Image scan by Lee Ping Kong
Mandarin-English translation by Tou Jing Yi
Title: Malaysian Nature Society’s environment protection contribution and urges the public to protect natural heritage sites
“MNS has a history of 70 years. Their duty is to protect nature, natural resources; to immerse into the people, academic institutions; and with realistic means to allow every party to carry out their responsibility to protect the environment.”
Perak has an extensive amount of tropical rainforests. However, due to development, wildlife in the forest is decreasing day by day. As some of this rare species are disappearing, MNS acts as a frontline army fighting for environmental protection, creating awareness on the public to protect the environment and the importance of conserving the wildlife.
MNS has a history of 70 years and has branches all states in the country. Perak branch itself has been running for 40 years, having 167 members today.
The duty of MNS is to protect nature, natural resources; to immerse into the people, academic institutions; and with realistic means to allow every party to carry out their responsibility to protect the environment.
Conserving Endangered Species
Leow Kon Fah and Lee Ping Kong, the president and vice president for MNS Perak tells “Nan Yang Siang Pau” that the society will focus its strength and effort on environmental protection.
Lee says, once the natural environment is lost, recovery is impossible. One good example is the Ipoh’s surrounding limestone hills. There are numerous beautiful limestone hills and some contain drawings by prehistoric men. Animal fossils found also tell us the limestone hills were originally under the sea millions of years ago. However, without safeguarding, its natural heritage and historical value are slowly fading away.
He says, other that these natural heritage sites, the society is also very concerned with wildlife conservation, especially those that are endangered. MNS run some environmental protection programs to help wildlife regain their natural habitats.
“We hope that through research work we conducted, the government will understand the importance of conserving all these natural heritage sites and we could work together in protecting Mother Nature.”
MNS is currently conducting a research project on hornbills. This project involves recording numbers of hornbills observed in respective locations around Perak from time to time to detect whether their habitats are disturbed.
He says, from the number of the birds, it is easy to tell if the certain forest is retaining its original ecosystem.
Into the Campus
To protect the environment, the effort of a small group of people is not enough. The society has to rope in societies and schools in order to run environmental projects.
Recently, MNS have participated in Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), Kampar, workgroup in wetland conservation and promoting eco-friendly campus. He says the university has a natural lake that hosts herons and other wildlife. However, due to the development, natural habitat has degraded.
He says the society wishes to educate the different departments in the university, including lecturers, architects and students on ways to “carbon neutralize” the campus via the greening projects.
He says the society would not only aim at theoretical education but also hands-on practices. Planting the right types of trees for landscaping and wetland plants will also be included in the project.
“We will teach the students how to observe and count the birds on a daily basis”. He says any interested academic institutions can contact the society and request for assistance.
Experiential learning for students
He says through participative projects, students can experience environment protection. This will teach them not to dispose rubbish and waste everywhere and also to pass this message on.
He says school-based Kelab Pencinta Alam mooted by MNS has 15 schools in Perak. For example, students are taught to be gardeners and they are assigned to carry out works such as planting, watering, pruning as well as removing weeds.