Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Email the Commission before May 7th GMO vote

Let us do something before GMO becomes a menace in years to come. It won't affect you now but it will happens to your children, grand children and future generations.
Read this plea from Greenpeace.
Then read my letter I just sent to the EU's commission.

Please help the world from environmental disasters...


Date : Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 10:57 AM
Subject : May 7th GMO vote

Dear Sirs/ Madams,

Good moning.

For the past few weeks I have been reading about the impending "food crises" happening around the world. Rice getting scarce and prices increasing by day. Fuel increases, crops failing and hunger throughout the world. This is surely very alarming.

I would like to take this intiative to congratulate you as the capable and knowledgable heads of EU to find ways to overcome this "food crises". However, there are several concerns that I would like you to know before you vote on May 7th.

1. The maize varieties that produce their own pesticide is a worrying phenomena. I believe this maize varieties have not been tested long enough to ascertain the health effect. Currect practises of testing pesticides for 2 years should be applied to these maize varieties too. I know that we have time constraint but long term effect on homosapien - your children, my children and future generations should make us think twice before embarking on this dangerous experiment.

2. I understand that GM potato contains a gene that makes cells resistant to antibiotics! Remember Murphy's Law, "if anything can go wrong, it will". Are we sure that this gene that makes cells resistant to antibiotics will not affect human race? Can these resistant strain not pose serious problems in treating diseases (like tuberculosis)?

3. There will be pro and con to any scientific views. Most scientists who are paid by food manufacturers to increase food production will have views that cater to produce more foods. The side issues and problems of consequences arising from these GMs food become unimportant. However, another group of scentists (non-food production category) should know about the consequences and their views should be taken into consideration. Have the recent 37 scientists who wrote a letter to the Commission pointing out from a scientific point of view the many gaps and uncertainties in relation to GMOs being look through? Please take a second look before you vote - for our children ok?

4. There must be something wrong if there are people opposing the use of GMOs for the past 10 years or so. Surely as a well educated person like your goodself, I am sure you will listen to the people on the danger and consequences.

5. Food industries are profit earning companies and their objectives of promoting GM crops to feed the hunger world is understandable. However, we should be awared that there are other ecologically sound farming models and methods that show real potential. Have we really looked into these eco-friendly agriculture methods or are we taking the short cut?

6. I do not want to dispute the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA). Sirs/Madams, you must understand that EFSA are paid by the food industries and they have to protect their masters. There should be another independent body to look into the assessment of the findings on health and environment impacts of GMOs. We just cannot rely on information provided by EFSA.

Sirs/Madams, with the reasoning above, I hope you as a learned person will surely make a good justment on this GMOs. I hope you will vote favourably for human's FUTURE, our children, our generations to come. PLEASE find other alternatives that are sustainable and that can protect our environment.

Thank you very much for reading my plea.
Forest Ang

-- "Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts." -- Albert Einstein

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Fear over impact on ecological system

The new Selangor government is a responsible government. Syabas!
New Straits Times
Selangor govt against use of GM mosquitos

KUALA LUMPUR: The Selangor government yesterday "strongly objected" to the release of genetically-modified (GM) Aedes mosquitos to fight dengue.

State executive councillor for health, estate workers, poverty and caring government Dr A. Xavier Jayakumar said the release of such mosquitos was a reckless and uncontrolled experiment with risky technology.

He said past research on other GM insects had failed even in the field trial stage.

He also said that all previous tests by the Institute of Medical Research (IMR) had only been carried out in strictly controlled environments.

"Therefore, there is no way of evaluating the ecological damage and environmental impact of releasing the GM mosquitos.

"Science has shown that the ecological damage caused by releasing genetically modified organisms is very often irreversible," he said in a statement.

The New Sunday Times had reported that the IMR and a company partly owned by the University of Oxford would release "warrior" mosquitos in Pulau Ketam off Selangor to combat the dengue scourge.

Environmentalists had expressed fears that the release of GM Aedes mosquitos could cause more harm than good.

Xavier was concerned over the potential harm and long term consequences that the people would have to put up with, and pay for, if the experiment went awry.

New Straits Times

ENVIRONMENTALISTS are not against new technologies to fight the dengue scourge but are against the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) which may cause more harm than good.

Acknowledging the need to progress with science, Cetdem's Gurmit Singh feared that the introduction of the GM mosquitoes into the wild to eliminate the aedes population could instead have serious consequences on the country's ecological system.

"And like all GMOs, once they are released into the wild, how do you prevent them from interacting or crossbreeding with other insects and producing mutants which may be worse than the aedes mosquito?" he asked.

"Although the technology sounds positive in getting rid of the dengue menace, we cannot take risks on a big scale because we really do not know the side effect these mosquitoes will have on other organisms and the eco-system.

"Unless they have done enough studies to ascertain the safety of the GM mosquito and until these questions are answered, I would be uncomfortable with the use of GMOs."

Fish and other insects such as the dragonfly feed on mosquito larvae.Gurmit also questioned why Pulau Ketam was chosen for the field tests.

"Is it because it is prone to dengue or is it because it is an island and therefore easier to control in the event something goes wrong?"

He said there should also be effective monitoring of the project if it is implemented and suggested that it be done by a broad group of independent researchers from around the world.

Malaysian Nature Society president Datuk Dr Salleh Mohd Nor said it would be dangerous "to release these GMOs into the wild with the hope that it would do the things it should do".

He said although scientists should not be stopped from carrying out trials and pioneering new technologies for the benefit of mankind, they should approach it with caution. "I'm concerned that releasing it into the wild without thoroughly understanding its implications may affect the ecology and cause other diseases to be transmitted."

Salleh also questioned whether the country was legally protected in the event something goes wrong with these field trials.

"These issues have not been raised. We need adequate laws to ensure there is a mechanism in place to protect the country under such circumstances."

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Open Letter to Dove

Dear friends,

Your campaign to save Indonesia's rainforests, the climate and the orang-utans that live there, starts here. Watch video below.

The palm oil industry is the problem.

We've made maps, videos and reports to identify the emergency facing the forests. Now we're turning to the company who needs to help stop the destruction: Unilever, the huge multinational corporation behind Dove soap and other household brands containing palm oil.

Unilever buys its palm oil from suppliers who destroy Indonesia's rainforests for their palm plantations, leading to further climate change and killing orang-utans and other endangered species in the process. By their own admission, Unilever is the biggest single user of palm oil in the world, which is why they can't wash their hands now of this problem. We mustn't let them.
A truly responsible company would not buy from suppliers who trash forests. But Unilever needs to be moved into action, which is what the international Dove campaign is about.

To sign the open letter to Dove link here:

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day - 22nd April

I am not sure it is a happy Happy Earth Day or not.
Environment has been fighting a losing war.
Earth is bleeding.
Water pollution continuing.
World travel increases air pollution.
Land exploited.
Logging & Mining without control.
Scarcity of water.
Global warming.
Population explosion at uncontrollable rate.
Food supply decreasing.
So much glooming news and you are HAPPY to celebrate?
Anyway since everyone is so happy about Happy Earth Day today, I might as well join in the "fun".
and don't forget to take care of our EARTH
we have only ONE earth!

Mulu park to stay untouched

Mulu park to stay untouched? I just couldn't believe it. I can only presume that there are not enough profitable timber to harvest or there are still logging in out part of Sarawak so much so that logging (and therefore building a road) is not yet needed at Mulu.
Time will tell whether the government is sincere.

Monday April 21, 2008
The Mulu National Park will be preserved in its pristine condition for future generations, said Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

He said it was for this reason that the Government had decided against constructing a road to the world heritage site from the northern part of the state.

The park, which has four show caves, is only accessible by air from Miri or by river.

“Mulu is doing very well. We hope that it will be handed down to our younger generations in the same pristine condition,” added Taib during a state banquet in honour of visiting Prince Albert II of Monaco at the state assembly building on Saturday.

Head of State Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin and his consort Datuk Patinggi Norkiah, Taib’s wife Datuk Amar Laila Taib and state ministers were among those present.

Prince Albert toured the Mulu National Park and launched the Mulu Batcam in the Deer Cave during his visit there yesterday.

Taib said the state government had dedicated 6.5 million hectares as permanent forest, and another two million hectares as national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and water catchments.
In the cities and towns, he said the authorities had preserved areas as green lungs.

In his speech, Prince Albert commended Sarawak for its commitment to preserve and conserve nature.

“In Monaco, we also share this obligation to protect the planet so that the children of tomorrow can live in a protected environment,” he added.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Berawans' Struggle in Mulu Paradise Continues

Maybe we should boycott Royal Mulu Resort. The next time you visit Mulu National Park, please stay at the National Park instead.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008
By Willie Kajan

Fighting an increasingly difficult battle, the Berawan struggle on in defense of native customary rights to their ancestral land that has now been alienated for development of the tourism industry. For the past few years, the community leaders have been trying to address the issue with the authority but nothing has come into effect.

In year 1993, the Sarawak Government intensified its publicity campaign against this group of indigenous people. The state ministers and their deputies openly criticized the Berawan as greedy people and refused to meet them. They claimed that the development of the tourism industry in Mulu is for the benefit of the people and the state.

The Chief Minister of Sarawak Abdul Taib Mahmud was quoted by the newspapers as saying that the state government will not hold any meeting with the Berawan. He stated that the Berawan do not have any proof of their Native Customary Right claim to the land in Mulu and the government is not going to entertain these greedy people.

Judging from the official statistics, it could not be disputed that tourism sector has fast becoming a main foreign revenue earner to the country. However, we have doubts with the real gains considering that in this case of the Royal Mulu Resort, the indigenous communities are victimized and exploited.

The Superintendent of Land and Survey approached the landowner Tama Lian Mallang, who has ancestral land rights, in 1975. The Superintendent told him that the government wanted to acquire his land for the building of the Mulu National Park Headquarters. When his land was surveyed, it was 19.9 acres. The Superintendent informed him that the value per acre was RM80.00 and the authority took 3 years to award the compensation to the landowner.
Instead of building the Mulu National Park headquarters, the authority alienated this pieces of land to private company to build the Royal Mulu Resort costing RM60 million in 1991. The Royal Mulu Resort started operating at the beginning of year 1993.

Our investigations further revealed that it is the Chief Minister of Sarawak Abdul Taib Mahmud’s family that will benefit more from this tourist resort project.

This company was given a provisional land lease on May 13th 1993 to an area measuring approximately 243 acres for the proposed second phrase of the Royal Mulu Resort and other property development purposes by the state Land and Survey Department. The name of the company is Borsarmulu Resort Sendirian Berhad (Sdn. Bhd. means Private Limited Company).

Monday, April 14, 2008

98 pangolins seized in raid

I hope this time they do not release the pangolins on an island. Several years ago, there was a case when a few hundred of pangolins were released onto Pulau Singa in Langkawi. Ants and termites colonies were limited and eventually many pangolins died. Beside, rare termites were destroyed too.

Monday April 14, 2008

PENANG: Ninety-eight pangolins were seized from a storehouse in Kampung Kubang Menerung, Kepala Batas early Monday.

State Operation Enforcement Unit Leader Khairul Nizam Yahaya said three people were arrested in the raid which followed two weeks of surveillance by State Wildlife and National Parks Department officers.

"All 98 pangolins have been found alive and appear to be in good condition and we believe they were meant to be smuggled out of the country," Khairul Nizam said.

He added that the department was unsure of which country the pangolins were destined for but estimated their value to be around RM50,000.

"Pangolins are quite popular as exotic food in outside countries and their scales are said to have medicinal values.

"If caught, pangolins can be sold to local suppliers for about RM130 a kilo," Khairul Nizam said, adding that suppliers could then fetch a much higher price selling the animals overseas.
Seven officers participated in the raid that occurred around 3am.

Khairul Nizam said the windscreen of the department's four-wheel drive was smashed after a man believed to be part of the smuggling syndicate, threw a large stone at the vehicle as it was exiting the village after the raid.

No one was injured in the attack and a police report had been lodged at the Bukit Mertajam police station.

The three men arrested have been released on bail.

Pangolins are a protected species under the Wild Life Act and possession of the animal carries a fine of not more than RM5,000 and/ or jail time of not more than three years.

All pangolins seized will be released into protected enclosures such as conservations centres, zoos and other suitable habitats, Khairul Nizam said.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Caged sunbear dies

Incompetent Wildlife Officer should be sacked. He has the gut to say "We have been investigating this case for a long time following complaint..."
Why no action? Could it be "Under table and corruption?"

Tuesday April 8, 2008

MIRI: An endangered sunbear locked up for months inside a small iron cage, and used as a showpiece to attract visitors at a private farm along the Miri-Bintulu Second Coastal Highway, has died from neglect.

The sunbear, a protected species, died after its owner had hidden it inside an isolated forest away from public view following complaints from a group of expatriates who were disgusted with the manner the creature was treated.

A worker of the farm, located at Jalan Bakam, next to the National Service Training Camp, confirmed Tuesday that the sunbear recently died.

"The sunbear was taken to an isolated area and was continuously kept inside the cage. It was placed near a forested section of the farm. It died recently inside the cage," said a worker who spoke on condition that his identity was not disclosed.

Miri Wildlife Department enforcement chief Abang Arabi Abang Imran, when asked to comment Tuesday, also confirmed that he had sent his enforcement officers to the site and found that the sunbear was missing and that the owners could not give any satisfactory explanation on what had happened to the animal.

"We will find out what happened to the sunbear. We have been investigating this case for a long time following complaints lodged by foreigners who had visited the farm," he said.
The Star on August 11 last year, highlighted this case after being approached by South African expatriate Tweet Gainsborough whose husband was working for an oil and gas giant here in Miri.

Arabi, when asked Tuesday why it took six months for his department to investigate this case, said, "I had instructed my enforcement people to handle the case immediately after I received the complaints. I must open the case file and find out what had transpired and why the bear was not rescued," he said.

Arabi confirmed that the sunbear is a protected species, and that the private farm did not have any permit to keep the animal.

Climate change 'linked to rise in disease outbreak'

NST Online
By : Annie Freeda Cruez

KUALA LUMPUR: A heat wave in 1998 caused the average daily death rate in Shanghai to rise three-fold; another heat wave in Tokyo in 2004 caused a three-fold increase in the number of hospital admissions; the rise in average temperature from 1978 to 1998 caused dengue cases in Singapore to rise by more than 10 fold.

Climate change and variability is linked to the death of more than 150,000 annually -- from malaria, diarrhoea and malnutrition. Half of these deaths occur in Asia. Despite these alarming World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, none of the 180 countries that attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia, last year, indicated plans for the development of a policy to tackle problems posed by climate change, except Malaysia.

WHO representative for Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore Dr Han Tieru said as such, Malaysia could take the lead role in developing a National Climate Change Policy and National Environmental Health Strategic Plan for countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

In making this call in conjunction with World Health Day, Dr Tieru said: "We are aware that Malaysia is developing a comprehensive National Climate Change Policy and is in the process of drafting the National Environmental Health Strategic Plan."

Dr Tieru also said Malaysia had a good health infrastructure to handle crisis, emergencies and outbreaks.He said Malaysia should also conduct studies and compile statistics on climate change and its impact on people's health and lives.

Dr Tieru said Malaysia was seeing the impact of climate change on its citizens, especially the rise in cases of disease-carrying mos-quitoes and other illnesses due to floods.He said this year's World Health Day aimed to raise awareness and public understanding of the consequences of climate change.

The theme "Protecting health from climate change", he said, was designed to put health at the centre of government policies on global warming while encouraging individuals to take action to limit greenhouse gases.

"Many of the projected impacts on health are avoidable or controlled through well-known and tested public health interventions such as immunisation, disease surveillance, mosquito control and disaster preparedness."

He also said Malaysia's move to put graphic health warnings on cigarette packs should be emulated.

Monday, April 07, 2008

222 endangered lizards rescued

Just can't understand how on earth that, "The six-man team had arrived at the plantation on Thursday and were monitoring the area before carrying out their operation on Saturday night". Three Days of monitoring but "NO ARRESTS were made"!
Can you imagine how efficient our wildlife custodians?

By : T.N. Alagesh

MARAN: A total of 222 endangered clouded monitor lizards (biawak tikus), believed to be destined for the cooking pots in exotic meat restaurants overseas, were rescued at Seri Jaya here on Saturday.

The 8pm seizure at a palm oil plantation here was carried out by enforcement officers of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan), led by district Perhilitan chief Sharil Apindi Ahmad.

The six-man team had arrived at the plantation on Thursday and were monitoring the area before carrying out their operation on Saturday night.

It is learnt that the lizards would usually be held captive in the plantation, which acted as a stop-over spot, for several days before being sent overseas.

State Perhilitan director Saharudin Anan said early investigations revealed that the lizards were obtained from the Orang Asli who lived nearby and Indonesians who worked in the plantation.

"They sell the lizards to a middle-man for between RM3 and RM5 a kilogramme.

"The lizards are usually high in demand. They are considered a delicacy and also believed to heal several illnesses," he told the New Straits Times.

This was the second biggest haul by the state Perhilitan after they seized 5,400 lizards of the same species two years ago at the Batu Tiga jetty near here.

It was reported that the lizards were meant to be sold in Hong Kong.

Saharudin said Perhilitan had never issued a licence to hunt the clouded monitor lizard as it was categorised as an endangered lizard along with the Harlequin monitor lizard (biawak serunai) and Dumeril's monitor lizard (biawak kudung).

"We only issue licences to hunt water monitor lizards (biawak air)," he said.

No arrests were made in the raid as those responsible for capturing the lizards were believed to have made their escape.

Perhilitan, however, will despatch its enforcement officers to patrol the area more often to nab the culprits.

Those caught can be charged under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 which carries a fine of not more than RM5,000 or three years in prison, or both.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Dirty car deals, climate destruction on wheels

Dear friends,

This is really important, can you please take two minutes to sign the cars petition and send this email to your network of friends?

The heads of France and Germany are about to conclude a bilateral deal, which threatens to water down (already weak!) European legislation tackling CO2 emissions from cars. We've made a petition for the European Council's current President, demanding that he and other heads of state stand up for the climate.

Petition to European Council President Janez Janša:

We call on the European Council to take a firm stand against any efforts by Germany and France to undermine the EU process to tackle CO2 emissions from cars. The EU must match its words on climate change with action.

Defend the objective of 120 grams of CO2 per km in 2012 accompanied by strong penalties, and an objective of 80 grams of CO2 per km in 2020.

Don’t let Germany and France get away with their dirty deals.

Sign the petition

Friday, April 04, 2008

Dying To Be Rescued

Scenes of starvation and death greeted tourists who signed up for horse riding on the beach while enjoying their holiday in Sabah, Malaysia.

The tourists had visited the Melinsung ranch located 20 mins South of Kota Kinabalu to sign up for the activity. What they found left them sickened. Starving and weak horses, some unable to stand, were kept in dirty paddocks and stables in and around the ranch. The horses had skin diseases, open wounds and infected sores, and there were reports of many dead and dying horses.

The tourists reported the distressing scenes to the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) in June 2007. Photos of the sick animals, posted on a forum in New Zealand, also reached WSPA, which quickly contacted its member society, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), Selangor, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to pressure the authorities to do something about the situation.

The SPCA reported the problem to the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) in Sabah through the central DVS in Kuala Lumpur. The DVS enforces Malaysia’s animal protection law, and visited the horrific site in June 2007 (and a follow up visit January 2008), and decided it would simply monitor the case and work with the owner to improve the conditions of the horses. The owner of the Ranch is Datuk Abdul Ghani Rashid, ex-Mayor of Kota Kinabalu. When the DVS visited the ranch in June there were 70 horses. Now latest reports from SPCA Representative Sue Quek, state that “There are only around 30 left and animals are still suffering and dying.”

The SPCA was hoping the horses would be confiscated, and offered its help. But now SPCA officers say they’re devastated nothing appears to have been done, and the animals were apparently being offered for sale.

“SPCA has urged DVS Sabah to act quickly to alleviate the suffering of the pitiful horses and push for prosecution,” says Christine Chin, SPCA Selangor Chairman.

Sue Quek said: "The DVS has the power to confiscate animals from owners and to prosecute for animal cruelty under the CRUELTY TO ANIMALS (PREVENTION) ORDINANCE (Sabah Cap.31) 1968 law that says it is an offence to cause 'unnecessary suffering' to animals. In July 2007, the SPCA stood by with resources and skills to save these horses and rehabilitate them and send them on to loving caring homes. But our offer was not taken up."

“We heard in January 2008 that the horses were in a worse condition, more were dead and others that couldn’t stand were being sold for meat. We believe the DVS provided feed for the horses but it appears very little improvement in their condition has been achieved,” says Dawn Peacock, Member Society Manager for WSPA.

“We have heard that DVS Putrajaya visited the ranch recently and that DVS Sabah are in the process of removing the horses, but we have not received official confirmation from them. We hope that DVS Sabah will act to confiscate the remaining horses quickly, to prevent more horses from suffering and death – any more delays in action would result in a tragic loss of innocent lives. We certainly hope that DVS will prosecute the owner of the Ranch for causing unnecessary suffering.” continues Quek.

This case once again highlights the SPCA’s campaign to increase the penalty for persons found guilty of animal cruelty. The Animals Act 1953 states that a person guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animals will be fined RM200.00 or sent to prison for six months or both.
“A fine of RM 200, whilst princely in the 1950’s when the law was introduced, is paltry by today’s standards and is not a deterrent, even if it was charged for each animal in a case such as this. We have been lobbying the Government to increase the fine and jail sentence, and also impose lifetime-bans on pet ownership for persons found guilty of animal abuse,” Chin added.
"When people are cruel to animals they will be cruel to one another"- Herbert N. Casson
Source: http: //

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Indigenous peoples hardest hit by climate change

Malaysia Sun
Thursday 3rd April, 2008

Washington, April 3 : Indigenous people have suffered the worst impacts of climate change, despite contributing the least to world greenhouse gas emissions. According to organizers of a United Nations University co-hosted meeting in Darwin, Australia, indigenous people have also suffered from some of the international mitigation measures being taken.

Some of the impacts of climate change on indigenous people worldwide include:

In tropical and sub-tropical areas, an increase in diseases associated with higher temperatures and vector-borne and water-borne diseases like cholera, malaria and dengue fever;

Worsening drought conditions and desertification, leading to more forest fires that disrupt subsistence agriculture, hunting and gathering livelihoods, as well as serious biodiversity loss;

Distinct changes in the seasonal appearance of birds, the blooming of flowers, etc. These now occur earlier or are decoupled from the customary season or weather patterns;

In arid and semi-arid lands: excessive rainfall and prolonged droughts, resulting in dust storms that damage grasslands, seedlings, other crops and livestock;

In the Arctic, stronger waves, thawing permafrost and melting mountain glaciers and sea-ice, bringing coastal and riverbank erosion; Smaller animal populations and the introduction of new marine species due to changing animal travel and migration routes;

In Boreal Forests, new types of insects and longer-living endemic insects (e.g. spruce beetles) that destroy trees and other vegetation;

In coastal regions and small-island states, erosion, stronger hurricanes and typhoons, leading to the loss of freshwater supplies, land, mangrove forests and dislocation (environmental refugees); Increasing food insecurity due to declining fish populations and coral bleaching;

Crop damaging pest infestations (e.g. locusts, rats, spruce beetles, etc.), and increasing food costs due to competition with the demand for biofuels;

Extreme and unprecedented cold spells resulting in health problems (e.g. hypothermia, bronchitis, and pneumonia, especially for the old and young). As well, indigenous people point to an increase in human rights violations, displacements and conflicts due to expropriation of ancestral lands and forests for biofuel plantations (soya, sugar-cane, jatropha, oil-palm, corn, etc.), as well as for carbon sink and renewable energy projects (hydropower dams, geothermal plants), without the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous people.

Specific instances of indigenous people being harmed by climate change mitigation measures include the case of such people in Malaysia and Indonesia, who have been uprooted by the aggressive expansion of oil palm plantations for biofuel production. Likewise, nuclear waste sites and hydroelectric dam-building displace indigenous peoples from their ancestral territories.

According to UNU-IAS Director A.H. Zakri, "They have not benefited, in any significant manner, from climate change-related funding, whether for adaptation and mitigation, nor from emissions trading schemes."

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Man Plays God

Go to any pet shop and you could see many exotic animals from all over the world. Maklumlah this is what we now called globalization. Many pets need license but with the corruption index at the highest, many of them can be imported without much problem.
Small and cute when they are small, these little "pets" will eventually outgrow the cages and later released into the wild. As the number increases in the wild, these "pets" will eat up the local fauna & flora and affecting the ecosystem. And now Man is playing God - this one is in Australia. Let us hope that this could be the lesson for us NOT to keep exotic pets. They are best left in the wild, right?
Read the story below:

Star Online
Wednesday April 2, 2008

Australian politician proposes designated day to hunt, euthanize toxic toads

BRISBANE, Australia (AP): An Australian politician wants to designate a special day for residents and their children to hunt and kill what he calls one of the world's most disgusting creatures: the poisonous cane toad.

The toads were imported from South America to Australia's northeastern state of Queensland in 1935 in a failed attempt to control beetles on sugar cane plantations, and they now threaten many local species.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has said it backs the plan by state lawmaker Shane Knuth to launch "Toad Day Out,'' but only if the creatures are killed in a humane way, such as euthanizing them in a freezer.

"Obviously we're not idiots. We understand a lot people will be highly reluctant to fill their fridges and freezers with dying cane toads, but at the moment that is the only humane way that we can recommend,'' said Michael Beatty, the society's spokesman.

Knuth said Wednesday that he wanted "a special day that Queenslanders, especially children, could all play their part,'' similar to days set aside to clean up garbage.

"The toad is probably the greatest environmental vermin and probably the most disgusting creature known to man,'' Knuth said Wednesday.

Queensland's Department of Primary Industries said it was important that native frogs are not mistaken for toads during any hunt.

Knuth has long campaigned against the pests. Last year he suggested a bounty of 40 cents (US$0.36; euro0.23) per toad.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Proper water management vital, says Raja Nazrin

Star Online
Tuesday April 1, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: Global competition and even conflicts in water usage are likely to occur if proper water resource management is not carried out immediately, the Regent of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah said.

He said the world's population was expected to increase by 30% in 2025, and the pressure of fresh water for human consumption would become more critical.

The prince said some 1.2 billion people were now without access to safe drinking water and half of the world's population lacked adequate water purification systems while some 2.4 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation, posimg contamination to water resources.

Raja Nazrin said a growing population coupled with the fast pace of socio-economic and industrial development, especially over the last three decades, hadimposed greater demands on water supply.

He added rapid urbanisation, industrial and intensive agricultural activities and widespread land development had collectively contributed to extensive water quality deterioration, loss or reduction of catchment areas and flooding.

"Malaysians are seemingly spoilt living in a country rich in resources and abundant with water. However, with weather conditions changing rapidly as a result of global warming, we might find ourselves in such a position in the not too distant future.

"Therefore, it is vital that we put in place comprehensive policies that are effectively implemented to ensure that we will never be in a situation where this basic commodity to survival is not available," he said when opening of the Fifth Asiawater Expo and Forum 2008 at the KL Convention Centre here Tuesday.

The international event showcases water and wastewater industry products from 535 exhibitors from 34 countries.

Raja Nazrin said Malaysia recently adopted the integrated water resources management concept in its management of its water resources as outlined in the Third Outline Perspective Plan and the subsequent Eighth and Ninth Malaysia Plans.

"While innovative technologies will be required to ensure effective and efficient water supply, water demand and water quality systems, the success of these holistic management initiatives requires the support and participation of all stakeholders both from the public and private sectors including the NGOs," he added.

Raja Nazrin called on the expo participants to provide practical solutions to improve the efficiency of water usage, reduction of wastage and propose technologies and management practices that could stretch scarce water supplies much further.

Sabah rethinks coal power plant

Star Online
Tuesday April 1, 2008

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government is having second thoughts over a RM1.3bil controversial coal fired power plant in Silam in the state's east coast.

Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman said Tuesday that the Cabinet will discuss the proposed 300-megawatt coal plant at its meeting here Wednesday.

He was referring the power plant project to the Cabinet in the wake of opposition from environmentalists and other concerned groups who fear that the pristine nature of the renowned Danum Valley and Darvel Bay would be polluted by it.

"Hopefully we will come to a decision so as to advise the parties concerned whether to go ahead with it. This is important given all the complaints we have received," he said Tuesday.

Earlier Musa witnessed the signing of a credit arrangement scheme between state-owned Sabah Development Bank Bhd, CIMB Investment Bank Bhd and AmInvestment Bank Bhd totalling more than RM1bil.

The power plant proposed to be sited at the abandoned 128.7ha seafront Pacific Hardwood integrated timber complex is a joint venture between Tenaga Nasional and Yayasan Sabah, which have formed Lahad Datu Energy Sdn Bhd.

On Monday, Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd with Lahad Datu Energy Sdn Bhd issued a notice seeking public comment on the project's detailed environmental impact assessment (EIA) report.

In asking for the written comments on the report, the Department of Environment stated that the public could review the EIA report of Ecotone Environmental Management Sdn Bhd from March 31 until April 30 and forward opinions to the department before May 15.

Villagers and the business community in the Lahad Datu district as well as the Sabah Environment Action Committee (EAC) have been opposing the project since it came to their knowledge in 2006.

The EAC's Lahad Datu chairman Wong Tack said the coal plant project was an unnecessary risk. He added that there had been worldwide opposition to coal plants due to various concerns over emissions such as sulphur dioxide causing acid rain, soot particles causing poor visibility and respiratory problems and carbon dioxide contributing to global warming.

Wong said despite arguments that modern coal-fuelled power plants were cleaner than those a generation ago, the group felt there was however no environmental agency capable of enforcing mitigating measures.

He said alternative sources of power generation should be considered due to Sabah's abundance of natural gas, rivers, wind and oil palm waste.

Wong said power from the mammoth Bakun dam in Sarawak could also be tapped for enterprises within Lahad Datu's palm oil industrial cluster (POIC).