NST: A SPECTACULAR SHOW AT THE ROYAL BELUM STATE PARK!

The Royal Belum State Park - nature's breathtaking gift. Picture courtesy of Tay Sia Ping. UNDER a nimbus of rainforest trees in the pale waning light of a tropical afternoon, the undulating waters of the placid lake rock the houseboat gently. It’s quiet out here at the Royal Belum State Park. The skies overhead warn of impending rain, but Andrew Sebastian, chief executive officer of Ecotourism & Conservation Society Malaysia (ECOMY) is undeterred. The quest to see hornbills in the wild is best met at this swathe of ancient rainforest, dating back to 130 million years. It’s the only existing place to spot all 10 species of hornbills found in Peninsular Malaysia, and Sebastian is determined t

THE STAR: PROTECTING BUFFER ZONES TO MAKE THE CUT

A boat heading into the Royal Belum rainforest THE buffer zones of Royal Belum State Park must be protected to prevent logging and ensure the forest reserve makes it into the heritage list of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco). Eco-tourism and Conservation Society Malaysia (Ecomy) co-founder and chief executive officer Andrew Sebastian said it was pointless for the state park to be accorded the status when just across the Gerik highway, logging continues at the Temenggor Forest Reserve. He said academicians, NGOs and local communities had waited far too long for Temenggor to be protected along with Royal Belum. Read more at https://www.thestar.com.m

The Star: Protecting buffer zones to make the cut

THE buffer zones of Royal Belum State Park must be protected to prevent logging and ensure the forest reserve makes it into the heritage list of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco). Eco-tourism and Conservation Society Malaysia (Ecomy) co-founder and chief executive officer Andrew Sebastian said it was pointless for the state park to be accorded the status when just across the Gerik highway, logging continues at the Temenggor Forest Reserve. He said academicians, NGOs and local communities had waited far too long for Temenggor to be protected along with Royal Belum. “The stakeholders must demonstrate that they are able to sustain the forest reserve w

A NEW LIGHT DAWNS FOR THE BATEK COMMUNITY OF TAMAN NEGARA

TIME moves differently in the deep impenetrable forests of the Taman Negara National Park. For the indigenous tribes that live by the laws of the jungle, little has changed. Technology has little use for these gentle tribes, while the ways of the jungle has taken precedence over everything else. Living on the fringes of the national park, the nomadic community has been living off the grid as did their ancestors. Whispers of a lost guide deep in the jungles of Kuala Tahan slowly snake through our group. “A guide got lost?” I ask nervously, careful to keep my voice low. A glimpse of the deep green trees that cluster together in a mysterious tangle across the Tembeling river seem to warn me not

The Malaysian Insight: Orang Batek kampung lights up

KAMPUNG Aur is the second Batek village in Taman Negara to start using lights – for the first time ever. Located along the border of the national park, some 9km away from Kuala Tahan and accessible only by boat through Sg Tembeling, the kampong is not on the grid. Villagers lead a nomadic lifestyle, often spending long periods in the jungle where they hunt and gather what they need. However, with logging and plantation activities threatening their way of life, the tribe is forced to find other sources of income, such as craft and tourism. They are also starting to prioritise schooling for their children. The lights will help the villagers on their craft work, as well as for the children to d

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