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Sunday, January 28, 2018

Recycling nature’s way through composting By Mary Margaret

NATURAL ecosystems are multiple complexly interwoven cycles – life, nitrogen, water, and carbon. Composting is a natural cycle in which organic matter – leftover vegetables and fruits, coffee grinds and tea bags, bones – through the action of decomposers such as bacteria, fungi and insects, are broken into components that plants can then use for growth – the cycle of life.
This ecologically sound method for recycling organic matter has been included in the ‘Green Initiative’ programme of the Kuching South City Council (MBKS), which operates a recycling centre at the Stutong Community Market, enabling residents to exchange recyclable items (plastic, paper) for household goods under its ‘Buy Back Programme’.
Commercial composting MBKS environment and health officer Kho Joo Huat said it is very expensive to get rid of plant and animal waste from markets. Commercial composting is a way to reduce costs, pollution and carbon dioxide production, while making high quality natural fertiliser.
In May 2011, he oversaw the setting up of the first MBKS Green Centre at the market and then another at the Petanak Market in 2013.
Kho and his team facilitated a talk and demonstration on composting recently, organised by the Malaysian Nature Society Kuching Branch at the MBKS Green Centre at Stutong Market.
The stallholders, who attended the training sessions, support this initiative and they also received high quality organic fertiliser – a win-win situation.
Although the MBKS Green Centre is a hive of bacterial activities, there is no smell as the organic waste is quickly turned into high quality fertiliser.
“It takes 24 to 48 hours to complete the composting cycle. The mixture has already stabilised for one month, resulting in a tremendous reduction of waste,” Kho explained.
He added that the high quality organic fertiliser is used to maintain the plants and gardens around the city, but the public can also purchase it.
Home composting
Homeowners and flat or condominium dwellers can make composting a way of life too.
Kho has introduced the super simple, smell-free Takakura Home Composting System.
I myself compost kitchen and garden waste, but have had some problems with texture, odour and insect invasions.
This is probably because I just dump the stuff and let nature do the work.
So I am going to try the Takakura Home Composting System, an innovative method, which enables householders while reducing the amount of rubbish produced, to make high quality fertiliser for home use.
The four-step process is described in great detail in brochures available as hard copies or soft copies from their website. Fariz, a composting technician at the MBKS Green Centre, demonstrated the steps.
The first is to make separate sugar and salt solutions which, after ageing for three to five days, are used to make the seed compost – equal parts of rice bran and rice husk.
This mixture matures in around seven days and then you are ready to compost the organic matter you produce in your home.
Amelie Ningkang, who is enthusiastic about the Takakura Home Composting System, said, “A great initiative which if applied individually has the potential of a positive impact on the environment. I’m very keen to try this at home and contribute my part.”
Most of us know that global warming is a result of human economic activities. Composting may seem insignificant but it is not.
By composting at home, we reduce the waste and carbon produced. We are can green up our gardens. So we become part of the solution.

For information, go to www.mbks.sarawak.my.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Walk from Kubah National Park to Matang Wildlife Centre along the Rayu Trail

Dear Members,

Walk from Kubah National Park to Matang Wildlife Centre along the Rayu Trail

Day/ Date: Sunday, February 4, 2018 
Meeting Time: 9:30 in the morning at Kubah National Park
Estimated Length of Walk: 3 hours
Meeting Point: Kubah National Park
Level of Fitness Needed: Good
Cost: Park entry fees and bus 
Transportation: Participants must provide their own from Kuching to Kubah National Park Headquaters
Items to Bring: Refer to the attached list
Facilitator: John Roland Tuton
How to Register: email mnskuching@gmail.com

On Sunday, February 4, 2017 MNSKB will be organising a walk from Kubah National Park to Matang Wildlife Centre along the Rayu Trail. This trail goes through the heart of the park and ends at Matang Wildlife Centre.  Kubah is rich in plant and animal life, particularly palms, frogs and birds. Mixed dipterocarp forest covers much of the park and shades Rayu Trail.  

Mr John Roland Tuton  who is an active member of MNSKB, will lead and facilitate.  The start time is 9:30 in the morning from Kubah National Park headquarters. You need to be relatively fit for this 3-hour walk that passes through the uneven and steep terrain and it is not a suitable activity for young children.

Participants must provide their own transportation to Kubah National Park, which is approximately one hour from Kuching. We suggest car-pooling.  MNKB will arrange for a bus to transport walkers from Matang Wildlife Centre back to the park headquarters. The cost of the bus, per person (including children), is RM15 for members and RM25 for non-MNS members.

Entrance fees for the Park are RM10 for Malaysian adults and RM5, aged 6-18, while the fees are RM20 for non-Malaysians and RM7, aged 6-18.   Please note that non-MNS members will be charged and additional RM10 to join the trip.

What to bring:  
·  Footwear with good grip which may get wet (e.g. Kampong Adidas or trekking sandals)
·  Light clothes/outdoor wear
·  Rain coat/poncho
·  Sun cream & hat
·  Leech socks (In case you need to buy Leech socks,The Outdoorshop Montanic at Viva City 4th floor sells them).
·  Drinking water & packed lunch
·  Backpack

To register for this activity please email MNSKB at mnskuching@gmail.com by Wednesday, 31 January 2018. We are able to accommodate a maximum of 20 people and registration will be on the first come basis. 

Please include the following information in your email: 
·     Names of members of your group, including children
·     IC or passport number
·     Telephone number
·     MNS Membership Number

We are looking forward to you joining us in this walk in the park. 
  • Please bring extra set of clothes and leave in your car. This is in case you got wet or sweaty you can change into dry clothes.

Love Life, Love Nature
MNSKB Committee.


Dear members and friends,
 Speaker:  Dana Anak Badang
 Date:       Sunday 28 January 2018
 Time:       7.30pm 
 Venue:    Islamic Information Centre (Lower Baruk)
                Jalan Ong Tiang Swee (behind Swinburne University)

 Registration: MNSKB Members, please register with Secretariat at: 

Photo 1   Unconformity Structure Contact 23Ma Between Pedawan Formation 145Ma Kayan Sandstone Formation 65Ma

About The Speaker
·       Dana Badang is a Geoscientist.
·       He  holds  a Masters Degree in  Science in Environmental Conservation.
·       In 2017, he obtained his Doctorate in Philosophy in Environmental and Development in 
·       Geoheritage, Geoconservation & Geotourism.
·       Dana coordinated  the geoheritage for geopark’s development in Sarawak in the Sarawak River Delta
         in Kuching from 2013-2017.
·       His other past experiences included heading the Hidro-geology Activity, Minerals & Geosciences Department in Sabah in 2013.
·       He was in charge of  the  Geological Heritage Inventory in Minerals and Geosciences Department Malaysia, Sarawak, from 2000-2013.

Photo 2  Bako Seastack Formed By Plateau Sandstone Formation

Description of talk:

Geology is the scientific study of the Earth, including the materials that it is made of, the physical and chemical processes that occur on its surface and in its interior, and the history of the planet and its life forms. There are many fields in geology; hence it contributed to the formation of various earth resources.

The geological resources have been playing very important roles in development, economy, social and community well being. The mineral industry derived from one of important geology fields has undoubtedly been a major contributor to the economic, social and industrial development in most countries over the globe. However, despite important roles of geology in many aspects of development, there are neither proper linkages between geology and sustainable development nor its sustainability used and sustainability science until now.
Through the geoheritage concept which involves proper identification, characterization, assessment and rank of significant geoheritage sites based on its scientific, aesthetic, cultural and recreational heritage value now, geology is closer to the public.

Photo 3  Semi-circular Shape Geological Landscape Formed by Kayan Sandstone Formation 65Ma in Bengoh Highland

Cynthia Lobato
MNSKB Committee

Friday, December 8, 2017

An overview of the mammals of Borneo and the specialized ecology of the Bornean Clouded Leopard.

An overview of the mammals of Borneo and the specialized ecology of the Bornean Clouded Leopard.

Talk by Quentin Phillips

Date Thursday 7 Dec 2017
Time: 7.30-9.30 pm
Venue Islamic Information Centre

A short biography is as follows;
Quentin was born in 1951 in Sandakan, Sabah  where his father  worked in the timber business. Later the family who were all interested in natural history  moved to Kota Kinabalu and Quentin became an avid birdwatcher as well as keeping many different wild mammals as pets.  Quentins' sister Karen is a professional wildlife artist and together they have produced two best selling Field Guides to the birds and mammals of Borneo.

Its foc and open to public. 

Please register before 7 Dec to mnskuching@gmail.com

See you there,
Cynthia Lobato 
MNSKB Committee