Sunday, March 29, 2009

Earth Hour Light Off. Is there any significant?. WE need more Education and Awareness in Malaysia

Lights out: At 8.30pm Saturday night the well-lit Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower (pictured below) both switched off all their lights (top) to mark the Earth Hour conservation effort. — KEVIN TAN/ The Star

The U.N. Climate Panel says rich nations will have to cut their emissions to a level between 25 and 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 to avoid the worst effects of warming. Developing nations will also have to slow the rise of their emissions by 2020, it says.

Australia first held Earth Hour in 2007 and it went global in 2008, attracting 50 million people, organizers say. WWF, which started the event, is hoping one billion people from nearly 90 countries will take part.

"The primary reason we do it is because we want people to think, even if it is for an hour, what they can do to lower their carbon footprint, and ideally take that beyond the hour," Earth Hour executive director Andy Ridley told reporters at Sydney's Bondi Beach.

In Asia, lights at landmarks in China, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines were dimmed as people celebrated with candle-lit picnics and concerts.

Buildings in Singapore's business district went dark along with major landmarks such as the Singapore Flyer, a giant observation wheel.

Other global landmarks that switched off their lights included the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the Reserve Bank in Mumbai, the dome of St Peter's Basilica in Rome, Egypt's Great Pyramids and the Acropolis in Athens.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Climate Change Forum

The British High Commission
in collaboration with the Chevening Alumni of Malaysia
invite you to a


From Poznan to Copenhagen

26 MARCH 2009 (THURSDAY), 9.30am

Ballroom, Grand Millennium Hotel, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur

As seats are limited, kindly RSVP by 23 March 2009.
Tel: 03 2170 2274; Fax: 03 2170 2325; E-mail:
Contact: Krisnan Veeriah

The aims of this forum:
- To build on the momentum created at Poznan by engaging with a broad base of stakeholders and communicating to them what transpired there and what it means to the global community, including Malaysia.
- To discuss what would make a satisfactory conclusion at Copenhagen, what needs to be done to achieve it and possible challenges ahead.

The forum will be designed to communicate the key decisions made in Poznan and assess its progress, highlight the path towards Copenhagen and the challenges that lie ahead, and examine what these mean for all.

Target audience
Broad bases of stakeholders including those in government, academia, non-governmental organisations, including think tanks, business and industry, and the media.

9.30 am - Registration of participants, coffee break

10.25 am - Welcome speech by Acting British High Commissioner, Mr Patrick Moody
10.30 am - Introduction of panelists by moderator, Mr Nithi Nesadurai, President, Chevening Alumni of Malaysia

Brief presentations:
Panelist 1: The Climate Change Conference in Poznan and the Road to Copenhagen (Chow Kok Kee, Managing Director, Sustainable Technology Resource Centre Sdn Bhd)

Panelist 2: Climate Change from the UK perspective - Why we need to take action in 2009? (John Pearson, Head of the SE Asia Climate Change Network, FCO)

Panelist 3: The Framework of an Ideal Outcome in Copenhagen and Challenges (Gurmit Singh KS, Chairman, Centre for Environment, Technology and Development Malaysia)
11.30 am – Q&A, Comments
12.30 pm - Wrap-up by moderator12.35 pm – Special presentation on ‘Earth Hour 2009’ by WWF Malaysia

12.45 pm - Lunch

Sunday, March 15, 2009

UPM Students participate in Nature Walk and Raptors Watch in Tanjung Tuan 7 and 14 March 2009

Malayan Nature Society and Wildlife Department Melaka organised nature walk, exhibitions and raptors watch to bring people together witness a great nature migrating north for breeding in summer. Thousands of these very important birds were spotted flying from Sumatra across the worlds busy shipping lane, Straits of Malacca to Tanjung Tuan on their way to northern hemisphere.

Students from Faculty of Environmental Studies and Veterinary Medicine participated in the activities. UPM s students should be more agressive in promoting nature awareness and conservation.

Congratulation to those students involved.

Students fron Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Students from Faculty of Environmental Studies

Ceramah P&P Berkesan

Seminar P&P Berkesan di SMKSSS
7 Mac 2009
Prof Ahmad Ismail memberi ucapan

Sebahagian dari peserta dikalangan guru-guru SMKSSS Bestari Jaya

Dr. Ahmad Ismail Menyampaikan cenderahati kepada Pengetua SMKSSS Bestari Jaya Selangor

Satu ceramah Pembelajaran dan Pengajaran Berkesan telah dilaksanakan di Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Sultan Sulaiman ShahBestari Jaya Selangor pada hari Sabtu 7 Mac 2009 jam 9.00 - 12.00 pagi. Ceramah disampaikan oleh Dr Mahdi Wahab dan Dr Ahmad Ismail dari Fakulti Sains UPM. Selain dari memberi ceramah untuk pembangunan profesional guru-guru sekolah, aktiviti ini juga adalah untuk sebahagian daripada publisiti fakulti kerjasama Alumni Fakulti Sains. Antara fokus ceramah berkenaan adalah fungsi guru dan kurikulum, persediaan guru dari segi pengetahuan, sahsiah diri, kreativti dan kesungguhan dalam pendidikan bagi mencapai matlamat negara dan menyediakan masyarakat setempat selaras dengan pembangunan fizikal dan rohani tempatan.

Dr Mahdi Wahab dan Dr Ahmad Ismail bergambar bersama pihak pengurusan sekolah

Dr Mahdi Wahab bersungguh-sungguh memberikan ceramahnya Gambar oleh Dr Ahmad Ismail

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Raptors Watch Today 14 March 2009

A close-up shot of a Japanese Sparrowhawk. — Picture courtesy of MNS
2009/03/14 NST by Chai Mei Leng

THE GREAT RAPTOR MIGRATION: Nature's awesome free show
Starting today, thousands of people from around the country would be flocking to a little known, idyllic cape in Malacca to cheer on the arrival of some VIBs — Very Important Birds. CHAI MEI LING finds out what is so enrapturing about the raptor watch
"A BIT more, a bit more! C'mon!" yelled Caroline Ho at the top of her lungs.With whatever remaining strength it could muster, the despairing bird flapped on for the last metre of the long-haul journey.Whoosh! It crashed head-on into the trees by the Malaccan shore, marking a dramatic entrance into the shores of Malaysia.Ho and other birdwatchers, readily stationed a few metres away at the Tanjung Tuan lighthouse with binoculars and scopes in hand, let out a whoop.
The little fellow made it. It was soon spotted perched on a branch with its beak wide open, gasping for air.The Oriental honey-buzzard is one of the five main species of migratory raptors which passes through Tanjung Tuan after crossing the Straits of Malacca.Year after year, these raptors move south during the nothern hemispheres's autumn to escape the harsh wintery weather and to feed in food-abundant areas.The adults would fly off first, leaving the young to pilot on their own their very first migratory trail that spans continents.Come spring, these birds of prey, which are characterised by sharp talons, powerful eyesight and agility in the air, return to the northern hemisphere to breed.It is during this journey home to places like Siberia, China, Mongolia, Korea and Japan that the mighty birds make landfall at the Malaccan coast. It is an amazing spectacle if you are lucky enough to catch it.Through a good pair of binoculars, the black dots that sail through the sky are transformed into thousands of majestic eagles, hawks and buzzards soaring against a backdrop of blue canvas.For many birdwatchers, or even the public, this sight is almost second to none.Khoo Swee Seng, coordinator of the Malaysian Nature Society Selangor bird group, describes it as "one of three birdwatching events that I'd classify as National Geographic-class".While the raptors have been at this for thousands of years, programmed by instinct to follow the same routes that lead them home year after year, Raptor Watch as an event came into being only 10 years ago in this country.Today, it has become the single most widely attended public event for MNS.The PNB Ilham Resort in Tanjung Tuan is hosting this year's Raptor Watch, which begins today.Lined with activities like guided forest and mangrove walks, games, crafts and talks by international bird experts, the two-day event is expected to pull in a crowd, anywhere between 5,000 and 8,000 people.The watch is more than just an occasion to admire the spectacular natural phenomenon of raptors flying across the country, says Andrew Sebastian, MNS head of communications.It is a platform to create awareness on the need to protect the coastal rainforest of Tanjung Tuan, located 16km off Port Dickson, as a valuable natural resource."When the weather turns bad, the big birds have to rest or roost somewhere, especially if they are tired or injured. "Tanjung Tuan is the perfect place because of its large trees. It is the only coastal virgin forest left on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia," says Sebastian.Listed in the Directory of Important Bird Areas, Tanjung Tuan, together with 54 other sites in Malaysia, has been identified as a key area for conservation of biodiversity using birds as indicators to gauge the health of the environment.And because raptors sit atop the food chain, they are good indicators of the environment. A drop in the number of raptors signifies a problem in the environment, says Khoo.Despite annual monitoring efforts on raptor migration, which began even before the establishment of the Raptor Watch, there is still a wealth of information to be discovered about these birds.For this reason, MNS has this year decided on doing a 65-day count, their most ambitious thus far. Previous counts have never surpassed 20 days.Throughout the two months starting from Feb 14, Selangor birdwatchers would be craning their necks at the sky, taking down the number of raptors which fly over their heads at the Tanjung Tuan lighthouse.As of March 6, close to 9,500 raptors were spotted. Last year's figure over a 16-day count stood at 35,000.It is also the first time the society is sending a team across the straits to Pulau Rupat, Sumatra. Their count would then be matched with that of the team in Malaysia.This year's figures are building up slightly slower, probably because of the cooler weather.Raptors often depend on thermals, or hot air rising from the ground, to help them gain a good height.They then glide a long distance using the warm currents as lifts, after which they would have to flap or find another good thermal to ride on.It is no surprise then that the peak of the count is during lunch time as it's the hottest time of the day, says Khoo, who is Ho's husband."Before the birds leave Sumatra, a thermal is needed to start them off with a good height, because there's none over the sea."If they don't make it, they land in the water and sink. We've seen birds barely making it to the shore. Some, when desperate, get thermals off the big exhausts from ships."Once they hit this side, it's land all the way through, so there's less of a danger. This sea crossing would be the most dangerous point."Many raptors, especially big and slow-flying ones like Oriental honey-buzzards, cross the straits using the Tanjung Tuan route because it is the shortest point between Malaysia and Indonesia over the sea.Smaller birds like the peregrine falcons can fly across a greater distance of water because they are swifter and stronger flyers, and therefore, do not depend much on thermals.While there is no guarantee the sighting of raptors would be great this weekend as weather conditions are unpredictable, Sebastian hopes the public would join in the fun."Bring your baskets and have a picnic. When times are slow, take a walk. "Spend one weekend of the school holidays doing something interesting and learning new things."This is natural heritage. Come be part of it."PROGRAMME FOR TWO-DAY RAPTOR WATCHTODAY9.30am: Unveiling of Important Bird Area (IBA) plaque at Tanjung Tuan.10am: Booths and stalls open at Ilham fields.Every hour: Talks, video screenings, nature walks.1.30pm/2.30pm/3.30pm: Marine walks.2pm/4pm: Mangrove walksTOMORROW8am: Raptor Watch Lighthouse Run (win a return ticket to Hong Kong courtesy of Cathay Pacific).10am: Booths and stalls open at Ilham fields. Make the Switch (bring an old incandescent bulb for a free Philips energy saving bulb).Every hour: Talks, video screenings and nature walks.1.30pm/2.30pm/3.30pm: Marine walks.11am/1pm: Mangrove walks.Raptors usually pass through Tanjung Tuan between 11am and 3pm.

Tanjung Tuan as One of Malaysia's Natural Heritage

Light House was built in 1863

Tanjung Tuan Wildlife Forest Reserve

Friday, March 13, 2009

Seminar at Zoo Negara

Seminar presented at Zoo Negara Seminar Series,
Organised by Malaysian Zoological Society,
Zoo Negara, Hulu Kelang Selangor.
21 March 2009

Potential Effect of Ecological Changes on Fish Population in Malaysia

Ahmad Ismail
Department of Biology
Faculty of Science
Universiti Putra Malaysia
43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor

Malaysia is developing very fast to meet the population demand in order to improve their economic, living quality and infrastructures. Development process will involve forest cutting, land clearing and ecological changes of terrestrial as well as aquatic ecosystems. As Malaysia is a tropical country and receiving high input of rain fall will cause heavy erosion, fast surface running water and change the river water quality. In the upper streams, river water quality very much sensitive to surface runoff and erosion. This will change the water quality in term of turbidity, pH, conductivity, dissolve oxygen, etcetera. In the middle part of the river systems probably exposed to effluent and surface runoff from agriculture and urban activities where as towards estuary river water may contaminated by hazardous chemical pollution from industries, agriculture and unbanisation. Hazardous chemicals such as heavy metals and other endocrine disruptors chemicals are extremely hazardous and can cause acute and chronic toxicological effects to aquatic animal in particular fishes. Rivers are important for fresh water fishes not only for their habitat to live in but also for their breeding and nursing ground. Some fishes have to migrate to upper streams where the water is cleaner, cooler and suitable habitat for mating, breeding and nursing. When they mature then they migrate down streams. Not many information on biology and ecology fishes in Malaysia, in fact many more fishes especially in the upper streams are unknown. With rapid and continuous development in Malaysia, river water quality is uncertain. Ecological changes in the river systems may affect the ecology and biology of fishes especially those are very sensitive to water quality changes and specific habitat such as those fishes need clean water, high dissolve oxygen and cool environment. Now a day some studies have shown that species diversity and densities were varies in the upper rivers compared to down streams or after development areas. Fishes like tilapia, armored fish and other cat fishes are among commonly recorded species in contaminated or disturbed aquatic environment where previously other clean water species can be found. As Malaysia is one of top 12 Mega biodiversity countries in the world, besides terrestrial animals, aquatic animals such as fresh water fishes need to be protected and conserved. More studies are needed on the biodiversity, biology and ecology of fresh water fishes especially in the upper streams of rivers in Malaysia

Monday, March 9, 2009

Japanase Scientists Visit Medaka Lab Faculty of Science UPM

Prof Koyama in Medaka Lab

At Linggi River, Negeri Sembilan

23-26 February 2009 Prof Jiro Koyama from Faculty of Fisheries Kagoshima University.
25-28 February 2009 Associate Professor Dr. Masato Kinoshita, Tokyo University.
25 February-1 March 2009 Associate Professor Dr. Koji Inoue, Ocean Reseach Institute, The University f Tokyo.
5-6 March 2009 Dr S. Uno and Team, Kagoshima University.

The Japanese Scientists visited Medaka Laboratory, Department of Biology, Universiti Putra Malaysia to share knowledge on the culture and future direction of research using medaka fishes. Medaka fish now is an important tool for monitoring environmental condition.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Raptors Watch in Port Dickson

Students from Universti Putra Malaysia (Department of Biology and Faculty of Environmental Studies) were at Port Dickson Marine Science Station and Tanjung Tuan for Raptors Watch 0n 8 Mac and 14 Mac 2009.

Raptors Watch should be promoted nation wide to observe and record these interesting migratory birds from late February until May each year. The information can be shared to contribute to the establishment of migratory routes and biological information of birds. The information on these birds are still lacking. Cooperation beetween schools, education instititutions, NGOs and public are needed to support Raptors Watch.

This ativities can create awareness on nature and attract tourist local and international. Port Dickson can be an international destination for birds lovers. A lot of activities can be organised in POrt Dickson including Raptors Watch or Camping for school children around Port Dickson.

For more information please visit


(From Robert DeCandido, Deborah Allen and Keith L. Bildstein Forktail 22 (2006)
Since the 1950s, it has been known that wintering populations of Oriental Honey-buzzards Pernis ptilorhyncus and at least four other raptor species migrate each spring from Sumatra north-east across the Straits of Malacca to the west coast of Malaysia (Oakeley 1955, White 1961, Medway and Nisbet 1964, 1965, Medway and Wells 1976, Wells 1990a, 1990b). This migration is part of the East Asian Flyway, with most birds presumably returning to breed in the region from western China and southern Siberia east to Japan (McClure 1998, Zalles and Bildstein 2000, DeCandido et al. 2004a,b, Higuchi et al. 2005). However, the magnitude, timing and duration of the migration of Oriental Honey-buzzard and other species using this route remain unclear (Wells 1999, Zalles and Bildstein 2000). Here we report results from counts made in March 2000 and 2001.Most people in Malaysia are unaware of the great diversity of migrant species that pass through their country in spring and autumn.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Seminar Alumni Biologi UPM 4 April 2009

Kepada semua Alumni Biologi UPM,

Mulai tahun 2009 Fakulti Sains UPM akan mengaktifkan alumni fakulti melalui beberapa cara bersama-sama alumni dan fakulti.

Salah satunya adalah melalui mengadakan siri seminar akademik. Bagi memulakan siri ini satu

Seminar Alumni Biologi UPM akan diadakan pada 4 April 2009 di Universiti Putra Malaysia.

Seminar ini bertujuan untuk:

1. mengumpulkan alumni biologi UPM yang terlibat dalam penyelidikan dan membentangkan penemuan atau analisis mereka serta bertukar-tukar maklumat berkaitan biologi.

2. membina jaringan alumni biologi untuk aktiviti akan datang dan membawa alumni menyumbang kepada fakulti.

Tuan/puan dijemput untuk menyertainya. Sekiranya ingin menyertai seminar ini sila daftar melalui email kepada dengan menyertakan 3-5 muka surat abstrak panjang sebelum 20 Mac 2009.

Prof Dr. Ahmad Ismail

Jabatan Biologi, UPM

Monday, March 2, 2009

Science Centre

How Science Centres Contribute to an Innovative, Science-Educated Soceity?

Seminars Presented by Prof. Dr. Mike Bruton, Director Imagineering Science Centre South Africa and Mr Ingit Mukhopadhyay, national Council of Science Museums INDIA.

PICC 2 Mac 2009 10-12.30 Organised by Petrosains Sdn Bhd.


We can do it in Malaysia if all teachers are committed and enough fund from government and private sectors. By using local experts we can develop local modules for outdoor science education. To change society we need to move forwards not just talkkkkkkkk..

Ministry of education, MOSTI, MNRE, Local authority should work together to achieve the mission.