Friday, September 13, 2013


I know mangrove is a tree that people use for charcoal and also construction. In my previous entry I already mention that I did not know so much about mangrove. So, mangrove for me is only a tree. At this new place, the operational site has lots of mangroves. This makes me realize that I have to polish my knowledge and get the answer “What is MANGROVE?”.

I Google it up and found many interesting articles and information about mangroves. When I was asked by my friend to produce one poster on conservation, straight away I told her, “I want to make a poster about Mangrove Conservation”. So, this is the poster. I am quite happy with this poster because it provides information about mangroves, what we do and what we have inside this forest besides the mangrove tree species.
The Poster!
Let’s me extract some of the information from this poster.

What is Mangrove Forests? 
● Mangrove forests consist of diverse, salt-tolerant tree and other plant species, ranging from small shrubs to tall trees tens of meters high.
● Mangrove trees have various adaptations that allow them to live in saline, tidal areas. Their dense root systems give support in the soft, water-logged sediment. In most species, the roots protrude above the soil to absorb oxygen from the air, as the sediment is oxygen-poor.
● The most extensive area of mangroves is found in Asia, followed by Africa and South America. According to the FAO, the total mangrove area is around 150,000 km2. In Malaysia, mangrove vegetation covers an area of about 577,500 ha, with Sabah having the most extensive coverage of mangroves, accounting for 59% or 341,000 ha of the country’s total whereas, Sarawak has 132,000 ha (23%) and Peninsular Malaysia 104,200 ha (18%). Sabah’s mangrove forests occur largely along the east coast, facing the Sulu and Sulawesi seas.
The Importance of Mangrove Ecosystem: 
● Mangroves are valued for the protection they provide against coastal erosion, flood control, water purification, habitat for all sorts of marine life and also for their biodiversity conservation function. 
● It is considered the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal life. 
● The important habitat for wildlife such as mammals (primates), birds (kingfishers, herons), insects (firefly), crustaceans (crabs, shrimps) and reptiles (crocodiles, lizards). 
● The mangrove forests provide natural resources in term of income generation for the fisherman community.
The local fisherman collecting mud crabs.
As a conclusion, before I start to do something I must understand them first. To get the understanding I need to put a big effort in it. This is my 3rd month and I don’t think I know that much yet. There are lots more to be done in order to make a huge impact in conserving this type of ecosystem and realizing that the local communities also play a major role, they are inside the circle as well.

The question now is, HOW? WHO? and WHEN?

Till then! Cheers!

Ng, P. K. L & Sivasothi, N. 2001. A Guide to Mangroves of Singapore. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, The National University of Singapore & The Singapore Science Centre. 
Sabah Forestry Department. 2008. Mangrove Forest Management and Restoration, In Annual Report 2008.

Monday, September 9, 2013

#1 ~ The Mangrove Adventure Begins

I came from a village that river is the main transportation. It is located along the Igan River. I put quite a few entries about my village when i start this blog and you can find it by click to this link:
Part 1: My Childhood (mind my grammar in that entry because the main reason creating this blog during that time was "to improve my poor English")
Frustration on Rajang River Disaster (you will find a few links in this entry and i am sure this entry will remind you of the 2010 tragedy in Rajang River). 
So, what i want to share is that, there is a mangroves in my village. This including a few species of mangrove trees such as Nypa fruticans, Bruguiera sp and also Sonneratia sp in my village. Then, when i get an offer from this new company that i am working now, i was excited when i was told to be working in the mangrove. Even though i will be far away from home, miles away, but i will feel like i am at HOME. Why? Because i will be in the mangroves. Sounds crazy to you? Maybe i am am.

So, my first visit to this mangrove forest was way back on 10th of July 2013. We went there through the sea and i found it, this mangrove is SPECIAL and INTERESTING to be explored. To be honest, i don't have any clue of the mangrove species and what else inside there. This become more exciting when i know that i will learn something new here and new findings not like up on the MOUNTAIN. (^___^). Well, it's very warm here compare to the mountain. 

This entry is only my introduction. I will share more after this. It's good to make you wonder, what i found right? I leave you with these photos, till then!

The river mouth, into the mangrove area from sea.

The Rhizhopora forest. Observed the roots!!! AMAZING right?!!

Ignore my chubbiness, just look at what i have in my hands. Its Horseshoe crab, Tachypleus tridentatus.!!! 

 Till then guys! Enjoy!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Another New Job!

I never satisfied with my job. Why? Because i keep wanted to do more related with NATURE. Is money everything? Well, to keep myself having food to eat and other basic needs, i will said, i need money. But, money is not everything. I still believe doing something that i can put my heart in it and i feel joy inside my heart, then that is what i suppose to do.

This year is a crazy year! Really tough one and lots of decisions that i have to make especially on jobs and what i want to do next? I risk my future many times and some friend says, i don't have focus in my life. It did makes me feel like, "What is wrong with me?"... Oh well! I choose what i can do BEST! God given me this life and must be He give me some gifts and talents to fulfill His will and this is it! NATURE - animals, plants, waters, soils etc .... Must be i am good in doing work related to this huh? Besides, deep in my heart i LOVE doing it!

I will keep exploring the forest and keep sharing my findings with the world. I am lucky because i have this opportunity and some are not. Why keep it for myself because SHARING is better.

Till my next adventure in the MANGROVE! You will love it as much as i am! SMILE because the nature smiles with you. Ha ha ha ha... (Kadang-kadang sya suka juga merapu-rapu)...

Ouch!!! I am really small. *PEACE*

Friday, September 6, 2013

#3 ~ Conquered the Mountain

Well, it has been a while. You wanna be mad? Be mad at me. I am very lazy to write. Lazy to think and lazy of everything about blogging these past few months. Why? Because i am just being LAZY. Lol. Okay. I think this is just the old entry that i suppose to finish it up a few months back. Anyway, let me get it straight to the end of the story and skip the middle part. There is three most exciting experienced when i was up on this mountain and joining this project.
  1. Being able to learn from the experts while make a good friend with them. Well, they are nice people to be friend to. Different culture and background doesn't really matters when we have the same passion. NICE!
  2. Enjoying the amazing and superb scenery of the mountain, from different angle and view its always majestic. Animals and plants also makes me feel this is the real wonders of God creation! 
  3. Meet new friends and making many many friends during the hikes and stay up on the mountain. Its is valuable experienced because Sabahan people is soooo nice and friendly until i made many friends there. I miss them! But the not so good one, i forgot to take photo with them so i can show it to you here.
Okay. That is the conclusion of this trip on conquering the mountain. On the 17th of March, we made it to the top of the mountain before we return to the Kinabalu Park HQ. It is just one of my wish to climb up once again after my first time in September 2000. So, i made it! Enjoy my photos going up to the mountain and some works that we have done up there. Enjoy!!!!

Getting ready to climb up. I am proud that i can bring up
my own backpack. Whoa... it's heavy!
During our stay at Km 4 or Layang-Layang Hut, we met researcher from Japan, Ms. Ayako and her supervisor. She is "Kawaiii"... (^___^)
One of the wild berry that we used to eat after taking our meal.. Its sour but yet delicious.
Myself and our catch at KM2. Sunny but yet still feel the cold!
The mountain guide aka porter to carry our heavy equipment, 120kg up to KM6 or Laban Rata. 
The mesmerizing sunrise up on the Low's Peak. 17th March morning, we made it!
Missy and I up on the top of the Mount Kinabalu!!!!.... 
With Richell, the ranger of Mount Kinabalu. We collecting rubbish on our way down.
Hoooray!!!!! We made it! With the South Peak as our background!
Contractors, Apis & Guntur. Friends that i made during our stay at KM6 at Maragang Hut. 
Before i end this entry. Enjoy the bonsai like tree on the way to Mountain Torq trail. 
 Till then!!! I have more adventures to share! just be patient and keep visiting me here. Cheers!!!!!!!..... 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


The plans to open one of only few nesting sites of the endangered Green Sea Turtle to industrial development severely threatens this protected species.

ONLY six hatching sites of this beautiful species exist on Peninsular Malaysia, and only eight in whole Malaysia.

Now, the plans were signed by the local government to open a steel mill and gas plant on over 265 ha of this undisturbed nature site.

The construction work will begin in a few months, maybe even weeks!

The number of landing turtles on our beach already decreased from 211 individuals per year in 1993 to 65 in 2006, and it's even less now; although the Malaysian government promised to protect this species!
The necessary infrastructure for both projects also harms the surrounding Virgin Jungle Reserve. Parts of it were given free for logging. The reserve hosts many endemic and unique plant and animal species, like the critically endangered Dipterocarp tree Shorea lumutensis or the pangolin.

Not only the nature is under threat, also the locals depending on fisheries and tourism will lose much of their income and the toxic emissions from the plants will cause acid rainand health problems!

Just last year the Brazilian mining company Vale took one major area of pristine virgin jungle at the nearby Teluk Rubiah, Manjung, to put up their steel factory that will produce the steel pellets destined to be processed at our beach. The forest and coast is destroyed now and cannot be brought back! 

Outcries by the public and local NGOs reached nothing to prevent those plans.

WE MUST stop the cruel destruction of Malaysia's beautiful habitats now! 

Please help save this sensitive and unique ecosystem from destruction and spread the word.

Help us reach 100.000 and deliver this petition to the decision makers to show them that their peoples care about more than just money!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

#2 ~ The Research Project

What is actually bringing me up on this mountain? Well, allow me to introduce you to a special person that asking me to join her trip. I get to know a very nice lady and she is a great person, Missy Roberts. She is doing her PhD on genetic study with small mammals as her target species mainly treeshrews and squirrels. To be more specific, she is studying the altitudinal difference within a species on Mount Kinabalu and Mount Tambuyukon, Sabah. I met her for the first time during her first visit to Sabah with her supervisor Dr. Jenn during my tenure at Forest Solutions Malaysia S/B (FSM) at Kota Marudu. Getting to know people with same interest and same passion is a blessing to me. Why? Because I can talk anything and share everything about what we think and what we do in the forest.

After quit my job at FSM, I take a break for about two weeks before I join in her research project. Missy and her friend Miguel arrived in Sabah on 19th Feb and stay at Kota Kinabalu for two days before head off to Kinabalu Park at Kundasang on 21st Feb. Missy and I will set a traps at Mount Kinabalu, meanwhile her friend, Miguel with his technician will set up a traps at Mount Tambuyukon at Monggis, another 3 hours drive from Kundasang.

The Tomahawk & Sherman Traps that we use.

This is how we place the traps; under fallen log, on fallen log, beside streams etc etc. 

We will use two different types of traps known as Tomahawk (60 units) and Sherman trap (20 units), so total traps are 80 traps. Since this is the altitudinal study, we will set traps at different altitude across the height of this mountain. 1st altitude at 1,700m a.s.l at Kinabalu Park (KP) headquarters, 2,200m a.s.l at KM2, 2,700m a.s.l at KM4 and 3,200m a.s.l at KM6.

So this is a little bit info about the research which I may not share the details here. I will tell you more stories about my experience when I am up on the mountain in my next post. Stay Tune! Till then!

Friday, May 17, 2013

#1 – Conquering Mount Kinabalu the Series

It has been a while I am not writing anything in this blog. I traveled a lot these past few months and doing so many interesting adventures with nature. I love what I am doing even though it’s did not give me a good return in term of salary but the exposure and learning experience is priceless.

Photo taken in front of the Kinabalu Park Office

Mount Kinabalu…. Did you ever heard about it yet? If not, then allow me to bring you walking through my journey up on the mountain started from 21st February until 19th March 2013.

Let’s talk about the mountain first because I really want you guys out there to be familiar with this mountain before I continue with my whole journey.

Mount Kinabalu located on the Borneo Island, the third largest island in the world. The Borneo Island comprise of three different countries, Indonesia (Kalimantan), Brunei and Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak). On which land of these three countries is this mountain located? Well, it’s located in Sabah, Malaysia which is also known as the Land Below the Wind. There is 13 peaks of this mountain (which I already forget the names most of it and I apologize for that) with the Low’s Peak is the highest peak with 4, 095 m above sea level. So with this height, it makes the Mount Kinabalu is the highest peak in South East Asia (I am proud of it, I am telling you, very very much proud!) Locals that lives in this land believes this mountain have its own story (like a myth stories, a legend). The local community resides around this mountain is the Dusun people. So, who took care of this mountain? The entity that becomes the guardian of this mountain is the Sabah Parks. Almost all the staff that working with Sabah Parks is the Dusun people, one of the indigenous people of Sabah.

The Mount Kinabalu is one of the famous attractions for the mountain climbers, naturalist, researchers and photographers. Just to let you know, Sabah is very famous with the nature attraction for tourist. If you want to see nature, you must put Sabah in your list and of course Mount Kinabalu (ehem… am I doing my job as Malaysian by promoting this Mountain? I think so!). Wanna know more about Mount Kinbalu? Just Google it and you will find thousands of people taking about it and to let you know too, there is about 70,000 climbers climb this mountain annually. Therefore, I am sure a lot of people write a story about it with astounding photographs.

I think this is the beginning story of my journey. Keep an eye for my new posts about this marvelous journey on this mountain. I have lots of stories to share. Till then!!!...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Big Tree

Do you ever encounter a very big tree when you walk inside the forest? I mean a natural forest. I found many but not so big though but still they amazed me. When i went for a field work at Danum Valley, Lahad Datu, Sabah way back in 2003, that was my first time saw a big tree in that virgin rainforest. It was great to see those big tress still standing firmly on the ground.

In my village we did not have any forests left so no big native trees standing. Its all open up for agriculture, by the local communities and also by the oil palm companies. Quite frustrating but what can i do about that. Our village located in lowland areas and its really suitable for agriculture and agriculture is our way of living. But then, if we put a sustainable practice of agriculture by put aside forested areas in our village for non-timber forest products collecting, we may still have some forests left. However, it is not our practice. Our elders seems to be very productive with utilizing all the land that they have and develop it into a sago farm or paddy field. Hmmm... that is our way of life.

Okay, i left you guys with two of big trees that i found during my field work with Raleigh International November - December last year in Pitas, Sabah. This two trees are the hard word trees. They are AMAZING right??

I love this trees... Let's HUGS A TREE!!!!