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Wednesday, October 29, 2014


KUCHING: The mood is upbeat and there is festivity in the air! Santubong Nature Festival (SNF)  is back for the second year next weekend, Nov 8 and 9 at Permai Rainforest Resort. 
So let’s make a beeline to the festival that celebrates Santubong peninsula’s diverse natural & cultural heritage. 
Conceptualised and organized by the Malaysian Nature Society-Kuching Branch (MNSKB), the first SNF was held in November 2013.

The festival is hosted by Permai Rainforest Resort and held in collaboration with Kuching City North Hall (DBKU), and with the support from Sarawak Museum, Geoscience and Mineral Department, Sarawak Forestry Corporation, Trienekens (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd, Sultan Iskandar Planetarium, IBEC of Universiti Sarawak Malaysia,  Ika Picture House, Sarawak Society of Prevention of Cruelty for Animal and Society of Wilderness (SOW).

The festival aims to:
1.    To raise public awareness about the priceless natural and historical(local and global) heritage value of the Santubong Peninsula.
2.    To advocate for a holistic and integrated approach to development and management of the area, safeguarding its unique landscape, biodiversity and historical assets.
3.    To showcase the tourism and recreational potential of the natural and cultural values of the Santubong Peninsula.
4.    To stimulate reflection on responsible and sustainable management of the peninsula and its surroundings.
5.    To enhance environmental awareness and inculcate a sense of value for the area among the public, especially our youth.
The different activities are organized and carried out by different organisations and agencies, as their contributions to the Festival. In this way, several organisations have a chance to organize nature-themed activities and events between July and November, focussing on Santubong. 

These organisations will pool their resources again this weekend and hold a variety of indoor and outdoor activities for the young and old. 
On Nov 8, cycling enthusiasts are encouraged to take part in a riding from DBKU to Permai Rainforest Resort at 7am. And along the way to Permai, cyclists will help to pick up rubbish as part of their commitment in leaving small footprint and bettering the environment. 
DBKU Datuk Bandar is expected to officiate at the opening of the festival at Sepang Room at 9.30am
During the opening ceremony, the organizers have arranged a special talk by an ecological restorator and educator from Australia Gerard Proust, who is also MNS member. Proust will speak on “Santubong - A Biological Oasis [A Precautionary Tale of Hope]”. The talk discusses ways of minimising the impacts on a remnant forest and encourage all surrounding stakeholders to take responsibility for minimising their ecological footprint, neutralising their impact on the forest and making their own piece of land (school, resort, home etc) biologically productive.

A series of talk will take place at the resort’s Belian and Sepang Rooms in the afternoon and these talks are followed by guided walks.
Marine and chief scientist of Tropical Research and Conservation Centre Prof Steve Oakley will speak on Life On The Sea Coast at 12.30pm. He works on coral reef and shark conservation.  He created the Green Connection Aquarium & Science Discovery centre in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah to promote environmental awareness.
Talks on History Of Santubong by Sarawak Museum will take place at 2.30pm; Rainforest Discovery by MNS (2.30pm); and Santubong National Park by Sarawak Forestry Corporation (4pm). 

The festivity continues well into the night with a guided walk, Rainforest Walk, led by MNS and SOW (7pm); and astronomy talk and observation by Sultan Iskandar Planetarium and Sarawak Astronomy Society at 7.30pm.
The judging session for Eco-Fashion Contest for 25 participating teams will take place at Sepang Room at 4.30pm. Festival goers are invited to give the contestants encouragement and support.
On the next day, the exciting Survivor Race kicks start at 8.30am. The race is for the physically fit as it comprises cycling, hiking, kayaking, running, swimming and paddling.
Other activities are guided walk for children Little Explorers Rainforest Discovery (9 to 12 years old) at Sepang Room, 9am; observation walk in Mandarin focussing on the rainforest at Belian Room, 9am; talk and guided walk on geology of Santubong at Belian Room, 11am; talk and guided walk on life on the sea coast at Sepang Room, 11am; and guided walk on archaeology of Santubong at Belian Room, 1pm
Admission to Permai Rainforest Resort on both days is free. Participation to all activities is also free except for dolphin watching and Survivor Race. There will be two dolphin watching opportunities at 11am on Saturday and 9am on Sunday. Boat charges for adult is RM80, children below 12 years old is RM40. 

The Survivor Race fee is RM100 for team with kayak and RM50 for individual with kayak, RM80 for team with no kayak and RM40 for individual with no kayak. Registration for the race closes on Nov 5
There will be booths selling handicrafts, merchandise from MNS and its partners, 
Festival goers are also encouraged to visit booths set up by partners and learn more about their conservation work and astronomy. 

Early registration is necessary to take part in these activities. Intending participants are to provide their name, mobile phone number and identity card number for the indemnity form and email to santubongnaturefestival@gmail.com

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