Category Archives: Activities

Upcoming Activities for “Summer”

by Cheam May Choo

Although it is raining cats and dogs outside and Malaysia doesn’t have the 4 seasons, I like to think that “summer” is upon us. Come June and July, Cameron Highlands will see more visitors from the temperate countries, enjoying their summer vacation here. Bookings for local tours will rise and eateries dotting Tanah Rata and Brinchang will be busier than usual. In the mornings,4wd vehicles mainly landrovers in the tourism trade, filled with visitors will make a beeline to favourite hotspots in the mountains such as Gunung Brinchang. Jungle trails will also see more trekkers enjoying the forest. Come sundown if one strolls along Tanah Rata main street, languages heard will not only be English,Malay, Chinese  and Indian but also French, German, Spanish , Japanese and a few more.

For our environmental society, we will have more requests than usual for volunteer work from visitors from the Western Countries. This year we would like to welcome 3 students from France namely Thibault, Quentin and Philippe who will be spending 2 months here for volunteer work during their summer break.

Below is our upcoming activities for the month of June and July. Visitors are welcome to join but should pay for their own transport and please contact our office at least 2 days prior.

4th June 2018-Trip to Biodiversity Centre. Facilitators: Siva and Saras

5th June 2018-Air Pollution studies at Biodiversity Centre. Facilitator: Rama

6th June 2018- Boccee Practice with Children with special needs at Cherish (sister organisation) 9 to 11.30am Facilitator: Datin Asseema

7th June 2018-Boccee Practice with Children with special needs at Cherish  9 to 11.30am Facilitator: Datin Asseema

9th June 2018-Trip to K Terla Batu Gangan Site Facilitators: Saras/Satya subject to confirmation

10th June 2018-Volleyball practice with Orang Asli Children. Facilitator: Datin Asseema

11th June 2018-Volleyball practice with Orang Asli Children. Facilitator: Datin Asseema

12th June 2018-Trip to K Terla Batu Gangan Site Facilitators: Saras/Satya . Activity: Tree planting, Putting fertilizer. Time:8am to 2 pm

19th June 2018-Trip to K Terla Batu Gangan Site Facilitators: Saras/Satya . Activity: Tree planting, Putting fertilizer, Tree labelling.  Time: 8am to 2 pm

20th June 2018-Volleyball practice with Orang Asli Children. Facilitator: Datin Asseema

21st June 2018-Volleyball practice with Orang Asli Children. Facilitator: Datin Asseema

22nd June 2018- Nature walk with Orang Asli children in Sg Ubi. Facilitator: Datin Aseema

26th June 2018-Trip to K Terla Batu Gangan Site Facilitators: Saras/Satya . Activity: Tree planting, Tree labelling.  Time: 8am to 2 pm

27th June 2018-Recycling talk in Sekolah Menegah Kebangsaan Kg Raja Facilitators: Datin Asseema, Puan Mazlira

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1st July 2018- Volleyball Competition Final for Girls. Facilitator: Datin Asseema

2nd July 2018-Trip to Biodiversity Centre. Facilitators: Siva and Saras

3rd July 2018-Air Pollution studies at Biodiversity Centre. Facilitators: Rama

7th July 2018-Trip to K Terla Batu Gangan Site Facilitators: Amran/Encil Embi Activity: Orchid Walk.   Time: 8am to 2 pm- Subject to confirmation

8th July 2018-Volleyball Competition Final for Boys. Facilitator: Datin Asseema

10th July 2018-Trip to K Terla Batu Gangan Site Facilitator: Saras/Satya . Activity: Tree planting, Putting fertilizer, Tree labelling.  Time: 8am to 2 pm

13th July 2018-Nature walk with children with special needs from Cherish.Facilitator: Saras

17th July 2018-Trip to K Terla Batu Gangan Site Facilitators: Saras/Satya . Activity: Tree planting, Nature walk   Time: 8am to 2 pm

24th July 2018-Trip to K Terla Batu Gangan Site Facilitators: Saras/Satya . Activity: Tree planting, Nature walk, Time: 8am to 2 pm

Please note that some activities maybe changed without notice due to unforseen circumstances. Some activities  maybe added on.

 

Saving the Mossy Forests in Cameron Highlands 2018-Grant from Kemaman Bitumen Company Sdn Bhd

by Cheam May Choo

We are pleased to announce that we have recently received a grant from Kemaman Bitumen Company Sdn Bhd for a forest restoration project. ( Our deepest appreciation to them ) This project is actually a continuation of what we have done all along, albeit in a different area. It is about the conservation of the highland forests in Cameron Highlands focusing on the mossy forests on the upper reaches of the Sungai Terla water catchment area (largest  water catchment area in Cameron Highlands). This area includes the forest reserves of Sg Terla,Batu Gangan and Ulu Ichat. The total land area of these 3 forest reserves is 3133 hectares and they form the eastern slope of Gunung Irau in the Titiwangsa range( the main range of Peninsular Malaysia). As this area is more than 1400 metres above sea level, the highland forests here are predominantly cloud forests or mossy forests. It houses a large biodiversity of flora and fauna many of which have yet to be identified and remains a crucial water catchment area. Site (101’21 degrees to 101’24 degrees East) and ( 4’32 degrees to 4’35 degrees North).

The programme would include:

  1. Awareness creation activities such as mossy forest reforestation ,interpretive walks, bird watching, insect talks, photography sessions .
  2. Research and documentation-Providing a base for students of institutions of higher learning to do their research on our Cloud Forests and publication of these findings online and in print.corybas carinatusanoectochilus albolineatus

Benificaries would be:

  1. Students from local primary and secondary schools
  2. Students and researchers from institutions of higher learning
  3. Community groups
  4. Participants from government agencies
  5. Other interested groups and individuals

For those who are interested in joining these activties please contact us. Sponsorship will be given to local students.

Summary of CSI Activities for 2017

by Cheam May Choo

Our CSI or community stream investigation programme in 2017 continues to be one of the more popular activity amongst students and adults alike.(CSI programme was initially sponsored by CIMB in 2009 and the excess funds were carried over to the next few years. In 2015 Prince Tunku Imran and Mr Paul Chuah gave us more funds ).In March 2017 we received a grant of RM 5000 from the National River Care Fund under GEC (Global Environment Centre) to continue this and CSI has now become an annual affair for our local schools.

Our CSI programme uses simple biological,chemical and physical parameters to gauge the quality of the river water. Students are briefed on the techniques in the field and then made to apply them. Results from a clean river and a dirty river are then compared and discussed. This programme comes at a low cost and is very “hands on”. Students see for themselves the impact of contamination of river water in the real world.The kids love it especially when it comes to analysing clean streams as they get a chance to frolic in them and catch bugs.

For the year 2017,there were 8 such programmes which took place between July to October 2017 .They involved both primary and secondary schools. Our volunteers included Dr Liau Tai Leong, Geogina, Adam, Shuib, Tom, Pablo, Aurelein, Kah Wai,Joshua and Siva. Many thanks to them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary of REACH Reforestation Programme for the year 2017

by Cheam May Choo

For the year 2017, reforestation activities were mainly carried out  in a new site in Batu Gangan, Kuala Terla while the site in Gunung Brinchang, our biodiversity centre was used for research.

1. Batu Gangan site in Kuala Terla

On 24th of May 2017  REACH was awarded a grant of RM 50,000 to restore 2 hectares of reclaimed forest in the Batu Gangan forest reserves under the Greening of Cameron Highlands project. The site was located at the far reaches of our largest water catchment area, the Sungai Terla water catchment area.For this grant we had to plant 1200 endemic trees in 6 months from July to December 2017.

The Greening of Cameron Highlands project is basically a project formed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment NRE (which also includes involvement of NGOs) to undertake rehabilitation and  restoration of encroached forests reclaimed by the Government  following the crackdown on illegal land clearings and foreign workers which started in 2014.

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The first few visits in May and June 2017 were mainly to recee the area. Subsequently  we constructed a toilet and a covered area for participants. As this site was already a secondary forest we had to clear some undergrowth in order to plant the trees. We made many visits in June and July 2017 and we were assisted by 3 French volunteers namely Tom, Aurelien and Pablo and our local volunteers Dr Liau Tai Leong, Siva Das, Utaya Kumar, Roy Margaret, Encik Khairil Anwar, Ros Benjamin, Saraswathi Munusamy, Geogina Khong, Gopindran, Danial Harikh,Rajeswaran, Amizal and Kahfi.

In October and November 2017, schools joined in and they included SKConvent, SJKC Bertam Valley, SJKC Tanah Rata and SMK Ringlet. In all we made a total of 17 visits. Every visit was documented.

A video depicting these efforts can be viewed at  Restoration of disturbed forests in Cameron Highlands

The trees planted were mainly from seeds propagated many months earlier. Some were from wildings. The species include Ara,Geruk, Merpauh,Medang Serai, Medang Payung, Kelat, Ratsamala, Eugenia and Rhododendrons.

2.Gunung Brinchang site

Only one group Data Dimension came to do reforestation at this site ( 13th August 2017)as the area is almost entirely reforested. Data Dimension has been supporting us for many years and 2017 was no different.

For the coming years we hope to continue our work with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmnent to restore our highland forests.

 

 

Reforestation at Batu Gangan concludes

by Cheam May Choo

In the months of August and September 2017,  due to logistic difficulties our reforestation programme slowed . However we managed to complete the toilets and the covered rest area in time for the students who would be coming in the following months.  Site preparation continued with undergrowth being cleared.

Date: 3rd October 2017

31 students and 3 teachers from SK Convent, Tanah Rata planted 100 saplings. The facilitators were Mr Satya from EcoCameron , Saras and Vebry. Trees included Ara, Rhododendrons and Eugenia. At 8 am students were picked up from Tanah Rata and they reached the site around 9 am. After a briefing by Mr Satya , they planted the trees. Light refreshments were served and by 12 noon they headed back. This programme would be similar for all the other schools.

CSI Community Stream Investigation 2017- Rivers never lie

by Cheam May Choo

Rivers never lie– Rivers are akin to our arteries and veins and the water that courses through them are akin to the blood that flows in us. The healthier the water the healthier the environment, the healthier our blood the healthier us. The rivers will tell us how they are faring -from their appearance, their colour, their smell and the creatures that live within them. They don’t lie. And this forms the basis of our CSI (community stream investigation) programme.

CSI remains a popular environmental education activity for us since it was first developed by Dr Liau Tai Leong, our vice president in 2009. We had wanted to come up with an activity that was both interesting and relevant to the locals and visitors alike. He used information he had gleaned from observing our very talented and industrious Dutch volunteers Antony van der Ent and Chantal while they were doing research for their thesis and incorporated it into a simple yet ‘hands-on’ programme. Over the years it was modified to suit the local condtions and a booklet detailing this was eventually published.

CSI programme was initially sponsored by CIMB (in 2009) and the excess funds were carried over to the next few years. In 2015 Prince Tunku Imran and Mr Paul Chuah gave us more funds and in March this year we received a small grant from the National River Care Fund under GEC (Global Environment Centre). This allowed us to continue and CSI has become an annual affair for our local schools.

The presence of bugs (in this case macroinvertebrates) is used to gauge the quality of the waters in our streams and rivers. Some of these bugs are so delicate eg stonefly larvae, dragonfly larvae, water pennies, that their mere presence indicate that the river water quality is and has been very clean and unpolluted. In contrast the mosquito larvae and the leeches can survive in contaminated waters. This water testing method comes at no economic cost and is in ‘real time.’ The children love this because they can frolic in the stream and ‘catch bugs’!

Normally at the start of each programme, Dr Liau or any of his trained volunteer will give a briefing on what this activity is about.

He will then explain the physical,chemical and biological ways to assess the water. Pictures of the bugs are given to aid identification.

The participants then adjourned to the rivers and results from a clean river Sg Pauh are compared to that of a dirty river Sg Bertam. Chemical testing