Featured Post

Saturday, February 27, 2010

By Mary Margaret
THE tiger has been waiting for its year; slowly the excitement built and like the tiger (Panthera tigris) with a flash of speed, it burst into the open. The Year of the Tiger has arrived.
Those born in the Year of the Tiger are believed to be powerful like the animal, passionate, colourful, unpredictable, aggressive and conversely generous, sincere — they are impossible to pigeonhole.
The tiger is a powerful animal and this has been seen and used in many cultures; quite significantly it is one of 12 zodiac animals.
In Eastern Asia, the tiger, and not the lion, is the King of the Beasts. It appears on many countries’ coats of arms, for example Malaysia and Indonesia, and is the national animal for many Asian countries.
Despite its dominance and magnetism, this charismatic mega fauna is in trouble. Even in the 19th century, tigers ranged throughout most of Asia — from Turkey to China, Malaysia and Bali.
However, since 1900, its range has decreased by 95 per cent and its population by 93 per cent (www.worldwildlife.org/ species/finder/tigers). There could be as few as 3,200 left in the wild. Shocking! Numbing!
Ironically, due to active and successful breeding programmes, and legal tolerance in the United States for private ownership of this magnificent creature, there are more in captivity in the US alone than in the wild.

ASIAN KING: In Eastern Asia, the tiger, and not the lion, is the King of the Beasts.

Tigers are adapted to a variety of habitats — tropical jungles like those in Peninsular Malaysia; mangrove swamps; grasslands; and the largest, the Siberian tiger, prowls through snow covered taiga (coniferous forest) and temperate forest.
Their diet is equally as diverse. As a top predator, they ambush generally larger animals including deer, tapir, wild boar, pythons, crocodiles and rhinoceros calves. However, if the opportunity comes along, they also dine on smaller animals including monkeys.
Three tiger subspecies — Bali, Java and Caspian are extinct. All six of the currently existing subspecies — Siberian, Bengal, Indochinese, Malayan, Sumatran and South China — are critically endangered.
There is a great variation in size with the largest — the Siberian Tiger, about 300kg, being the farthest north and the smallest the Sumatran Tiger, which ranges in size from 75 to 140kg. The females are also smaller than the males.
The vertical black stripes on the tiger’s orange-brown fur act to camouflage it while stalking prey. Each tiger has a unique pattern and this is a way of identifying individuals, if of course you get close enough.
Tigers can, for short periods of time, reach speeds of 65 km per hour, but they have little staying power and thus must ambush their prey.
The tiger is threatened on many fronts. Human development is encroaching into its territory; its range is shrinking and fragmenting.
Isolated populations are more at risk of extinction. As humans move into tiger territory, the risk of human and tiger conflicts increase. The populations of prey species are also decreasing.
Illegal poaching of tigers continues. Almost every part of a tiger is traditionally believed to cure some human ailment.
During this Year of the Tiger, we should move towards maintaining viable wild populations of this beautiful creature.
In Malaysia, MYCAT is a “joint programme of the Malaysian Nature Society, TRAFFIC for Southeast Asia, Wildlife Conservation Society-Malaysia Programme and WWF- Malaysia, supported by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia” (‘Malaysian Naturalist’, Volume 63-2, 2010). Under this programme, these agencies work together to keep the Malayan tiger alive in the wild.
Their goal is to double wild tiger populations by 2020, by protecting the tiger and its prey from poaching and habitat protection. They also work with communities living near tiger habitats.
For more information on what they do to keep tigers alive in the wild and how we can support (in addition to keeping tiger off the menu) go to www.malayantiger.net.
A couple of years ago, I visited Taman Negara and I jokingly said I wanted to see a tiger — I didn’t, but a trickle of excitement cruised down my spine when I heard that tiger spoor (foot prints) had been seen 500 metres from the park headquarters.
I can only imagine my reaction if I had seen a tiger!

ENDANGERED:TheBengaltigerandfiveothersubspecies — Siberian, Indochinese, Malayan, Sumatran and South China — are all critically in danger of extinction.

Should we be shuddering in our shoes? 7 February 2010

by Alan Rogers
HAITI EARTHQUAKE: A woman looks at collapsed buildings, caused by the earthquake, in a shantytown in Port-au-Prince. — AFP Photo
 AT 4.53pm local time on Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 (5.30am, Wednesday Malaysian time) Haiti was rocked by an extensive earthquake of 7.0 on the Richter Scale, followed by nine further aftershocks of 4 to 5+ on that scale.
It is estimated that a third of the island’s nine million population is now homeless with over 100,000 dead, of whom 40 to 50 per cent are children. Port-au-Prince — the capital — and another nearby city with a combined population of two million people have been devastated for they were located only 15km northeast of the epicentre of the quake. What of the unknown devastation through landslides inland in the villages?
We all recall the second ever largest earthquake on Dec 26, 2004 at a scale of 9.3 off Sumatra, which prompted the tsunami that killed 90,000 in Banda Aceh; 8,000 in Thailand; 110,000 in Sri Lanka; and another 167,000 deaths in other regions.
That earthquake affected 14 countries and 30 per cent of the deaths were those of children. Subsequently we learned of the Sichuan earthquake in China and the vicious landslides caused by that quake.
How safe are we in Borneo? Sabah has experienced 38 significant earthquakes between 1897 and 2009; while Sarawak had 16 between 1874 and 2009. Locally, the largest earthquake near Borneo was recorded by the Malaysian Seismology Unit on a scale of three on Oct 31, 2009 at 438km southeast of Tawau, Sabah.
How many of us have experienced an earthquake or recognised its symptoms? It was whilst I was home from Oxford University, staying one Easter holiday with my parents in 1966 in West Cornwall, that I was awakened at 3.15am one morning by the exaggerated ‘sound’ of a juggernaut crashing into our front garden granite wall.
My mother entered my bedroom for she thought that I had fallen out of bed but pictures on the walls were askew and glass trinkets on the dressing table had fallen onto the floor. Upon looking out of the window, all houses in the village had their lights on. It was an earthquake caused by the slip of a fault in the aged geology of the Lizard Peninsula, some 30km away.
In the village butcher’s shop the next morning, the tremor was alleged to originate from ‘Those Russian Sputniks in the sky!’ Some 20 years later I experienced a similar tremor in Wellington, Somerset where at the epicentre in Bridgwater, distant buildings some 20km away cracked and chimneys collapsed! Thank goodness most of the daily tremors recorded in Sarawak are imperceptible!
For an understanding of the causes of earthquakes, we need to remember that our planet is split up into a jigsaw pattern of Continental Plates or Sial plates — composed of silica aluminium — less dense material and Oceanic Plates or Sima Plates — composed of silica magnesium — a denser matter. Many of these macro plates are themselves fractured into micro plates.
In the centre of our largest oceans, magma from the earth’s mantle is thrust upwards along a major fault by a major ascending convection current through the sediments on the ocean floor to cool as pillow lava in contact with water. Hence high mountain ranges build up on the ocean bed.
Gradually these mountains float apart by the movements of these convection cells and so the ocean floor expands or spreads as new magma is injected upwards (see Diagram 1).
Such a CONSTRUCTIVE plate margin is witnessed in Iceland, evident in its widespread volcanic activity where the North American Plate is being thrust westwards away from the Eurasian Plate at the rate of two centimetres per year. At the extreme edge of an oceanic plate, where that plate meets a continental plate, the denser Sima oceanic plate subducts or passes under the lighter Sial plate at an approximate angle of 45 degrees. This is seen as a DESTRUCTIVE plate margin.
A similar movement using your hands is illustrated in Diagram 2. Try it. Press your hands firmly together as illustrated and feel the frictional heat.
Thus the Oceanic Plate heats up upon descent and molten rock rises to the surface and sediments, which have accumulated on the ocean floor are pushed upwards to create fold mountains. The molten rock rising to the surface creates island arcs as the lava pours out. This is a zone of plate collision.
The Sunda region of Malaysia/Indonesia is constructed of a series of arc-like structural mountain belts, which have been pushed up against each other in succession as each arc collided with the Eurasian or Indian Plates. Fast collision produces high scale earthquakes and shock waves affecting the ocean above, hence the tsunami of 2004.

Did you feel your hands shudder as the left hand slipped forcibly upwards against you right hand? If yes, then you created a tremor! This may appear oversimplified to a geologist or geomorphologist, but where did our limestone at Bau and our sandstone at Santubong originate?
It was through plate collision that the accumulated sediments on the sea floor in the trench between our hands were pushed upwards above sea level to create a new land surface folded by the pressure of converging plates. We can take relief in the knowledge that these plates are fused together. The origin of the fantastic granitic batholithic mountain of Gunong Kinabalu is yet another matter!
As for the Haiti earthquake this is a different type of plate boundary — a CONSERVATIVE one almost identical to the one in California along the San Andreas Fault, which caused the huge earthquakes in that US state in 1906 and again in the 1980s.
In California, two plates slip laterally grinding against each other — the North American Plate sidles in one direction against the North Pacific Plate in the opposite direction again at a normal rate of two to four centimetres per year. In the Caribbean, Haiti
and the Dominican Republic are on the edge of the Caribbean Plate sidling eastwards with respect to the North American Plate.
Pressure built up underground and was released as an earthquake, hence the disaster. The last major earthquake there occurred in 1827.
Plate tectonics is still in its infancy. It is based on a theory by Professor Hess of Princetown University in 1960 and modified by Vine and Matthews at Cambridge University in 1963.
We are still in the process of understanding micro plate movements and only 50 years forwards from Hess’ staggering proposals on macro plate movements. What is 50 years in geological time?
Are we safe in Borneo? Who honestly knows? We would like to think that our mountain building is now past geological history but with the Java Oceanic Trench to the south of us and daily volcanic activity still in Indonesia let us keep an open mind.
What we need in East Malaysia is an earthquake/ tsunami immediate response unit involving trained searchers and rescuers, and fire fighters with life detection equipment and search dogs, either through the armed forces or the police, and with medical help and the assistance of the Red Crescent.
The plight of the very densely populated areas in Haiti and in the less accessible villages of its hinterland bring home to all of us and God forbid it should ever happen — what could be on our doorstep or that of any nation perhaps sooner than we may have bargained for.
References: www.kjc.gov.my and www.earthquakes.bgs.ac.uk.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

DIPTEROCARP IDENTIFICATION WALK on Saturday 20 February at Santubong.

This dipterocarp tree is full of fruit. Each fruit has five ‘wings’, which point downwards and which give the fruit some direction when it falls. During the fall the fruit’s wings make it spin, much like the rotor blades of a helicopter. Picture copyright Hans Hazebroek.

MNS is happy to announce a
on Saturday 20 February at Santubong.

Meet at Permai Rainforest Resort Reception at 8.45am sharp.

First there will be an introduction to identification of the dipteriocarps by Dr Kit Pearce. William Beavitt and helpers will be leading a forest walk on the Resort's waterfall trail, pointing out some of the ways to recognize and identify these trees from their fruits.The word ‘dipterocarp’ can be translated as ‘two winged fruit’ and we can expect to see all shapes and sizes of these fruits, including some with as many as 5 wings. Dipterocarp forest comprises 85% of Sarawak's natural forest area (Sarawak forestry 2009) but how many species of dipterocarp tree can we recognize?
Currently there is a ‘mass fruiting event’ (i.e. most trees of almost all dipterocarp species are bearing fruit), which occurs about every 3-7 years. It has been suggested this may be to satiate the fruit's predators and be triggered by the cyclic El Nino event thus providing seedlings to replace any trees that were damaged in dry weather or strong winds. The guided walk is expected to take about three and a half to four hours, as we will stop and talk about individual trees.
Only 30 registered participants are allowed that day and you can sign up by sending an email with your IC number, full name and telephone number to Cynthia, mnskuching@gmail.com not later than Friday 19 February and this is on First come, first served basis.

This event is free for MNS members and the resort is happy to waive the RM 5 entrance fee but you have to show your MNS membership card.
Non-Members are also welcome but have to pay RM 5 to MNS and also the RM5 entrance fee to the resort but you are welcome to sign up as a member that day and the minimum fee to become a member is RM 70 for Ordinary or RM 95 for Family Membership per year.

The resort discourages outside food but will offer lunch upon return at RM 20 pp which we can order before we set off.
A portion of the Santubong Mountain was gazetted a national park in February 2007 so the event will coincide with its 3rd anniversary.
If you have some forestry experience and would like to help us lead the walk and ID the Dipterocarps please do let us know.

 Don’t forget to bring your membership card!
Remember only registered participants are allowed so don’t forget to sign up before Friday 19 February! mnskuching@gmail.com

Sunday, February 7, 2010


By Hans Hazebroek
Data mainly provided by the Earl of Cranbrook.
Much of the southern portion of today’s South China Sea was dry land when the world experienced a particularly cold episode, about 21,000 years ago. This extreme lasted several thousand years. Map from Voris, 2000. Click to enlarge map.

Have you ever asked yourself what animals lived in Sarawak during the Ice Ages, when large parts of North America, Europe and Asia were buried underneath huge ice sheets? Did you know that during the coldest periods (such as the one that existed about 21,000 years ago) you could have walked overland from Kuching to Kuala Lumpur (even though you would have to make rafts to cross some big rivers that flowed where is today the floor of the South China Sea)! 
A fascinating talk in October 2009 by the Earl of Cranbrook at the invitation of Dr. Charles Leh, zoologist and curator of natural history of the Sarawak Museum, shed much light on what is known about the mammals that lived in Sarawak during the Ice-Ages and what happened to them afterward. Below is a summary of his talk and paper (see reference at end of article *).

What are the Ice-Ages?
The term ‘Ice Ages’ refers to cold episodes during a period that lasted from about 2.6 million years to about 10,000 years ago. Colder periods alternated with warmer periods, and during the coldest periods a considerable percentage of the world’s water became locked-up in huge ice-sheets that extended from the North Pole far into North America, Europe and Asia. Resulting worldwide changes in sea level affected Borneo, which during colder periods was no longer an island. Due to dramatically lowered sea levels Borneo became connected to mainland Asia via dry portions of the floor of what is today the South China Sea. 
These large changes in climate and the resulting effects on the environment had a tremendous influence on Borneo and on nearby islands. As sea levels fell and rose, shorelines advanced and retreated on the shallow floor of the South China Sea, so that the area of dry seafloor shrank or expanded, periodically forming a smaller or larger land bridge between Borneo, Sumatra, Java and mainland Asia. During cool periods such land bridges allowed animals to migrate from continental Asia to the islands and also between the islands themselves. Off Borneo’s east coast, however, the sea is much deeper, and continued to separate the island from Sulawesi and the other islands further east.

Primitive forms of elephant - such as this Mastodon - may have roamed in Sarawak during the Ice-Ages. Painting by Z. Burian. Click on picture to enlarge.

The Early and Middle Ice-Ages
Two teeth of primitive forms of elephant, resembling fossils found in continental Asia, were claimed to originate from Borneo. One tooth, the type and only example of Stegolophodon lydekkeri was supposedly found in forest in Brunei. The second tooth was allegedly found near Samarinda, East Kalimantan, and identified as Elephas namadicus. If these teeth truly originate in Borneo, Stegolophodon, may have come to live in Borneo in the early Ice-Ages, and Elephas namadicus, in the middle Ice-Ages, via a land connection with mainland Asia along the northern part of the dry bed of the South China Sea.
            Many fossils of mammals from the early- and middle Ice-Ages have been found in eastern Java, Indonesia. Large hoofed animals (related to those found on the Asian continent) dominate the numerous fossils found at Trinil (representing mammals that lived some 900,000 years ago) and Kedung Brubus (800,000 to 700,000 years ago). Some of these were of animals that no longer live today, such as an extinct hippopotamus, extinct relatives of the elephant, extinct cattle, an extinct buffalo, an extinct endemic antelope, an extinct giant pangolin and an extinct hyena. Other fossils represent animals that still live today, albeit in other places, such as the Malay tapir, Javan rhinoceros, barking deer or muntjac, leopard cat and tiger. Some of these animals require much land for grazing and browsing, others need woodland, while some, such as the hippopotamus, require lakes or large rivers. Thus it seems likely that the environment at that time included much grassy savanna with scattered woodland, watered by lakes or large rivers. Fossils from Peninsular Malaysia (collected in a cave at Tambun, near Ipoh) included hippopotamus and an antelope. Malay tapir and Javan rhinoceros, along with Sumatran rhinoceros were present in southern China from early through late Ice-Ages. Therefore it seems likely that at this time this group of animals and, therefore, the savanna-woodland habitat they required, extended from Java to the Malay Peninsula and further on to mainland Asia. Such a belt of a belt of savanna-woodland habitat may periodically have formed a separation between rain forest regions on either side in Borneo and Sumatra. Thus, it would have been an ecological barrier to animals adapted to live in a closed-forest habitat.

When the southern portion of today’s South China Sea was dry land, a belt of savanna-woodland probably formed a separation between the rain forests in Borneo and those in Sumatra. Click to enlarge map.

Land-bridges between Borneo, Sumatra, Java and continental Asia
The map shows how, about 21,000 years ago during a cool period, much of the floor of the South China Sea was dry land. Maps for later cool periods show comparable patterns, although land bridges were smaller. Alternating connection and isolation of Borneo, along with an ecological barrier of savanna-woodland during periods of low sea level, help explain why the mammals that we see today on Borneo occur here, while many others found on nearby islands or on the Malay Peninsula do not live in Borneo. This sheds some light on the mystery of why as many as 38% of Borneo’s land mammal species (50 species out of a total of 132, excluding the bats) are found nowhere else, and why some distinctive species or subspecies are only found in the northern part of the island!
Bones of the Giant Pangolin excavated at Niah Caves dwarf those of the pangolin that lives today. The larger ones are thigh bones and the smaller ones are middle-foot bones. Not long after the last Ice Ages the Giant Pangolin became extinct. Click to enlarge.

The Late Ice-Ages
Caves in Sarawak (at Niah, Sireh and Jambusan) and Sabah (Madai), provide an amazing insight into the past 50,000 years (which included the last Ice-Ages). Bones excavated from the floor of these caves belonged to mammals of which ten species are also present among the savanna-adapted animals found in Java that lived during the middle Ice-Ages. Of these, five were large animals: a giant pangolin, Javan rhinoceros, Malay tapir, tiger and the Sumatran rhinoceros.
Information obtained from tiny plant remains (pollen) found together with the mammal fossils confirms that around 45,000 years ago the area around Niah was covered in closed forest. Around 35,000 years ago the global climate began to become cooler until the last major Ice Age culminated at about 23,000–18,000 years ago. However, continuous presence of a number of animals that live in the trees, including orang-utan, gibbon and leaf-monkeys, indicate that forest continued to clothe the Niah area through the last part of the Ice Ages. Because of the much cooler climate the forest at Niah was likely of the type that we find today in Sarawak on the middle to higher mountain slopes. The jaw of a ferret badger, an endemic species nowadays found only in the high mountain environment on Mt. Kinabalu at 1,070–3,000 m elevation, was found during excavations at Niah, which supports the inference of a much cooler climate in Borneo during the late Ice Ages.
            There were local extinctions, and the giant pangolin apparently disappeared early in this period. But the tiger, Javan rhinoceros and tapir probably survived into the last one thousand years. Hunting of young animals by people represented by human remains found at Niah may explain the loss of the large hoofed animals, but the disappearance of the tiger is still a mystery. Despite hunting pressure throughout the latest Ice-Ages, which continued from then on, a population of orang-utan survived at Niah until perhaps the last one thousand years. Various large, medium and small mammal species became smaller in size over a period that began during the latest Ice-Ages and stretched towards the last few thousand years. This is thought to be the effect of warming of the climate with resulting changes in the vegetation, which made living conditions more suitable to their smaller-sized offspring.
A large number of mammal species that occur on continental Asia also live today on Sumatra, Borneo and Java. This has long been recognized as the outcome of migration via land connections during the Ice-Ages. The great majority of naturally occurring mammals of Borneo, including bats, live in woodland habitats and many have not been found outside closed tropical rainforest. Orang-utan and gibbons, for instance, strictly need rain forest for their living and they were present in continental Asia throughout the Ice-Ages. They could have reached Borneo during any cool period when forested land connected Borneo to the mainland. Perhaps they migrated along the northern shore of the dry bed of the South China Sea. This route is suggested by the presence in northern Borneo (but not in the Malay peninsula, Sumatra or Java) of two mammal species whose closest relatives are found in the Indochinese region: the smooth-tailed treeshrew and the ferret-badger.

The excavation and study of mammal bones show important differences in the development and demise of the late Ice-Ages mammal populations in northwest and north Borneo compared with Java. In Sarawak and Sabah, after the disappearance of the giant pangolin, the large savanna-adapted mammals that survived after the middle Ice-Ages lived in tropical rain forest together with typical forest-adapted mammals. Although various mammal species became smaller in size, ancient and ‘modern’ mammals continued to live together long beyond the Ice Ages. It appears that both human activity and changes in climate within the last 1000 years contributed to local disappearances or island-wide extinctions of three large mammals— tiger, tapir and Javan rhinoceros.
            Coordinated efforts of state, provincial and national organizations of Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Indonesia are currently being undertaken to implement the 'Heart of Borneo' programme. This involves connecting a number of protected areas, which stretch mainly across the central part of Borneo. Together with other existing protected areas, including Sarawak’s beautiful National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries, the 'Heart of Borneo' programme now appears to offer the best hope for the survival of a reasonable proportion of the forest-adapted mammals and other wildlife of this great island of Borneo.

*) Earl of Cranbrook (2009) Late quaternary turnover of mammals in Borneo: the zooarchaeological record, Biodivers. Conserv., Published online 16 July 2009

Saturday, February 6, 2010


As MNS prepares for its 70th year of nature conservation and its tireless efforts to protect and study our natural heritage, we have a series of special events lined up for 2010 which will showcase our work and rich natural heritage dating back to 1940.

The 70th year list of exciting events will culminate in an International Conference on October 8th & 9th, 2010 and the ROYAL DINNER to be held in Kuala Lumpur on October 10th, 2010.

YAB Prime Minister of Malaysia has been invited to open and present the policy address at the International Conference entitled “Challenges & Solutions for Tropical Biodiversity”. Special keynote speakers, international personalities and local experts have been identified and invited to present at this special Conference that aims on celebrating Malaysia’s Biodiversity and to discuss challenges faced for the past 70 years with an emphasis on urgent solutions for the next 30 years.

The Royal event will also see the first special series of MNS Awards being presented to corporates with good environmental track record or policies that will result in eco change in the next 30 years.

MNS will also unveil its proposed new logo. The dinner will include a presentation of MNS’ journey for the past seventy years and acknowledgement will be accorded to members and branches who have played a vital role in driving MNS to where it is today, the leading environmental NGO of this nation.

Funds raised will be channeled towards MNS’s GREENaid fund that will help promote and fund various conservation activities like ‘Save Belum-Temengor Campaign’, ‘Tiger Project’, educational programmes for our over 300 schools around the country, capacity build MNS to actively engage in urgent environmental issues and for MNS to be self sustaining.

Further information can be obtained at http://www.mns.my/

In the tradition of financial responsibility & accountability, our audited financial statements will be made available to all members and presented at our Annual General Meetings, copies of which will be made to each contributor of the event.

Besides the direct donations (any amount), tables (x10persons) may be purchased for RM10,000.00 each. Due to limited tables available, we would appreciate your early bookings and support.

PLATINUM DONORS – RM 1,000,000.00
(Limited to 2 Platinum Donors and by invitation only)

· Platinum Donors will be acknowledged as Co-Sponsors of the Conference
· Branding in all media and collaterals

· prominent display of company logo on backdrops
· 4 complimentary Dinner Tables
· Invitation to the Pre-dinner Reception to greet the Guests of Honour
· Featured in press releases, website, branding, logo on all publicity materials and full page acknowledgement in souvenir book

· Acknowledged in 2000 copies of the MNS Coffee Table Book as Co-Sponsor

GOLD DONORS – RM 500,000.00
(Limited to 4 Gold Donors only)

· Gold Donors will be acknowledged as Co-Sponsors of the Conference
· Branding in all media and collaterals

· Prominent display of company logo on backdrops
· 3 complimentary Dinner Tables
· Invitations to the Pre-dinner Reception with the Guests of Honour
· Featured in press releases, website, branding, logo on all publicity materials and full page acknowledgement in souvenir book

· Acknowledged in 2000 copies of the MNS Coffee Table Book as Partner

SILVER DONORS – RM 250,000.00
(Limited to 8 Silver Donors only)

· Silver Donors will be acknowledged as Co-Sponsors of the Conference
· Branding in all media and collaterals

· Prominent display of company logo on backdrops
· 2 complimentary Dinner Tables
· Invitations to the Pre-dinner Reception with the Guests of Honour
· Website, branding and logo on all publicity materials, press releases and full page acknowledgement in souvenir book

· Acknowledged in 2000 copies of the MNS Coffee Table Book


· 1 complimentary Dinner Table· Website, branding and prominent single line to quarter page acknowledgement in souvenir book.

· Acknowledged in 2000 copies of the MNS Coffee Table Book


· Table Investment is at RM10,000 per table

NOTE: All donations will be acknowledged in the dinner souvenir book and are tax deductible.

For more information, event details on how to sign-up as donors, please contact Andrew Sebastian, Head of Communications, Malaysian Nature Society or call 03-2287 9422.

Friday, February 5, 2010

(1)         MNS turns 70 – Make 4 Calls for 2010
We celebrate 70 years of nature conservation this year, but also make 4 main calls in this year of biodiversity
>> to read the full text, http://www.mns.my/article.php?aid=476

(2)         Feb ’10 Newsletter
Please be informed that the Feb ’10 newsletter is out.  You can download a copy from http://www.mns.my/file_dir/10236506514b5516245405d.pdf

-          Raptor Watch Week is back!
-          MNS Honorary Membership – Call for submission of names!
-          Threat to Ulu Geroh Rajah Brooke’s Birdwing butterfly
-          Eco-Kids – New Uses for Everyday Objects
-          MNS Rules and Regulations – Back to Basics
-          World Wetlands Day 2010 – Caring for wetlands – an answer to climate change
-          MNS Roadshow coming to Perak and Melaka in March 2010
-          Green Living – Lower-Impact Renovations
-          Trip to Ulu Geroh, Gopeng
-          Calendar of Activities

International Wetland Awards scheme launched to mark World Wetlands Day

The message below comes to us Wetland Link International.
World Wetlands Day, 2nd February, sees the launch of the International Wetland Awards scheme, run by the WWN with funding from the Spanish Biodiversity Foundation.  The project aims to highlight best practice in wetland management and restoration, but will also award 'gongs' to internationally important wetlands that are being badly managed, neglected or threatened
The three categories of award are as follows:
  • Blue Globe - for innovation and best practice in wetland management
  • Green Globe - for outstanding wetland restoration projects
  • Grey Globe - for wetlands in danger
The first round of awards will be given at the same time as the COP10 of the Convention on Biological Diversity, in October 2010 and later in a second round at COP11 of the Ramsar Convention in 2012.
WLI will be launching a new website soon, which will allow NGOs to nominate wetlands and cast their votes on the full list of internationally important wetlands, as identified by the Ramsar convention.
Wetland NGOs will be able to vote online for their local wetlands of international importance (either designated or not) and the awards will be allocated by the WWN committee based on votes cast. 
The interactive website is expected to be up and running by March 2010, and WLI looks forward to active involvement from wetland NGOs wherever you are.
For full details go to http://www.worldwetnet.org/
The awards scheme is generously supported by the Fundación Biodiversidad of Spain
World Wetland Network
The World Wetland Network (WWN) is a fledgling global network of 200 wetland NGO’s initiated at the World NGO conference on the eve of the Ramsar COP10 meeting, November 2008, in Changwon, South Korea. It arose from the need for NGOs to maintain contact with each other at and between Ramsar meetings, but will also help with information exchange, sharing of best practice and lobbying on specific wetland issues.  Previous Ramsar COPs also saw wetland NGOs working on this, and WWN is a direct result of their efforts. The WWN will also enable smaller NGOs to arrive at Ramsar COPs (Conferences of the Parties) well prepared for the meeting and more able to fully participate in the Ramsar meeting itself.
The NGO’s present at the Ramsar COP met several times and agreed a Terms of Reference and a work plan for the WWN. A committee of members from each continent was identified in the Terms of Reference. Chris Rostron, Head of WLI (Wetland Link International), was elected as chair along with representatives from each continental region. Since then, a yahoo chat group has been set with regular e-mail traffic, which is open to anyone to join. The committee meets over telephone conference regularly, see the minutes of the meetings below.
This website is hosted by WWT, a UK-based wetland conservation organisation that shares many similar aims of WWN and also hosts Wetland Link International.