Living in Harmony with Wild Elephants

Across Malaysia herds of wild elephants are increasingly coming into contact with people. They may end up severely injured or dead as a result. The pachyderms may be poisoned or shot when they venture into plantations to snack on crops. But it does not have to be this way. Take…

Plastic Waste sickens Coral Reefs

As if warming water temperatures were not bad enough for them, the region’s fragile coral reefs are facing an existential threat from another source: plastic waste. Reefs in the Asia-Pacific region have been swamped with billions of pieces of plastic waste, large and small, which has increased the threat of…

Drones can Help in monitoring Wildlife

Counting and monitoring wild animals, as many a conservationist well knows, are exacting tasks. Most animals tend to shy away from humans so experts need to rely on scat samples, paw prints, and camera traps in trying to put exact figures on wildlife populations. Human spotters, meanwhile, can make mistakes…

Living too Well is Unsustainable

We all want to live well. Why would we not? Wanting to do so is only human, after all. There’s just one problem: conspicuous consumption, which is often confused with living well, is environmentally unsustainable. Don’t take our word for it. There’s research to prove it. According to a paper…

Green Buildings are ‘on the Up’

Green buildings have been on the up and up across Malaysia. Need proof? Some 40% of new buildings in the country are being designed and constructed with various degrees of eco-friendliness. So says CK Tang, honorary secretary of the Malaysian Green Building Confederation. “Green building is cheaper than conventional building as…

Pity the Poor Pangolins

Pangolins are among the world’s most harmless and strangest mammals. They are also among its most trafficked animals, being driven inexorably ever closer to exctinction by unscrupulous poachers and wildlife trafficking syndicates. It seems the outrages against these shy and reclusive mammals never end. A case in point: Some 4,000…

Hong Kong will ban the Trade in Ivory

When it comes to global wildlife conservation, it routinely seems one step forward, one step back. On the upside, though, Hong Kong has now taken a large step forward. The Chinese territory is one of the planet’s largest markets for ivory, and lawmakers in the city state have approved a…

Turtle Landing sites are under Threat

Sea turtle nesting sites in Labuan are declining. As compared to 2016 there are a third fewer such landings on Kuraman and Rusukan Besar islands by hawksbill turtles, olive-ridley turtles and green turtles. So says Anuar Deraman, director of Labuan Marine Park. “Despite [an] increase of 18% in hawksbill sea…

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…

Micro Beads threaten Giant Whales

Microplastics may seem innocuous enough. They are barely visible plastic beads that are the size of sand grains. What harm could they do? Plenty. Microplastics have spread far and wide in the world’s oceans, entering food chains. Even table salt has been contaminated by these tiny pollutants. A myriad of…

Kuching is being Swamped by Waste

Malaysians, or most of them at any rate, are notorious wastrels. In case you still harbor doubts about the truth of this, here is a shocking fact: in Kuching, Sarawak, residents degerate 800 grams of waste on average every single day. That level of wastage amounts to 690,000kg of waste…