Come and Plant Trees in Shah Alam

Some people cut down trees; others plant new trees. Which one are you? You can be among admirably green-conscious nature lovers this coming Saturday, on March 25, just by attending a tree-planting event in Shah Alam. The state capital of Selangor seeks to become a carbon neutral city and you can help make that…

Illegal Logger shoots a Forestry Officer

It’s not as if we’ve needed further proof that wildlife wardens and forestry officials across Malaysia can face significant dangers, but here it is: an enforcement officer of Terengganu’s State Forestry Department was shot during a raid on an illegal logging site. The officer was part of a 10-man team inspecting an illegal logging…

Spare a thought for the little Sparrows

Sparrows are everywhere. There they hop and chirp here and there, in parks, on streets and at city squares…. Or maybe not. The bubbly little birds did use to be ubiquitous, but house sparrows have gone increasingly AWOL in recent years from urban landscapes in India and elsewhere, including Malaysia. The cause: habitat loss in ever denser…

A Baby Orangutan is born at a Wildlife Center in Sarawak

It’s a boy! And a beautiful one at that. An orangutan baby boy, that is. A 12-year-old female orangutan called Tingsaan has given birth to a baby boy at the Matang Wildlife Centre in Kuching. The birth has delighted animal lovers and officials alike. Baby orangutans are among the most endearing creatures, but the primates are slow-breeding animals,…

Tackling Indonesia’s forest Fires at the Grassroots

They’ve had enough and set out to stop it. “They”: an alliance of farmers, citizens, environmentalists and agriculture companies. “It”: the periodic haze caused by the widespread burning of trees, shrubs and other vegetation in Indonesia. The Fire-Free Alliance, which was set up a year ago in the wake of a massive…

We may have turned the Sahara into a Desert

People once lived in harmony with Mother Nature, leaving barely a footprint on the pristine environment of the planet. Then came the Industrial Revolution and all that changed: technology unleashed our destructive forces on Earth. Right? Wrong. Or at least not entirely right. Buried under the endless sand dunes of the…

‘Stop being Secretive’ about Land Reclamations on Penang

Reclamation projects are going on left, right and center on the island of Penang. Literally so: on coasts and inland on hills. Environmentalists have been raising the alarm about such land reclamations, calling them a “time bomb.” Worse: the details of several such reclamations remain concealed from the public. But now a young activist…

Save Sabah from losing its Biodiversity

Sabah is a hotspot of biodiversity, but the state is losing much of that very biodiversity, and fast. In fact, Sabah’s wildlife is already a mere shadow of its former self because of destructive human activities. Many local politicians openly acknowledge that much. Among them is Pang Nyuk Ming, assistant…

Food for Thought: Organic Farming may not be a ‘Holy Grail’

Organic agriculture is always better. Or so a prevalent school of thinking in environmentalist circles goes. Turns out, however, that this thinking is not entirely correct. Sure, organic agriculture has many things to recommend it, but it’s not a foolproof panacea for human-made environmental ills brought on by farming practices around the planet….

Peacocks lose out to Traditional Medicine

Peacocks are flamboyantly ostentatious birds with giant iridescent tails of blue, green, gold and red that they deftly employ in courtship displays. Unfortunately for the birds, their flashy tail feathers have also caught the eyes of people. Peacocks have long been hunted as trophies and kept as pets. Sadly, the birds are…

Sea Turtles are back in Terengganu

Sea turtles are back. At several beaches in Terengganu, that is. Universiti Malaysia Terengganu’s Turtle Research Unit (SEATRU) says that at long last more turtles have been landing on some resort beaches in the state than they were doing for years. “Nesting data showed turtle landings on [the island] Pulau Redang had increased in…

A Teen wants to plant a Trillion Trees

Felix Finkbeiner is 19 years old and in many ways he is just like your average teen. He is gawky and scrawny, wears rimmed spectacles, and has a ready smile. Yet the German teenager is already a world-famous conservationist who has set himself a mighty goal: to plant a trillion trees around the world….

Mining Ban may be extended Further

Another three months. That’s how long Malaysia’s government may extend the moratorium on bauxite mining in Pahang. A good thing, too, all things considered. The ban has been in place, through repeated extensions, since January 15 last year and is due to expire at the end of this month. The cause…

Pollution can be Deadly to Children

Pollution kills. Literally. Worse, it routinely kills the most vulnerable: children, the inform, the elderly. Young children are especially at risk of severe health hazards from pollution, with almost two million of them dying as a result each year. Pause to think about that: millions of young lives lost because…

There ‘won’t be’ a Haze this Year

The annual transboundary haze that has long been a scourge on the lives and environment of Malaysians will not materialize this year. Or even if it does, I won’t be too bad. Certainly not like in 2015, when the Air Pollution Index (API) reached a level of more than 200, or “very unhealthy,” around parts of…