.

Tugas itu kini dipikul Musa. Kepimpinannya membenarkannya membuat keputusan tidak popular yang kritikal mengenai pemuliharaan 300,000 hektar hutan, emas, arang batu dan galian di Lemba Danum dan di hutan kompleks Ulu Segama Malua.

Dibawah Musa kata Mannam, "profesional akhirnya dibenarkan mengamalkan profesion untuk pengurusan yang baik," dan menambah yang beliau dibenarkan menggunakan inovasi, kreativiti dan keusahawanan dalam mengurus sumber alam semulajadi Sabah.

Beliau menyebut contoh apabila beliau menghentikan cubaan untuk membalak 20,000 hutan di Danum yang boleh membawa keuntungan sebanyak RM4 bilion.

"Satu-satunya sebab kita dapat lakukan ini ialah sebab kepimpinan kuat politik Musa," kata Mannan. "Saya tidak kisah memberitahu anda yang ketua menteri ini menolak secara langsung sebarang cubaan memperkenalkan dasar rambang yang kelam kabut."

Mannan membuat rayuan kepada Musa: "Jangan bersara dulu. Kami masih perlukan masa panjang dibawah kepimpinan anda untuk mencapai kecemerlangan."Untuk Royal Society, katanya: "Jangan bimbang. Musa Aman di sini untuk membantu dan melindungi hutan Sabah daripada rampasan."

Bercakap kemudian, Musa berkata dengan bangganya bahawa Danum menjadi salah satu daripada tiga pusat penyelidikan hutan hujan dunia. Dua lagi ialah La Selva di Costa Rica dan Panama. Kira-kira 50 rakyat Malaysia, kebanyakan penduduk Sabah memperolehi doktorat dan ijazah untuk penyelidikan mereka mengenai Danum. Mereka menghasilkan 330 kajian. Kebanyakan mereka kini memegang jawatan penting dan kanan di agensi negeri dan persekutuan serta dengan NGO. – Insight Sabah

New Forests in Sabah conservation deal

In November 2007, an Australian forestry investment firm has partnered with the Sabah state Government in Malaysia to create financial instruments for producers of palm oil to participate in the conservation of forests.

Sydney-based New Forests and the state of Sabah, in east Malaysia, will help protect about 34,000 hectares in the Malua Forest Reserve, which is home to groups of orang utan, Sumatran rhinos and clouded leopards.

Sabah will invest about $US10 million ($A11.4 million) in New Forests, which will then sell biodiversity credits in the protected Malua site on the island of Borneo, while the Malaysian federal Government retains ownership of the forest.

Similar to carbon credits, which create a financial incentive to reduce greenhouse gases, biodiversity credits are tradeable securities that reward activities supporting conservation and the sustainable use of native ecosystems.

 
 It is the first time any Malaysian Government has entered into an agreement to deliver wildlife conservation on a commercial basis, New Forests said.

Its managing director David Brand said the biodiversity credits will be sold to palm oil producers, energy companies and other businesses involved in the production of biodiesel - a clean-burning fuel made from renewable sources such as palm oil.

Mr Brand said the initiative was modelled on the US endangered species banking market, which allows the sale and purchase of endangered species credits to offset the negative impact of certain activities on those species and their habitats.

“Palm oil companies can help protect rainforests, private investment can make a return from rainforest rehabilitation and conservation and the government can offer a solution to current concerns around oil palm plantations,” he said.

“We hope that via a commercial approach to conservation, we may be able to contribute to a sustainable landscape on Borneo, that includes palm oil, timber production and wildlife conservation, all being managed on a commercial basis in harmony.”

 Sabah’s neighbour, Indonesia, is the world’s largest producer of palm oil.

 
Malaysia is expanding rapidly into the palm oil market, but most of the development has occurred in tropical rainforest areas, drawing the ire of environmental groups that claim it is contributing to global deforestation.

The Malua Forest Reserve is an integral part of the Ulu Segama-Malua Forest Reserves, one of the largest and most ecologically diverse blocks of natural forest in Sabah.

The Malaysian Government plans to terminate logging in the forest by the end of 2007 and support the future conservation management of the area for wildlife.
 
Source: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/markets/new-forests-in-sabah-conservation-deal/story-e6frg916-1111114984494
Picutres sources: deramakot.sabah.gov.my, insightsabah.gov.my, panoramio.com


Menjadikan Sabah lebih hijau


Musa Aman mula kempen tanam pokok perangi pemanasan global

 
Hampir tiga suku daripada Sabah, iaitu saiz Scotland, diliputi dengan hutan dan kelapa sawit. Namun ia tidak kebal daripada pemanasan global. Ia menderita daripada corak perubahan cuaca yang tidak menentu dengan musim monsun keterlaluan dan musim kemarau berlanjutan menyebabkan suhu permukaan direkod pada kadar di antara 2.7oC dan 4oC sejak lebih 40 tahun yang lalu. Hari ini, 2,600 pokok ditanam di serata negeri dengan Ketua Menteri Datuk Musa Aman mengetuai 60 penggubal undang-undangnya kempen 5 tahun di seluruh negara untuk menanam 26 juta pokok - satu untuk setiap penduduk Malaysia.
Kempen "Menghijaukan Bumi: Satu Penduduk Malaysia, Satu Pokok" memulakan Hari Bumi, adalah respons kepada ikrar Malaysia di mesyuarat perubahan iklim di Copenhagen pada tahun lalu untuk mengurangkan pelepasan karbon kepada 40% kadar pada 2005 dalam masa 10 tahun dari sekarang. Permintaan oleh pakar cuaca ialah mengekalkan pemanasan global di bawah 2oC. Lebih tinggi daripada itu akan membawa bencana, kata mereka.

Musa, penggubal undang-undangnya dan ketua-ketua jabatan kerajaan menanam 100 pokok di taman Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) di Kota Kinabalu. Katanya, ketika kerajaannya mahu melengahkan perubahan cuaca, pokok-pokok yang ditanam di bandar-bandar dan bandaraya akan membantu eko pelancongan.

Sememangnya, pemuliharaan alam semulajadi dekat dalam hatinya. Musa memperuntukkan 22,000 hektar hutan primari, seluas saiz Pulau Pinang, untuk perlindungan di Heart of Borneo. Ini meningkatkan angka perlindungan kepada 2.7 juta hektar.

Menanam lebih banyak pokok bukannya baru kepada Sabah, kata Setiausaha Negeri Datuk Sukarti Wakiman. Malah katanya, kerajaan Sabah melancarkan kempen yang sama pada 1996 untuk memperingati Hari Perhutanan Dunia. Pulau Borneo utara ini terlepas daripada tsunami pada 2004 tetapi ia mengukuhkan pesisiran pantai dengan menanam 602,062 pokok bakau di kawasan berpaya.

Sukarti berkata, tahun kepelbagaian hayat antarabangsa Pertubuhan Bangsa-bangsa Bersatu (PBB) meletakkan Sabah di kemuncak kerana ia ada pelbagai tanaman dan haiwan tidak ternilai di hutan hujannya. Oleh itu katanya, kempen menanam pokok itu menjadi satu lagi acara untuk menyedarkan kepada orang ramai dan membantu mereka memahami kepentingan kepelbagaian hayat yang memberi kesan kepada semua hidupan di Bumi ini. – Insight Sabah

Malua BioBank

The Malua BioBank is a revolutionary model for rainforest conservation that seeks to rehabilitate and preserve 34,000 hectares (80,000 acres) of critical habitat for orangutan and other wildlife. Located in Malaysia on the island of Borneo, the Malua BioBank was created in an innovative public-private partnership with the Sabah State Government as an investment in the rehabilitation and protection of the Malua Forest Reserve. This pioneering initiative was launched in August 2008 and seeks to deliver on the premise that conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services has value that can compete with other commercial land uses, such as logging and agribusiness. The Malua BioBank sells Biodiversity Conservation Certificates, with each certificate representing 100-square meters of restoration and protection of the Malua Forest.

In order to ensure reliable, long-term forest stewardship, the Sabah Government has committed to halt logging in the Malua Forest for a period of at least 50 years. During this time, the Malua BioBank Conservation Management Plan will be implemented in order to improve wildlife habitat and promote ecosystem service functions, such as carbon sequestration and storage in Malua's growing forest. The Malua Trust, an endowment managed by HSBC Trustees, will oversee and finance the conservation management of the Malua Forest into the future. Learn more about the Conservation Activities underway at the Malua BioBank. 

 When Datuk Musa witnessed the signing of an agreement between the State Forestry Department and New Forests Private Limited to set up the Malua BioBank in Kota Kinabalu on 14 August 2008, he described it as a firm step towards conserving the natural heritage and a “win-win” move. He said the establishment of the Malua Wildlife Habitat Conservation Bank (Malua BioBank) would yield multiple benefits.

“What we have witnessed is a loud statement that we are extremely serious with conservation of the forests including the natural habitat for wildlife,” he said.

He considered the event as significant because according to him it was to protect a sizeable area of the state’s rich biodiversity, reputed to be one of the most beautiful on earth. The Chief Minister added that it was recognised that the only way to have meaningful conservation is through “habitat conservation”, referring in this case to the 34,000-hectare conservation area of Malua BioBank.

Elsewhere, the Malaysian conglomerate, Sime Darby would also work closely with the Forestry Department with which it has agreed in principle to fund a RM25 million orang utan rehabilitation project.

The Chief Minister also said that Yayasan Sabah, through its timber-operating arm Rakyat Berjaya Sdn. Bhd. had similarly voluntarily ceased logging operations in the Malua Forest Reserve at the end of 2007.

Source: http://www.maluabank.com/
Picture source: http://www.life-size-media.com/blog

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Recycling


Recycling is a process to convert used materials or wastes into other useful materials, with the intention to reduce wastage.  Recycling conserves natural resources, reduces the consumption of raw materials and minimizes energy usage. This in turn, suppresses greenhouse gas emissions, air and water pollution, reduces the need for landfilling and incineration to preserve the environment for future generations.

Recycling is the third component of waste hierarchy consisting of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. Waste hierarchy is a waste management process to extract the optimum benefits from resources while generating minimum amount of waste. Recycling with a series of steps enabled a chain of financial, environmental and social return.

The first step is collecting and processing. This step encapsulates a series of processes including the collection of recyclables that varies from community to community, via four primary methods: curbside, drop-off centers, buy-back centers, and deposit/refund programs. Next, the recyclables are delivered to materials recovery facility for sorting and conditioning into raw materials for manufacturing process.


The second step is manufacturing. The cleaned and sorted recyclables are then prepared for manufacturing into respective merchandises. These includes  common household items such as paper towels, newspapers, plastic, aluminum and glass soft drink containers, steel cans, and plastic laundry detergent bottles.


The final step is purchasing. Consuming the recycled products completes the recycling loop. At whole, the community, government, business people and individuals have the same important role to play in bringing out the greatness in recycling concept. Once these recycled products gain recognition and popularity, the manufacturers will be driven to produce high quality recycled products to meet the public’s demand.


The term recycling is described more precisely as:
Upcycle - converting low-value materials into high-value products (more desirable)
Downcycle – converting valuable products into low-value raw materials (less desirable)





Information adopted from: Wikipedia.org and US EPA
Picture source: Sunrise Packaging blog


Monday, September 10, 2012

Protect the Orang utan

 Orang utan is classified as endangered animal as its numbers are degrading due to their habitat being destroyed, fragmented and poaching. According to a wildlife study, orang utans need large swaths of forests for them to survive.

The findings by Malaysian, British and Swiss researchers stating that high-quality natural forests are most preferable by the orang utans. To allow the orang utan to disperse naturally, a sufficient network of high-quality natural forest and dispersal corridors must be restored across Borneo and Sumatra.

Our unique wildlife and biodiversity are our natural heritage, and we owe it to ourselves not to deny our future generations these privileges and environmental treasures that we now enjoy. Therefore, Sabah is set to intensify its green effort and bring more value to its conservation efforts in the state.

Sabah had always been proactive in its task to monitor wildlife and to enforce laws against wildlife poachers and killers. For instance, the Ulu Segama - Malua project which covering some 240,000ha of production forest reserves is designated for natural forest management and orang utan conservation.

The Federal Government is also ready to help Sabah in its conservation of orang utan by financially assisting the state to acquire land between areas planted with oil palm. According to the Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, the one of the way to help this conservation is by buying parcels of land, largely owned by oil palm plantations, to be used as forest corridors.

Meanwhile, the 35 year State Species Action Plans for the orang utan, elephant and rhinoceros has been launched in Sabah as a platform for better protecton of the 3 flagship species. State government and the plantation industry will collaborate in implementing these Species Action Plans. The plans are part of the nation's continued commitment towards conservation and continuation of its unique flora and fauna.