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Saturday, March 3, 2018

Proboscis Monkey: Diseases & Conservation

Dear Members and friends,

You are invited to a public awareness Talk.
Title:         Proboscis Monkey:Diseases & Conservation
Speaker:    Dr Chong Yee Ling
Date:        Thursday 29 March 2018
Time:        7.30-9.00pm
Venue:      Islamic Information Centre (Lower Baruk)
                 Jalan Ong Tiang Swee (behind Swinburne University)
Registration:  MNSKB Members and friends, please register with Secretariat at mnskuching@gmail.com
Cost:    Free Admission
            Please bring your friends to this interesting talk.

Talk on Proboscis Monkey:  Diseases & Conservation

Dr Yee Ling Chong has a background in molecular ecology of RNA viruses and bacteria. Her general research focuses on animal disease ecology. She is conducting multi-disciplinary research on microparasites (viruses and bacteria) and macroparasites of wild and urban animals including primates, rodents, birds, fishes and pest insects.

 Summary of Talk
Proboscis monkey (Nasalislarvatus)is an endemic species found in Borneo and is currently considered as an endangered species under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is a highly selective feeder and its diets consists of fruits and leaves from over 90 species of plants. The habitats of the proboscis monkey are often associated with waterway, either the coastal or riparian-riverine ecosystem, which include the mangrove forests, riverine forests, beach forests, peat swamp forests and mixed dipterocarp forests.
Proboscis monkeys are constantly facing conservation threats, mainly habitat loss due to activities, such as fish or shrimp farm cultivation, logging and town developments. The current endangered status of proboscis monkey and its susceptibility to microbial infection has brought forward the need  to gain an  insight into the enteric microbiome of this monkey.
 This talk will highlight the diet and feeding habitats of proboscis monkeys, their common diseases and enteric microflora, associated with a variety of bacteria and viruses, some of which have known or suspected zoonotic potentials. The understanding of the enteric microflora of proboscis monkeys is imperative to expedite future disease diagnosis and outbreak monitoring for the conservation of this endangered species.
Cynthia Lobato
MNS Secretariat

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Trash2Gather clean-up event at Kampong Buntal

Dear nature lovers,

As the rainy season is slowly coming to an end, it is time for another Trash2Gather clean-up event. This time the chosen site is Kampong Buntal, located on the Santubong Peninsula at the Bako-Buntal-Bay. We would like to call volunteers and members of Malaysian Nature Society to show your commitment to protect our natural resources and support the Trash2Gather project. Support can be cash donations, cleaning materials and tools, or volunteering hands-on during the clean-up event.

Here are the details for the coming clean-up event:

Program Name:        Trash2Gather
Date:                      10th March, 2018
Venue:                    Kampong Buntal
Number of Pax:        Estimated 200 pax

For further details please see the info sheet attached. If you would like to volunteer hands-on during the clean-up event, you are required to register by filling in the registration form attached or register online at https://goo.gl/forms/NflcBTQL7vR7WMoH2.

For those of you who are not yet familiar with the vision and mission of Trash2Gather , please find our statement as follows:

Trash2Gather is a project under Malaysian Nature Society Kuching Branch (MNSKB) with the vision to reduce the amount of rubbish present in our estuarine waterways in South Western Sarawak within a period of 5 years.

The project aims to mobilize between 700 – 1500 community members and volunteers to clean beaches and estuarine areas by 2022.
Besides the cleaning of beaches and estuarine areas, other activities such as talks and campaigns will create awareness about the amount of rubbish present in our estuarine waterways and the consequences of such pollution among the communities and the general public.
Ultimately the project also targets to reduce the amount of rubbish produced through the 5Rs: Reduce – Reuse – Recycle – Refuse – Repair.

v  Organize regularly repeating clean-up events in selected areas to reduce the current state of pollution
v  Collaborate with issue-related organizations and government departments to find long-term solutions to rubbish collection problems in selected areas
v  Promote the 5 R’s (Reduce – Reuse – Recycle – Refuse – Repair) by demonstrating examples and encouragement through incentives
v  Monitor developments and provide feedback

If you are interested to donate or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at Trash2Gather@gmail.com or call our project facilitator  Nicki Neuner (+6011 12308849) or Rose Au (+60168909468).

Thanks & regards from the Trash2Gather team!
Love Life Love Nature

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Film night -2

Dear Members

We are pleased to announce that MNSKB will be holding a film evening on Thursday, 8 March at the Islamic Centre from 7:30 to 9:30pm. To register to attend this evening of films, reply to this email,mnskuching@gmail.com

Come and enjoy and learn more about the powers of nature.

Love Life
Love Nature

Powerful Tools: Films

Day / Date: Thursday, 8 March, 2018
Time: 7:30 pm to 9:30pm
Venue: Islamic Centre, Jalan Ong Tiang Swee, Kuching

The Goethe –Institute of Malaysia in collaboration with Ministry of Education, Schulen, German-Malaysian Institute, Malaysian Nature Society, Pasch Schools, and The Association of Science, Technology and Innovation put together a large number of award winning films on nature and issues that surround it. The films entertain, educate and extend messages about the natural world. They capture the beauty and power of nature, together with threats.

About the Films
Two award winning films, will be shown in Kuching. The films are aimed at the upper secondary level and up to adults.

Bug Technology, directed by Kenichi Sugawara from Japan, highlights the amazing abilites of insects and how they are inspiring research

Wild Ways, directed by James Brundige from the United States films the conflict between human structures and the wild animals; there is hope as he then shows ways in which migration routes are incorporated into the planning.

Show Schedule

7:30 pmBug Technology 
8:15 pmWild Ways  

To register for this evening of films, reply to this email at  mnskuching@gmail.com

See you at the movies.

Love life
Love nature

 MNSKB Secretariat

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Plight of the Helmeted Hornbill

Dear Members,
Plight of the Helmeted Hornbill
The Helmeted Hornbill is a remarkable creature. It is the largest Hornbill in Asia. It is the only Hornbill with a solid casque on its bill, used by males in mid-air head-butting contests. Unfortunately, that same casque may make the Helmeted Hornbill the Bornean bird species most likely to become extinct in the next decade.

Hornbill “ivory”, as the casque material is misleadingly known, has been a trade good between Borneo and China for centuries. From about 2012 onward, though, demand for Helmeted Hornbill casques in China has gone through the roof. Ounce for ounce, hornbill casques are now worth considerably more than elephant ivory on the Chinese black market.  As a consequence, poachers are rapidly wiping out hornbill populations in Indonesia, including in Kalimantan.  Sarawak’s populations may be next – and hornbill casques smuggled from Indonesia have already been confiscated in Kuching.  Last year, an international workshop was held in Kubah National Park to develop a global action plan to save the species.

Join us for a presentation on this remarkable bird, the threats facing its survival, and the efforts being made to save it.  Dr. Ronald Orenstein, drawing on presentations by international experts, will bring us up to date on the Helmeted Hornbill and its conservation throughout its range, and Oswald Braken Tisen will inform us about the situation here in Sarawak.  Both speakers are members of the IUCN Hornbill Specialist Group and its Working Group on the Helmeted Hornbill.

A public talk organised by MNS Kuching Branch.

Date:    Thursday 1st March 2018
Venue:  Lower Baruk, Islamic Information Centre, Jalan Ong Tiang Swee, Kuching
Time:    7.30pm - 9.00pm
In order to facilitate seating arrangements, please reply by return email if you wish to attend the talk.

Thank you & best regards,

Audrey Dominic Neng
MNS Kuching

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.