Borneo’s Orangutans are on the Retreat

Borneo’s Orangutans are on the Retreat

Orangutans in Borneo’s jungles have been facing grim prospects. Relentless deforestation has been depriving them of their traditional habitats. All they can do in the face of encroaching development is to seek refuge in denser vegetation in the hope of staying out of sight and out of harm’s way. Unless…

We must Wean ourselves off Palm Oil

We must Wean ourselves off Palm Oil

Whether we like it or not, palm oil production accounts for a major part of Malaysia’s economy. On the one hand, the industry has generated plenty of income for the country’s economy and created plenty of jobs as well, although most of those jobs are low-skilled and badly paid ones….

We ‘Need to Protect’ Sabah’s Forests

We ‘Need to Protect’ Sabah’s Forests

The natural environment isn’t something “out there”; rather, it’s an integral part of who we are as a species and as a people. That’s why we must stop destroying forests. By protecting natural habitats for other species, we ultimately protect ourselves. This is the gist of an inspiring speech that…

Penang ‘Prettification’ Project might Harm local Beaches

Penang ‘Prettification’ Project might Harm local Beaches

The environment on Penang remains constantly under attack. Bit by bit development on the island continues to encroach on wooded hills and sandy beaches, threatening local ecosystems. Local environmentalist groups have been raising the alarm about such developments and enlisting locals to help protect the island’s forests. Now beaches, too, might need similar…

Let rich Nations pay poor Ones for Protecting Forests

Let rich Nations pay poor Ones for Protecting Forests

One of the facts of conservation is that the more prosperous a society is, the more likely it is to protect its natural environment. Conversely, less developed nations are prone to exploiting and destroying theirs in their drive to more prosperity. The problem, of course, is that much, if not most,…

‘Save Penang’s Trees in Urban Areas’

‘Save Penang’s Trees in Urban Areas’

Trees are trees and they are worth protecting no matter where they are. That’s the rationale behind a call by the Penang Nature Conservation Society (PENCONS) on local authorities to protect the island’s trees not only in Penang’s forests but also in its urban areas. What with the high rate of…

Sabah will ‘make a Third of its land’ Totally Protected Areas

Sabah will ‘make a Third of its land’ Totally Protected Areas

Sabah’s government is planning to turn almost a third of the state’s forests into totally protected areas. The total of gazetted areas where no logging or encroachment will be allowed will account for 30% of the state’s land mass. It’s definitely a welcome development, yes, but it could take a…

Palm Oil Watchdog comes in for Flak from Environmentalists

Palm Oil Watchdog comes in for Flak from Environmentalists

So long as the industry abides by rigorous standards of sustainability, oil palms can be cultivated in an environmentally friendly manner. That’s the idea behind the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an industry watchdog that seeks to ensure that palm oil is produced sustainably. But what if the RSPO…

Penang Hills Watch lets Locals watch out for their Forests

Penang Hills Watch lets Locals watch out for their Forests

Depending on your vantage point on the island, Penang may seem like a place still covered in plenty of lush green vegetation. But that view can be deceptive. Penang has been largely deforested over the years and decades with a mere 7.4% of it still boasting forests. Of those forests,…

WWF: by 2020 we might lose Two-Thirds of Wild Animals on Earth

WWF: by 2020 we might lose Two-Thirds of Wild Animals on Earth

Come 2020, almost two-thirds of the world’s vertebrate populations of wildlife will have disappeared, compared to levels a mere 50 years ago, in 1970. So says the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in its dramatic new “Living Planet Report 2016,” which has looked at more than 14,000 wildlife populations…

Banking on the Death of Forests

Banking on the Death of Forests

Many banks treat forests as exploitable resources; so much so that they are behind massive deforestation across Indonesia and Malaysia. By financing companies that cut down forests for profit, the banks are key drivers of forest loss in these two countries, and farther afield. This is according to the US-based…

Say a Prayer for Leopards

Say a Prayer for Leopards

If you thought Malaysia’s tigers have had it hard, you might want to spare a thought for leopards. They’ve had it just as hard, if not worse. Here comes a new study, published in the journal Biological Conservation, that confirms just that. Indochinese leopards (Panthera pardus delacouri), which are a…

Trees are caring ‘Social Beings’

Trees are caring ‘Social Beings’

Trees tend to grow in groups of other trees – in woods and forests, that is. But what if they do more than just grow together? What if they engage in social interactions as well? Does that sound fantastical – like something out of “The Lord of the Rings with magical…

The Ozone Layer – drumroll, please – is finally on the Mend

The Ozone Layer – drumroll, please – is finally on the Mend

When it comes to the environment, good news is hard to come by. Hard but not impossible. Here’s a bit of great news: the ozone layer over Antarctica is on the mend. Back in the 1980s scientists and environmentalists the world over were becoming increasingly concerned over a large hole…

Palm Oil Politics Strike Again

Palm Oil Politics Strike Again

As legislative reversals go, this one was a biggie. French legislators planned to impose a punitive tax on palm oil products from leading producers like Malaysia and Indonesia as part of a new biodiversity law. The planned tax – dubbed the Nutella Tax (after the famous chocolate spread, which contains plenty of…