Poachers and Ivory Smugglers must be Stopped

Poachers and Ivory Smugglers must be Stopped

They’re a persistent lot, are they not? Wildlife traffickers, that is. Malaysian authorities have been stepping up their efforts to clamp down on international smuggling networks that use the country as a regional transit point for the trafficking of ivory from Africa. That, though, has clearly not deterred ivory-smuggling syndicates. And so 2017 has started pretty…

Littering and Waste are Threats to our Health and our Environment

Littering and Waste are Threats to our Health and our Environment

Rampant littering has long been a problem across Malaysia, in some places reaching endemic proportions. Heaps of trash dumped on streets are not only unsightly; they are dangerous too, posing health hazards to people and threats to the environment. “Littering is a recurring problem that raises serious public health concerns which…

Two Environmentalists are arrested for ‘Insulting’ Facebook Post. For Shame!

Two Environmentalists are arrested for ‘Insulting’ Facebook Post. For Shame!

Whatever you say or do in Malaysia, do not “insult” the high and mighty. This is a lesson that two environmentalists have just learned. Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil, president of Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam Malaysia (Peka), and Norhayati Shahrom, the nonprofit’s administrator, were detained by police for allegedly making disparaging comments…

Wildlife Crime: an ‘Existential Threat’

Wildlife Crime: an ‘Existential Threat’

Wildlife crimes and corruption routinely go hand in hand. For starters, without certain officials willing to turn a blind eye to rampant trafficking (for kickbacks and other rewards), traffickers would have a much harder time. But the problem can go much deeper than that. A pervasive culture of bribery, money laundering and institutionalized…

If you love Tigers, help Save Them

If you love Tigers, help Save Them

Some of Malaysia’s most iconic and beloved animals are also its most endangered. They are beloved not because they are endangered; rather, they are endangered despite being beloved. This simple fact is something worth pondering. Take tigers. The very national identity of Malaysia is predicated on the majestic predators. Tigers are featured on the…

Investing in the Environment is a Must

Investing in the Environment is a Must

To protect Malaysia’s wildlife and environment, you have to invest in them. That is the gist of a call by Dionysius Sharma, who is executive director and CEO of WWF-Malaysia, on the country’s government. “Fiscal measures need to be put in place to assist the State governments in setting aside forests…

Sabah’s Bushmeat trade must Stop

Sabah’s Bushmeat trade must Stop

Wild animals face a variety of threats in Sabah from habitat loss to poaching. Sadly, we also need to add the thriving local bushmeat trade to that list. Local conservationists and animal lovers have been engaged in several educational campaigns to try and wean locals off the meat of wild…

Curing the world’s oceans from the scourge of plastic pollution

Curing the world’s oceans from the scourge of plastic pollution

As officials in Malaysia’s Penang province face criticism for the apparent failure of their “no plastic bag” policy, campaigners are urging the state to ban plastic bags from supermarkets altogether and replace them with recycled paper or boxes. In this sense, Penang is a microcosm of the region-wide battle against…

Scrambling to Save Malaysia’s Wildlife

Scrambling to Save Malaysia’s Wildlife

In its newly released Living Planet Report 2016, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has painted an alarming picture of the impending prospects of the planet’s wildlife. Unless we change course, the numbers of wild animals will have declined by a staggering 67% by the year 2020, a mere…

Let’s Save the Planet Together

Let’s Save the Planet Together

One day, warns Ahmad A Talib, chairman of the environmentalist group Yayasan Salam Malaysia, the pleasant blue and green world we’ve long known as our home planet will have ceased to exist as a haven of natural wonders. Instead, it will be a largely barren and dismal place with runaway…

Let us Save Malaysia’s last Dugongs

Let us Save Malaysia’s last Dugongs

Among Malaysia’s least-known residents is a species of shy marine mammals. They look remarkably like seals and are almost as elusive as the mythical mermaids that people used to mistake them for. We’re talking of dugongs, of course. Dugongs are among the rarest wild creatures in the country with a mere…

Wildlife Bans must be strictly Enforced

Wildlife Bans must be strictly Enforced

In a move hailed by conservationists as a major milestone, CITES has imposed a total worldwide ban on the sale of pangolins. Does that mean pangolins, including Malaysia’s own Sunda pangolins, are saved? That depends. A ban will only work if it is enforced vigorously in countries like Malaysia. And…

Corruption can be a Scourge on Nature

Corruption can be a Scourge on Nature

Corruption on a large scale isn’t just a moral and social issue; it can be an existential one, too. By undermining the rule of law, pervasive corruption and a lack of accountability can endanger the very workings of society, including good governance and general prosperity. That, needless to say, has…

Sarawak’s Crocs are now Fair Game

Sarawak’s Crocs are now Fair Game

Saltwater crocodiles have enjoyed protection as an endangered species in Sarawak. As a result, they have come to thrive in the Bornean state’s waterways, often to the consternation of locals who have occasionally been attacked by the reptilian predators. Wild populations of saltwater crocodiles in Sarawak have rebounded greatly over…