Sunday, March 13, 2011

Energy & Water Conservation Talk

Mr Chang Kuet Shian talking about water conservation

Mr. Benjamin Toh talking about how to live WISE

Answering Mr Chang's questions

SMK Kidurong's group photograph

About 50 students and teachers from SMK Bandar, Bintulu, Kai Dee and Kidurong attended the talk held at the LAKU Bintulu Area Office on saturday afternoon as part of the CABEP 2011.

Mr Benjamin Toh from sarawak Energy Berhad talked about why we should conserve energy as well as how we can all do it in our daily lives. He also brought gifts for students who paid attention to his talk and who could provide answers to the questions he asked at the end of his talk. The students from SMK Bandar paid the most attention and were rewarded for their efforts. The students and interactors were challenged to take on the project of reducing their respective school's utility bills.

Mr Chang Kuet Shian, LAKU Area Manager talked about Water Conservation, explaining why we shoudl not take water for granted and also giving practical tips on how we can conserve and not waste water. He emphasized the importance of everyone being responsible for maintaining the resources and facilities that we all enjoy. The fact arose that school toilets are not as clean as home toilets even though the same people use these facilities. Schools are places where we educate our children on proper behaviour and teach them to be responsible citizens. Therefore, the cleanliness of the school toilets is a reflection of how civilised our school children are.

Everyone was impressed by the state of cleanliness of the public toilets at the LAKU office whose management strongly emphasizes collective responsibility.

The Interactors were again thrown the tough challenge of how to improve the conditions of their school toilets and to maintain the facility to always be in a clean condition.

LAKU management also very kindly provided nice refrashments for all who attended the talk.

So now the ball is in the court of the students and we do hope that they will rise to the challenges that has been given them.

Samarakan Field Trip 5-6 March 2011

The CABEP 2011 opening event started last weekend when 6 students from SMK Bintulu and 10 from SMK Kidurong, together with their teachers went on the fieldtrip to Samarakan to learn about conservation and biodiversity.
Group photo before setting out

The morning was fine and bright, and a pair of black hornbills flew by along the way.

After checking into the hostel and a relaxing morning tea, the lecture program started with an introduction to the concept of conservation and biodiversity followed by a talk from the Conservation Manager on the Conservation Program at the Sarawak Planted Forest. Officers from the SFC Jocelyn and Marilyn then gave an outline of the role of SFC in Forestry and the wildlife protection laws in Sarawak.

Alex and Ollince then gave us an idea of what actual conservation field work involves with their presentation on animal conservation and the study of dragonflies and damselflies. Malcom taught about the forest types found in Sarawak and the importance of forests in our ecosystem.

Joannes, our resident photographer then briefly went through the basics of photography and how to use binoculars before the students were let out of doors to do bird watching and try to capture pictures of wildlife.

Observing a Raptor Fly-By

After dinner at about 7pm, all were ready to start on the exciting night trek to look for jungle creatures. The walk proved exciting as usual as many insects, spiders and frogs were spotted, and even a Pelanduk and a sleeping Garnet Pitta.

Taking pictures of creatures found during the night trek

The next morning started off early at 7pm for bird watching and most students managed to get out of bed on time despite their rather full program the previous day. Wielding binoculars and cameras, the students were introduced to the intricacies of bird watching, of observing details of the birds they see and to try to identify them with the help of field guides. There were Little and Intermediate Egrets seen together, providing a good illustration of the interspecies differences. There were also Herons, Sandpiper, Swallows, Raptors, Parakeets and Starlings.

Bird Watching in the morning

Odonata species were abundant later on in the morning, lending themselves very well to some great photography especially of their in tandem and wheel positions to the delight of the students and teachers.

Odonata species
The students then spent some time to put together a presentation on what they had learnt. The SMK Bintulu team went back to their hostel to privately craft their presentation while the Kidurong team sat outside on the veranda to do theirs, all having chosen to forego the comfort of air-conditioning in the classroom (have they all already started on the road to conserving energy?!)
The Bintulu team presentation

The Kidurong team remarked on the interesting time that they had and what they had learned. The Bintulu boys enjoyed themselves and learnt something of bird watching although they had some difficulties differentiating Sandpipers from Sparrows while the Kidurong bunch thought that stick insects might have been lobsters! All seem to be fascinated by the activities and behaviours of the Odonata species, which was truly quite a spectacle to observe, and very pretty pictures were taken by the students.

Then it was time to pack up and go home. The bus was waiting and brought everyone safely back to Bintulu by 4.30pm.

It felt good to start the CABEP 2011 program so well, after the pilot last year when we were doing things for the first time, and then working out over the last few months how to make it even better.

With the availability of the new binoculars and cameras so kindly made possible by the grant from the CIMB Foundation, we were indeed able to make wildlife observation much more interesting and engaging for the students, and they would certainly learn much more from the fieldtrip.

We would like to thank Patrick and his team at the Samarakan Training Centre for hosting us.

We are again indebted to the speakers who gave the benefit of their expertise as well as their weekends to the students, Jocelyn, Marilyn and Malcom from the SFC, Alex and Ollince from the Conservation Department of the Sarawak Planted Forest.

My utmost thanks to Joannes Unggang, Conservation Manager of SPF, for organising the scientific program and much of the logistics, as well as for the inspiration that we constantly draw from his wonderful photography.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

CABEP 2011

The CABEP 2011 field trip to Samarakan with students from SMK Bintulu and Kidurong took place on the 5-6 March.

For photographs of the trip, please go to our facebook "naturalsciencesocietybintulu".

MNS Firefly Survey & Monitoring Workshop

The above workshop will take place on the 26-27 March 2011.

There are limited places available for members of NSS who are interested in joining.

Please contact us at if you are interested in joining.

Natural Science Lecture

Tittle: The Biogeography Of Birds In Borneo

Speaker: Professor Frederick Sheldon ( Louisiana State University)

Date: 17th March 2011 ( Thursday) 4-6pm

Venue: Dewan Kuliah Pusat 2B
University Putra Malaysia Bintulu Campus.

Please contact us at if you are interested in attending this lecture.

Water & Energy Conservation Lecture

The above lecture will be held at the LAKU office (behind Sin Siang Hai Furniture Shop) on 12 March 2011 (Saturday) 2-4pm.

Speakers: Mr Chang Kuet Shian (LAKU Bintulu Area Manager)
Mr Benjamin Toh ( Engineer, SESCO)

This talk is targetted at school students but if you are interested to attend, please contact us at

Thank you.