The Edge Environmental Education for Students at the Mossy Forests of Cameron Highlands 2018/2019  concludes  

by Cheam May Choo

We are pleased to report that this project which was funded by a grant from the Edge Kuala Lumpur Rat Race 2018 was successfully carried out from April 2019 to October 2019.

The Edge Education Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Edge Media Group. The foundation’s mission is to foster, develop and promote education of all kinds. Through the Edge KL Rat Race (which is held annually since 2000) funds are raised from corporate Malaysia and given to the various registered charities and NGOs. In 2018 the event was held at Padang Merbok, KL on the 31st of July . Reach received a grant of RM63,530/=  for environmental education at our mossy forests. Besides educating students on the biodiversity and importance of our highland forests,  lessons on climate change were also conducted.

The objectives of this programme were met.

  1. A total of 553 students and 63 teachers from 22 primary schools in Cameron Highlands participated. Schools were from both the remote and urban areas. The ages of the students ranged from 8 years to 12 years.
  2. Environmental education with emphasis on forest conservation and introduction to climate change were imparted.
  3. A total of 659 endemic trees/orchids were planted. The tree species were kelat, medang serai, medang kemangi, geruk and others. Orchid species included terrestrial orchids such as calanthe and cymbidium while the epiphytic orchids were from bulbophyllum, dendrobium, eria, liparis, oberonia species and others.
  4. As an introduction to climate change, a hands-on approach was used. Students were given hand-held weather measuring instruments such as anemometer, thermometer and hygrometer and tasked to make comparisons between shaded areas under the trees and exposed areas devoid of forest cover and the findings discussed.
  5. Weather data continued to be sent to the local meteorological department monthly, and they included air quality data such as NO nitrogen oxide, NO2 nitrogen dioxide, SO2 sulphur dioxide and NH3 Ammonia.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Implementation of the programme
  1. After obtaining approval from the local education department, schools were notified. Dates for the field trips would be set. For the first time since we commenced reforestation activities in Gunung Brinchang, 4 schools from the interior parts of Cameron Highlands joined in too.
  2. On the day of the field trips, there would be a short briefing at the pick-up point before students are sent by 4-wheel drive vehicles to our Biodiversity site located midway up Gunung Brinchang at an elevation of 1800 metres above sea level. (This was a former illegally cleared site which is now being rehabilitated.)
  3. Once at the site students would be briefed on forest conservation and climate change. Trees and orchids were then planted and weather monitoring activities carried out.
  4. Towards the end of the programme students would be given questionnaires to fill in to gauge the efficacy of the programme.
  5. The programmes would end by 12.30pm.
  6. A total of 22 field trips were conducted and all the participants came down safely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kerjasama REACH dengan Jabatan Meteorologi Malaysia (Met Malaysia).

oleh Cheam May Choo

Pada tahun 2016 ,  Jabatan Meteorologi Malaysia telah menandatangani Memorandum Persefahaman ( MOU) bersama REACH untuk kerjasama dalam bidang penyelidikan dan pemonitoran cuaca dan komposisi atmosfera di Pusat Biodiversiti REACH di Gunung Brinchang. MOU ini adalah untuk tempoh 5 tahun. Segala hasil penyelidikan akan dikongsi bersama Met Malaysia dan REACH.

Sebuah stesen cuaca mini akan didirikan di pusat Biodiversiti kami yang terletak diketinggian 1800 metre dari paras laut di Gunung Brinchang. Oleh kerana tempat ini dikelilingi oleh hutan awan dan tidak tercemar, hasil penyelidikan atmosfera dikawasan ini boleh dijadikan bandingan dengan kawasan lain.

Pada tahun 2017 pemonitoran kualiti udara dengan menggunakan 4 parameter atmosfera dimulakan.Ini termasuk untuk NO nitrogen oxide, NO2 nitrogen dioxide, SO2 sulphur dioxide, and NH4 amnonia. Persampelan diambil setiap bulan dan dihantar ke Met Malaysia.

Pada bulan September tahun ini , alat ‘Wet Only Rain Water Sampler’  telah di pasang ditempat ini bagi mengukur komposisi air hujan.

Gambar diatas-Seorang kakitangan Met Malaysia sedang  memberi tunjuk ajar bagi Presiden kami Encik Rama untuk aktiviti persampelan serta mengendalikan penghantaran sampel ke makmal. Jadual persampelan adalah setiap hari Selasa setiap minggu.

 

More Collaboration with the Meteorological Department

by Cheam May Choo

On the 29th February 2020, 4 staff members from the Meteorological Department visited Bio D center to confirm that the air pollution passive sampler is functioning well. Together with another 4 staff members from the Chemistry Department and 2 Japanese experts from Asia Centre for Air Pollution Research Japan ( ACAP), they confirmed the suitability of the site for the installation of a rain gauge for the measurement of air pollution. However due to the nationwide lockdown for the control of Covid-19, things were delayed and it was only on the 1st of September 2020, that the” Wet-Only Rain Water Sampler” was set up at our mini weather station site. This instrument would be used to monitor the amount of rainfall and also the quality of  rainwater to gauge the air pollution . Rainwater samples would be sent to the main Meteorological Lab in Selangor for analysis. Interestingly this instrument using the ” tipping bucket” method is one of the few remaining.

Readings would be taken every week and sent to the Meteorological Department. Above pictures show a staff from the Meteorological Department instructing Mr Rama, our president how to take the readings .

Preparing organic nutrients for biodynamic farming

by Cheam May Choo

At REACH  biodiversity site Mr Ng Tien Khuan continues to make Biodynamic soil preparation. Biodynamic farming is a type of organic farming popularised in Australia using natural nutrients. The organic preparation is put into cow horns and buried in the soil for a few months before it is ready to be removed and used for farming.

In 2019 the amount of biodynamic preparation obtained was enough for 2000 acres of land usage. This year the biodynamic soil preparation would be for 4800 acres of land usage. 

Mr Ng can be reached at ngtienkhuan@gmail.com for those who would like to know more about this method of organic farming.

 

 

Our mini weather station continues to grow

by Cheam May Choo

Back in October 2016 a memorandum of understanding was signed with the Meteorological Department of Malaysia to cooperate in the development and support of research in Climate Monitoring and Atmospheric composition at the Biodiversity Centre in Gunung Brinchang. It would be for a period of 5 years. The findings would be shared by both parties.

A mini weather station would be set up at our Biodiversity centre, midway up Gunung Brinchang at an elevation of 1800 metres above sea level. The findings from this station will complement those from the main weather station as the current one is now surrounded by development whereas this mini weather station is surrounded by forests.

In 2017, monitoring of 4 atmospheric parameters for air quality began. They include NO nitrogen oxide, NO2 nitrogen dioxide, SO2 sulphur dioxide, and NH# amnonia. Readings are taken monthly and shared with the Meteorological Department.

The following year, a solar powered automated mini weather station for measuring more weather parameters (ie temperature, relative humidity, air  pressure, wind direction, wind speed, rainfall, solar and uv radiation) was set up. This station was sponsored by Tanahmu Aplikasi Sdn Bhd, a private company based in Cameron Highlands which provides digital agricultural services. The findings will be shared with local farmers, meteorological department ,general public  and Reach.  It is hoped that the weather readings will aid farmers in monitoring the micro climate changes for planting crops.

 

REACH 20TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

11th February 2020

Dear REACH members,

Notice is hereby given that REACH 20th Annual General Meeting will be held as follows:

Date: 11th March 2020

Time: 8 pm

Venue: Avillion Hotel, C3, Jalan Camelia, Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands

Agenda:-

  1. President’s welcoming address
  2. To confirm the minutes of the 19th Annual General Meeting
  3. To adopt the Annual Report 2019
  4. To approve the Audited Statements of Accounts ending 31st December 2019
  5. To elect a Treasurer for 2020
  6. To consider any other matters of which 7 clear day’s notice shall have been given in writing to the Secretary
  7. President’s closing speech

We appreciate your attendance.

Thank you.

Ramakrishnan Ramasamy,

President