Murdering Orangutans in Indonesia

Murdering Orangutans in Indonesia

A male orangutan was found dead by villagers in East Kutai district in Indonesian Borneo. His body had been riddled with  air gun pellets, some 130 shots in all. The ape had also been attacked with a machete. “We found pellets all over its body. There were also a number…

Should the EU stay firm in its Stance on Malaysian Palm Oil?

Should the EU stay firm in its Stance on Malaysian Palm Oil?

Chalk one up to Malaysian palm oil companies. In late January, European lawmakers approved a new energy plan for the 28-member economic zone that included an impeding ban on the use of palm oil in motor fuels on the continent from 2021 onwards. Malaysian palm oil producers and their allies…

Malaysia decries EU ban on Palm Oil as unacceptable ‘Crop Apartheid’

Malaysia decries EU ban on Palm Oil as unacceptable ‘Crop Apartheid’

“Crop apartheid.” It is with this strange neologism that Malaysia’s plantations minister Mah Siew Keong has branded the European Union’s decision to ban on the use of palm oil in biofuels from countries like Malaysia, where the mass cultivation of the crop has inflicted grave and irreversible harm on the natural…

Sabah’s Leopards are in Trouble

Sabah’s Leopards are in Trouble

Clouded leopards are elusive creatures that hunt at night and spend most of their time away from prying eyes within dense forests. Thus, estimating their numbers in places like Sabah’s forests is a challenging undertaking. Yet a team of scientists led by researchers at Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU)…

WWF: Loggers in Sarawak should Adopt sustainable Ways

WWF: Loggers in Sarawak should Adopt sustainable Ways

Deforestation continues apace in Sarawak, and much of that deforestation is illegal, or at the very least suspect. Sarawak needs to ensure that no forest is cleared illegally and that all trees that are cut down are done so in a sustainable manner. With this in mind, the prominent conservationist…

Companies in Malaysia are Mum about their use of Palm Oil

Companies in Malaysia are Mum about their use of Palm Oil

The results are in and they aren’t all that encouraging: some two-thirds of 47 companies in Singapore and Malaysia surveyed by the World Wide Fund for Nature may be using palm oil obtained in unsustainable ways. We don’t know if they indeed are because they won’t tell. Sad, yes. Palm…

Development can Worsen the effects of Flash Floods in Penang

Development can Worsen the effects of Flash Floods in Penang

In a tropical country like Malaysia where vast amounts of water can pour down from the sky in a few short minutes, flash floods are nothing unusual. Yet the severity of deluges can be influenced by manmade causes. These include mudslides and landslides on hillsides denuded of trees that would…

Malaysian Palm Oil Company agrees to Rehabilitate 1,000 hectares of Peatland

Malaysian Palm Oil Company agrees to Rehabilitate 1,000 hectares of Peatland

If palm oil companies are known for something, it’s deforestation, not reforestation. Yet the Malaysian palm oil company Felda Global Ventures (FGV) is about to rehabilitate 1,000 hectares of peat forest in West Kalimantan, in Indonesia’s section of Borneo. The reason: pressure from consumers and environmentalists. “Corporate ‘no deforestation’ policies…

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…