Progresses are going fast in Kiulu! The environmental protection compromise is still on and our baby project is starting to achieve greater goals! This new activity was under the environmental education program initiated in October of last year and took place in Mantob village. The MUKEST president gently offered his house for the expositive presentation, where villagers engaged with this society came to learn new methods of water waste management.For a start, the sustainability concept was approached, explaining the intrinsic value of nature conservancy in order to protect our future generations. The audience was asked to identify which of their current habits they considered to be bad for the environment and some were mentioned, such as chemical use on farming and plastic burning. At first, a review was made about solid waste disposal, insisting for the eradication of one of the most common practices in these rural areas: plastic burning. An article was delivered, reporting all the direct and indirect dangerous of this activity, mentioning once and again the importance of recycling. Along, two simple tutorials were given, describing how to do a compost pile and the banana circle. This last mentioned system was the main subject of the day and followed by a practical example on field. The banana circle is a three-in-one method, representing multiple functions: composting, greywater natural treatment and food production. Greywater is all the after use water coming from shower, sinks and laundry, containing traces of grease, hair and washing products. As banana plants are very hungry beings, they’ll absorb really fast this water, avoiding their infiltration in the groundwaters, rivers and estuaries. In the tropics, like Kiulu, this is a very cheap, ecological and simple system to implement, to easily solve the problem of soil and water pollution in remote villages without any kind of greywater handling. Instead of banana plants, papayas can also be used or even coconut palm trees for bigger spaces. In this practical application, other plant species were placed around the banana shoots, including yam, sweet potato and lemongrass, creating a balanced inter-crop system where each plant represents a beneficial role for its neighbours. Hopefully, soon we will be able to see this implementation in all MUKEST villages. Big hurray to them! TERIMA KASIH! Filipa Gomes (BET intern)
Once more, the environmental awareness engagement is going forward and this time, a full morning was reserved for the future of our societies: children!
The prepared activities started at nine o’clock and lasted until noon, providing some hours of entertainment, laughing, singing, playing, eating and, specially, learning!
Twenty eight of them attended, aged between six and fifteen years old. Plus, a local youngster, with nineteen years old and presently in college, came to give an extra help in the translation to Malay, although the majority of this pupils shown to be very proficient in English!
The main subject approached was the current state of Sabah wildlife and its endangered species, alerting for the problems caused by irresponsible human practices.
Firstly, they were introduced to twelve autochthonous and endemic species from Sabah with an endangered status in the IUCN Red List, such as the Proboscis Monkey (Nasalis larvatus), the Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), the Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus), between others. In an interactive talk, was described each species natural habitat, population decrease, longevity, gestation period, favourite diet and major threats.
As a prove of the actual situation that, not just Sabah, but the whole world is facing, when they were asked where these species live, all of them answered in chorus: the zoo! And unfortunately they’re not wrong... Some of this species have just a few individuals left and are being kept in Zoos or reserved areas, due to habitat loss provoked by human race.
After the opening session and with some clues already given, was time to start the real fun: team games!
The first one was the memory game, stimulating them to memorize the species’ names. The three formed teams were exemplary, with hundred percent of correct answers. They were really paying attention!
Secondly, came the food chain game, where they had to guess which animal preferred that type of aliment. They were divided by two teams this time, but everyone had the chance to participate individually. And they almost got a total score again! A few mousetraps were given, like soda cans and hamburgers to see their reaction and also to alert for the problem of disposable materials consumption and waste production. Here they could understand that each animal represents an important value in its ecosystem and no specie is less important than the other.
Next came the time to guess the natural habitats and why they’re disappearing. Issues like palm oil exploitation, overhunting, illegal trade, urban growth, pollution and excessive logging were mentioned, transmitting them the importance of preserving Sabah rainforest, the mangroves and the water quality in rivers and the ocean. The three R’s were remembered several times during the activity, explaining the urgency on Reduce consumption, Reuse materials and Recycle the waste.To finish, after a snack break and some singing to cheer up, the last game was played: the tree of life!
Each kid drew a tree following several steps, identifying every living being that depend on them and all their functions. Summarily they were enlightened about the carbon cycle, the rain catchment, the soil protection and improvement, the habitat for wildlife and all the values for humans.
As a compromise, environmental education and awareness will continue to be a priority, either for children or grownups, with the main goal of re-establishing nature’s balance and life improvement for every living being.TERIMA KASIH! Filipa Gomes (BET intern)
Expositive & practical presentation by Filipa B. Ramos Gomes
Last Sunday (6th November 2016), an environmental education program was held in Kiulu Farmstay, under an Ecotourism internship project. About thirty villagers from the Lembah Embun communities were present and avidly participated.
Several subjects about waste management and self-sufficiency were approached, including themes such as natural building, composting, natural greywater treatments, recycling and seed collection.
After an oral & expositive introduction, a practical application was conducted, were all the audience had the chance to participate.
A compost pile was built with the organic kitchen waste from the local families and the materials available in the surroundings. Everyone put hands on work and learned how to do it on the field.
The coming Sunday (13th November 2016), new activities will come under the subject of sustainability. Therefore, big steps are being made toward environment and local communities’ life, moving theory into practice.
Filipa Gomes (BET intern)
From the 11th to 12th of September 2016 (Sunday and Monday), the lovely couple Jewlvrmiltda Jhoas and Eder Nettleton Bingku had a joyful engagement day celebration at the Kiulu Farmstay, The Fig Tree. Their families stayed at the ecolodge the night before the actual engagement day for setup and preparation.
It was a very beautiful and intimate gathering of close friends and family members whom attended to witness the joyous occasion between the newly engaged couple.
From all of us here at Borneo Eco Tours, thank you for choosing The Fig Tree as the venue for your special day. We would also like to wish both Jewlvrmiltda Jhoas and Eder Nettleton Bingku a blessed life and future together. Have a wonderful one!
Check out more photos below!