News & Updates

Warrior names for collared proboscis monkeys

KINABATANGAN: Two male proboscis monkeys were given warrior names after they were fitted with tags by the Sabah Wildlife Department’s (SWD) Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU) and Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).

Jibius Dausip from WRU and the expert darter of the team, explained the two animals collared in Menanggul tributary and on the Kinabatangan river, near Sukau, weighed 23 and 19 kgs, respectively, and were named Monso (short for Monsopiad who was a Kadazandusun warrior and a famous headhunter) and Gambu (short for Gambunan who was a Dusun group leader from Tambunan).

Danica Stark, PhD student at Cardiff University and DGFC, said the aim of the satellite tagging programme is to understand the ranging patterns of proboscis monkeys and the factors impacting their movements and density in order to determine the adequate amount of habitat available in order to sustain a continuous viable population in the Kinabatangan region.

“As the collars record locations automatically, it is collecting movement data that is completely natural and not influenced by human presence.

“Moreover, the collars are set with a drop-off and therefore the monkeys will not wear them forever.

The drop-off is set to release the unit after 52 weeks,” added Danica.

DGFC director Dr Benoit Goossens said the project was funded by Sime Darby Foundation (Malaysia) and Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation (USA).

“The support for the palm oil industry is extremely important.

Yes, mistakes have been made in the past, like in every country in the world during their economic development, but it is never too late to realise where we have been wrong and I believe that in Sabah the industry, the government, NGOs, wildlife conservationists and local communities can work together to make a better environment for our wildlife,” said Goossens.

SWD director Dr Laurentius Ambu said this project is extremely important for the conservation of the proboscis monkeys in
Sabah.

One of the main outputs of the programme will be the first State Action Plan for the species and its launching at an international workshop on the conservation of proboscis monkeys in Borneo that will be organised in Kota Kinabalu in two or three years.

Source : Borneo Post

City Hall supports KK Jazz Festival

KOTA KINABALU: City Hall has once again given its full support to the organisers of the Kota Kinabalu Kinabalu Jazz Festival 2012 which will be held on June 15 and 16.

Commending the organisers for their sixth Kota Kinabalu (KK) Jazz Festival, Mayor Abidin Madingkir said he welcomed such an interesting event which not only adds colour and livens the city but also helps bring more tourists to Sabah.

He noted that the Jazz Festival has now become a signature event in Sabah’s annual calendar of events and also a key component of the Kota Kinabalu Arts Festival.

Thanking the mayor for his support, organising chairman Jack Ong said the festival is an annual fund-raising jazz extravaganza jointly organized by the Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu (RCKK) and the Society of Performing Arts Kota Kinabalu Sabah (SPArKS).

The jazz festival, he added, brings together a musical melting pot of talents from around the world and last year recorded a crowd of over 4,000 people during the two nights of performance.

One of the striking differences about KK Jazz Festival, he explained, is its line up of artistes, who include international names and highly talented local bands and singers.

Some of the artistes that will be performing this year are Raisa (Indonesia), Rio Sidik (Bali, Indonesia), Johnny Rodgers Band (United States of America) and Roger Wang (Malaysia).

Held in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu 60th anniversary, this year’s festival also serves as a stage in showcasing local artistes. Local celebrity DJ Rica and Cheryl will also be hosting the evening as emcees.

Ong said this year’s event is sponsored by Yayasan Sime Darby, Sabah Development Bank, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment and Carlsberg. The festival is also supported by City Hall and the Embassy of the United States of America.

He added that the money from ticket sales would be used to fund deserving community projects run by the Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu, such as providing clean water project and literacy programme in the rural areas of Sabah, as well as environmental protection programme.

According to Ong, with the collaboration of AirAsia under AirAsia RedTix, tickets are now on sale at www.airasiaredtix.com at RM100 for two-night pass and RM70 per-night pass.

Tickets are also available at various outlets in Kota Kinabalu – Party Play Lifestyle Cafe, Playground, The Chocolate Factory, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, BB Cafe, Firefly, Hotel Sixty3, Jarrod & Rawlins, Texas Grill Restaurant & Bar.

The event will be held from 7pm to 11pm at the Covered Tennis Court, Sutera Harbour Marina.

Source : Borneo Post

Bridge for Sabah’s primates

KINABATANGAN: Volunteers from three zoos in Japan have just made its easier for the isolated groups of the endangered orangutan population in the state to access a wider area near their habitat.

The group from Asahiyama Zoo, Kyoto City Zoo and Fukuoka Zoo, with the support from KOPEL Bhd, a community-based tourism cooperative in Lower Kinabatangan, recently strung a rope bridge for the primates to cross over a section of the Sungei Pin, allowing them to move freely on either side of the river.

Nobuo Nakanishi, a director with BCT Japan who coordinated the work, said the project was part of a programme developed by the Borneo Conservation Trust (BCT) to assist the Sabah Wildlife Department to improve habitat connectivity for the orangutan in Lower Kinabatangan.

BCT’s Head of Conservation and Research, Raymond Alfred said that while the material used for the bridge may only last for several years, it at least provides immediate means for the orangutan population and other primates in this area to migrate into other isolated forest habitats.

Alfred also emphasised the need to re-establish a long term biodiversity corridor with the support from land developers such as oil palm plantations and timber companies.

Dr Laurentius Ambu, Director of Sabah Wildlife Department, highlighted the importance of retaining the existing riparian reserve along the Kinabatangan River, including areas such as Sungai Pin, as wildlife corridors.

These vital corridors will allow species such as elephants and orangutans access to food sources and establish crucial genetic links between populations, he said.

BCT is in the process of working closely with several major stakeholders to develop a follow-up action plan to re-establish a biodiversity corridor from Batu Puteh to Sg. Lokan Forest Reserve.

Source : Free Malaysia Today

Youths urged to conserve and preserve environment

KOTA KINABALU: Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun has urged the younger generation in the state to follow the steps and efforts of Miss Earth Sabah 2012 contestants in conserving and preserving the environment.

He said it was important as the issue now was not just on environment awareness alone but a collective action from all levels of the community.

“It is hoped that the finalists will express their commitment and play a proactive role in addressing the environment issues,” he said, adding that Miss Earth Sabah 2012 is a platform where the finalists could get the chance to gain environmental knowledge and would keep the lessons that they learn for a lifetime, while sharing this knowledge with their families and friends.

He also expressed his gratitude to the organising committee of Miss Earth Sabah, including Mandy Nandu, for organising various environmental green activities throughout the pageant week.

He said he highly supported such activities, especially the No Plastic Bag Challenge which would spur initiative and creativity to a higher level to save our planet and us.

“The drive to stop the unnecessary use of plastics is very challenging but what the finalists do can be a starting point for a plastic-free lifestyle among the public.

“What motivates me is to see how the finalists and society in general are eager to claim personal responsibility and take action.

“I believe that these finalists are role models and ambassadors to lead our community, and the younger generation of today need to be more proactive in protecting the environment.

“They can therefore be a part of the solution in making such a big difference to our environment,” he said.

Masidi’s speech was read by Environment Protection Department deputy director Dr Jammy Gabriel during the Miss Earth Sabah 2012  press conference at Pacific Sutera here yesterday.

Meanwhile, MNE Production director Mandy Nandu said Miss Earth Sabah 2012 aimed to educate the young girls in Sabah to help create awareness for themselves, their families and the community to be more serious in saving and protecting the environment.

“With its slogan ‘Beauties Nurturing Nature’, this event plays its main objective in promoting environmental awareness,” she said.

“To date, our representatives from Sabah have made us proud in two consecutive years, 2009 and 2010, by winning most of the major titles at national level and have also represented Malaysia at international level.

“Last year, our representative won the first runner-up title at national level. This has always been our dream to see more Sabahan girls achieve high accomplishments and introduce Sabah to the rest of the world. Not only that, we hope they will continue their role in helping raise awareness on the importance of keeping our environment green,” said Nandu.

Nandu said Miss Earth Sabah emphasizes strongly on environmental protections.

“Participants are not only required to attend various environmental activities but are also given the opportunity to practise and voice out their green thoughts and ideas, showcasing and promoting various tourist destinations in Sabah.”

The Miss Earth Sabah 2012 grand final is on June 16 at Grand Ballroom, Magellen Sutera Resort. Tickets are sold at RM200, RM300 and RM500 per person.

There will be some exciting lucky draws to be won, sponsored by Cebu Pacific Airlines.

The winner of Miss Earth Sabah 2012 will receive a cash prize of RM5,000, and a three-day-two-night travel on Star Cruises Libra for two from Penang-Phuket-Krabi-Penang.

The first runner-up will receive a cash prize of RM3,000, and a two-day-one-night travel on Star Cruise Pisces for two from Hong Kong, while the second runner-up will receive a cash prize of RM2,000, and a three-day-two-night stay at Maxims Hotel Resorts World Manila for two persons with dinner vouchers and exclusive balcony tickets to watch “The King and I” at Broadway Theatre,  Manila.

The third runner-up will receive cash prize of RM1,000, and a three-day-two-night stay at the Remington Hotel Resorts World Manila for two, with dinner vouchers and exclusive balcony tickets to watch “The King and I” at Broadway Theatre in Manila.

All  winners will receive products from the sponsors. The winner of Miss Earth Sabah 2012 will represent the state at the national level competition in Ipoh, Perak in July.

Source : Borneo Post

Sabah beauties with a mission

KOTA KINABALU: TWELVE young women will put their skills of persuasion to the test today   to convince supermarket customers to say no to plastic bags.

The “No Plastic Bag Challenge” is one of the Miss Earth Sabah 2012 activities that will be held at Giant Hypermarket in Citymall, here.

All 12 finalists are required to encourage shoppers to use eco-friendly bag thus creating awareness among the public on the importance of preserving the environment.

Pageant organising director and former Miss Earth Malaysia 2009 Madelyne M. Nandu said the challenge was a platform for the young women to use their voice to persuade the public.

“It is something different. We want the finalists to really engage with the community to further promote the no plastic bag campaign.

“The challenge is beneficial for everyone.

“I hope the girls will see it as an opportunity to communicate with the people and spread awareness,” she said during the official launching of Miss Earth Sabah 2012, near here, yesterday.

Winner of the “No Plastic Bag Challenge” will bring home a subsidiary title Miss Eco Giant.

Present was state Environment Protection Department deputy director Dr Jammy Gabriel.

A finalist, Grace Chang Siew Ling, 19, admitted she had always used plastic bags when doing her shopping but stopped after involving herself in the pageant.

Realising what plastics could do to the environment, she viewed the challenge as a mission for her to contribute to the society and environment.

“Personally, it is not hard to stop using plastic bags but what makes it difficult is the habit, because people are comfortable using plastics and we need to change that.

“Being part of Miss Earth Sabah, it is our responsibility to share our knowledge and tell the people that plastics can harm the environment.”

Meanwhile, State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun hoped that Miss Earth Sabah 2012 finalists would play a proactive role in addressing the environmental issues.

In his speech delivered by Jammy, Masidi stressed the “No Plastic Bag Challenge” would spur initiative and creativity to a higher level to save the earth.

“The drive to stop the unnecessary use of plastics is very challenging but what all the finalists do, can be a starting point for a plastic free lifestyle among the public.

“What motivates me is to see how the finalists and society in general is eager to claim personal responsibility and take action.”

Source : New Straits Times