The 2nd day of the Sun Bear Rock Fund and awareness raising event has moved to University Malayan, the oldest and prestigious university in Malaysia on Sunday April 22nd. The event is part of the Universiti Malaya's Earth Week in conjunction with the Earth Day 2012 and was co-organized by UM-Cares, SPAS, MNS, BSBCC, EcoKnights, Rockin'4 the Environment, and SGM.
The events started at 10 am with a series of talks on recycling and sustainable lifestyle. The next highlight of the day was the screening of the latest green film "One day on Earth". After that I gave a talk on "Sun Bears, the forgotten bears". After my talk the audience was entertain with the Sun Bear Rock musical events where several bands were performing.
EcoKnights Yasmin Rasyid introducing "One day on Earth"
Kenny Peavy introduced the Sun Bear Rock and my talk on the sun bearsI am trying my best to tell the audience who special the sun bears are. They are simply amazing bears!
Rockin'4 the Environment festival brings together musicians to perform in order to raise awareness and funds for the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre and also the Environmental Education Alliance of SEA.
The weeklong festival was kicked start on last Saturday April 21st at Central Market down town Kuala Lumpur. Four groups of musicians, The Impatient Sisters, Rafique Rashid, Rustic Rose, and Ten Thousand Talents were performing their beautiful voices and rock music at the main stage of the Central Market. The event started at noon and ended at 3:30pm . Thank you all for your performances and thank you all for showing up and support the SUN BEAR ROCK!
Kenny Peavy from the Environmental Education Alliance of SEA and Jasmine Low the co-organiser introducing Sun Bear Rock!
Wong gives a speech on sun bears and BSBCC and thanks the organizer and performers!
The Impatient sisters rock the audience with their beautiful voices!
Rafique Rashid wins the heart of the audience with his song "Bear Necessities"
The Malayan sun bear, the world's smallest bear species, is classified as 'vulnerable' to extinction on the IUCN red list. We find out more about the Malayan Sun Bear from Wong Siew Te of the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre and Kenny Peavy of the Environmental Education Alliance of South East Asia, who are also behind the Rockin' 4 the Environment: Sun Bear Rock, an event which hopes to raise awareness on sun bears among the masses.
I am very careful about causes I support for I want to know where the money is going, is it really spent on what they say, will I see the buildings promised, cages promised to be built, doctors working on the bears, medical supplies requested, etc. I do not just blindly support a cause.I like to read all about the cause and see it from the ground up. This is a video showing the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre being constructed. People donated for this and here it is. This is one cause I know where the money goes.
One of my favorite causes is the Sun Bear. The Sun bear is the smallest member of the bear family and lives in the rain forest. Well, if you know anything about the rainforest….you know that humans have taken the rain forest in giant gulps which means humans have taken the home of the Sun Bear with those big bites. <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/HwQ9TrT3qIU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Center ( http://sunbears.wildlifedirect.org/bornean-sun-bear-conservation-centre-bsbcc/ ) and Siew Te Wong and all those that work with him are my heroes. They are working hard to save the sun bears from extinction. While there are many bear species in the world and many like the black bear and grizzly bears are abundant in the wild, the Sun Bears are in great need. Many are taken as pets and then abandoned when they get too big. Some, the mothers are killed and the babies are found in the forest and would die if not rescued.
The BSBCC and Siew Te Wong and crew work hard to rescue these bears and take them to the center until they are big enough to be put back out into the wild. The whole purpose is to get them big enough to survive on their own. They also work hard at educating the world about these bears and explaining the importance of saving them. The greatest threat to these bears sadly is us..humans…taking their habitat without regard to the animals that live there.
Because the Bornean Sun Bear is not as well-known as the other species of bears, like black bears, grizzly bears, etc….they do not get as much attention or donations. Right now there is a fundraiser on to raise $4,000 dollars. They don’t ask a lot like many organizations do. Perhaps they should but they just want help with things they can not do. The link to the fundraiser is here if you want to just make a donation now.
One of the big special prizes was made by Maria Collin from Germany. She hand-made this beautiful bear and it won the Golden George Award at the Bear competition. This award is like the “Oscar” of the teddy bear world! You can see the picture here. Maria made this bear especially for the June 2 fundraiser to help bring awareness to the Sun Bears.
The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre’s Mission is:
1. Provide an improved long-term living environment for captive bears that cannot be released
2. Create the capacity to rehabilitate and release suitable orphaned and ex-captive bears back into the wild
3. Educate the public and raising awareness about this species Their biggest need is providing the environment for captive bears and the capacity to rehabilitate them and release them. That is a NOW need. They also want to educate the public but the need for the bears they have now is so important and the ones that they will capture that have been abandoned or their mother killed. If they can not continue to save these bears, the species could die out.
According to the BSBCC “While Borneo is a remaining stronghold for this species, it is seriously threatened if not extinct in many areas of mainland Asia, including India, Bangladesh, China, Burma and Vietnam.” The BSBCC and the Sun Bears need us now more than ever and are an immediate environmental concern.
I personally do not want these bears to die out or the only place we see them is in a zoo. Wong and all of those at the BSBCC work hard to help save and protect these bears but they do need our help even if you only can give five dollars. The small donations mount up.
About the BSBCC now and how the progress on work is going. It is going slowly. They really need our help to save these bears.
If you can donate, please do. If you can’t..I understand. But I would like to ask all of you to reblog this post and keep the wave going to help these little bears. They need us. Can you all be part of the wave to help these little bears? Together we can make a wave that does something for these little bears. Together people can change the world. Can you help make a brighter day for the Bornean Sun Bears?
Today the BSBCC welcomed a group of students from the Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto. The group comprises of Professor Sean Thomas and 24 master’s students. Besides telling them about the history and operation of the centre, we get to share information about sun bears as well. We were pleased to see them so keen to know more about the sun bear and there were many good questions from the conservationist group.
BSBCC would like to thank the students and Professor Sean Thomas of the Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto for visiting us and also for their donation towards the centre. We really appreciate your support and it would definitely make a difference especially towards the sun bears. We wish you all of the best and success in your studies!
Trying to catch a glimpse of the sun bears at the forest enclosure
Professor Sean Thomas and Roshan (BSBCC volunteer) observing sun bears from the observation platform.
NATIONAL Geographic Channel (NGC), FOX International Channels' (FIC) flagship channel in the factual genre, has again been selected as a major platform to help Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB) promote Malaysia as a top travel destination in Asia. Five years after the first installment of the eco-travel documentary, Malaysian Journey, was broadcast on National Geographic Channel, MTPB signed up for another installment, which will focus on the country's beautiful rainforests.
Called Malaysian Journey: Rainforest, the new installment will be presented by Hollywood star and martial artist Jason Scott Lee, and will start airing on April 21 on NGC's global network.
"FOX International Channels' work with Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board has again led to a fantastic program that will appeal to viewers of National Geographic Channel around the world and in Malaysia," said Basil Chua, Director and Territory Head of Malaysia at FOX International Channels, "Malaysia has captivating natural wonders and this new installment of Malaysian Journey will help entertain and educate audiences across a wide range of audience demographics. We are proud to partner with our PayTV partner, Astro to premiere the documentary exclusively on National Geographic Channel, Astro Channel 553."
This year's installment of Malaysian Journey will focus primarily on Malaysia's famous rainforest regions. Hutan, a one-hour special, will feature the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, Taman Negara National Park, Tasik Kenyir Lake, Kuching, Gunung Mulu National Park and the Bornean Sun Bear Conversation Center in Sabah. The programs will be presented and hosted by Hollywood star and martial artist Jason Scott Lee, who also presented the first installment of Malaysian Journey in 2007. In the first installment of the program, Lee documented his hunts with the Semelais of Pahang, Silat sessions from a local master, life with the Rungus tribe in Sabah as well as life with fishermen on the Langkawi archipelago.
"Malaysia's flora and fauna is mesmerizing," said Lee. "I'm honored and thankful to National Geographic Channel for selecting me again for this second installment of Malaysian Journey. Viewers around the world will be able to see the beauty that Malaysia has to offer and the hospitality of the people from this country." Lee, who is keenly remembered for his lead role in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, is a fervent environmentalist and conservationist. He shunned the lights of Hollywood and now resides on a 25-acre taro farm in Hawaii. There, he lives out his environmental beliefs of responsible farming and eating what he grows.–National Geographic Channel
Malaysian Journey with Jason Scott Lee – Rainforests (Episode 2) premieres exclusively on National Geographic Channel (Astro CH 553) on April 21, 2012. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL
Read more about this program at: http://natgeotv.com/asia/malaysian-journey/about
The program will be repeated again on
Thursday 26 April 2012 at 20:00 - National Geographic Channel
Thursday 3 May 2012 at 14:20 - National Geographic Channel
By LIM CHIA YING firstname.lastname@example.org HOW many of us actually know about sun bears and that these creatures inhabit the jungles of Sabah? It is true. The East Malaysian state is considered to be the last flourishing habitat for these mammals. However, focus on their diminishing numbers often takes a back seat compared to the attention given to species such as the orang utan and proboscis monkey.
The Environmental Education Alliance of South-East Asia (Eeasea) founder Kenny Peavy definitely thinks the level of awareness can be increased among people here.
“A lot of Malaysians don’t realise that there are sun bears in this country, or even bears in Asia for that matter. Right at home: Peavy loves the outdoors and nature and he hopes to spread that love among more people. “In the past, sun bears thrived all the way up to Thailand but it is sad how their numbers have diminished greatly to just a few fragmented areas in Peninsular Malaysia and Indonesia.“We hope that this year’s Sun Bear Rock! event will help generate greater interest and understanding about this unique bear species among Malaysians,” said Peavy, 42
Peavy is referring to his brainchild called Rockin’ 4 The Environment project, organised yearly in conjunction with Earth Day celebrations. This year it takes the theme of Sun Bear Rock! and will be held from April 21 to 28 at the DoPPel Pel Kafe in Central Market Annexe, Kuala Lumpur.
“The theme chosen is in accordance with the festival’s choice of endangered species to highlight for the year,” said Peavy, adding that this was the fifth year the festival was being held. For its inaugural year, it was Turtle Rock! followed by Tiger Rock!, Orang Utan Rock! and Dugong Rock!
Local support: Band Pop Shuvit rendering their support for the Orang Utan Rock! event.“It was meant to focus on the plight of the particular animal of that year, and we had talks dispensing information to the public. “I’d like to think the festival has managed to pique much concern and curiosity which in turn helps to raise vital funds as well as the profile of environmental education-oriented NGOs in Malaysia. “In the past four years, some RM55,000 were successsfully raised, all of which were channelled to the respective organisations,” he said. Peavy has pinned high hopes of achieving a further RM35,000 this year. He added that Rockin’ 4 The Environment was meant to inject a fun take on the word “green” and biodiversity by combining arts, culture and music for the masses.
Activities include performances by school bands on April 21, a university invasion gig and showcase by students on campus, a performance by upcoming musicians called Sun Bear Rock! Open Mic, an acoustic showcase featuring some of Klang Valley’s top musicians and also an educational community outreach project at the International School of Kuala Lumpur and other schools. There will be a bazaar, free concert and auction segment on April 28 that will bring together some of KL’s biggest names in the independent music scene. Personal touch: Artiste Yuna singing a number in support of saving the orang utans during the Orang Utan Rock! festival two years back.For details, visit www.facebook.com/rockin4theenvironment
All proceeds go to Eeasea and the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, which is headed by Malayan sun bear researcher and conservationist Wong Siew Te. Though Eeasea was launched this January at the Global Issues Network Indonesia conference in Jakarta, by its line-up of board members and advisers, Peavy said it still has not quite taken off as actively yet.
“I will only concentrate full-time on the organisation after my teaching job is over by June,” said Peavy, who now works as a science/ecology teacher in school and has been living in Malaysia for over 10 years. According to him, Eeasea will be a network comprising educators and concerned citizens to empower youths and communities with knowledge, attitude, skills and understanding of nature while also inspiring them into action and stewardship for a sustainable future.
“We accomplish this through professional development and training for community members, as well as an online networking forum. “It is time for Malaysians to learn about their environment and take charge, than to leave it to the experts (to empower the people).
Well-received: Peavy (centre) with a group of Indonesian students in Yogjakarta while he was there to recce the route for his bike ride.“It’s a new concept but I think Malaysians are ready. You can see the gradual change in people who nowadays prefer to stay in eco-friendly resorts with sustainable practices. With Eeasea, we hope to make conservation and green movements fun, accessible and interesting,” he said. Hailing from Georgia, US, Peavy reminisces his growing up days where he was surrounded by farms and villages, and where he could run to forests and streams.
“I was always into outdoor recreational activities when younger. “Sadly, a lot of things have changed from say, 30 years back, which wasn’t so long ago anyway. This has become an impetus for us to protect the environment even more. “Even if there are lesser green spaces in the urban city, people in villages have become more technologically-connected and savvy than before. It’s all the more reason to play less outdoors,” he added.
Besides Rockin’ 4 The Environment, another of Eeasea’s project is Green Riders: Southeast Asia, an inter-country cycling event to be held in July. The idea for this bike ride is to film a series of videos highlighting the natural beauty of South-East Asia while conducting interviews with the locals, teachers and organic farmers on their green efforts.
Peavy said there are several efforts of individuals and communities who are quietly carrying out their own preservation work. However, as many of them work in isolation, their work and ideas often go unnoticed.
“My friend Jamie Raskin and I hence thought of this novel way to shed light on these inspiring people and their creative work. “The videos will be filmed as educational documentaries and posted them up on YouTube,” he added.
It will take about six weeks for them to complete their journey that starts from Phuket, Thailand, and through Malaysia and Singapore before finishing in Bali. “We want to invite local cycling clubs to join us as active participants along parts of our route,” he said.
The recce was carried out in December but they are still looking to improve the route.
He aims to cover between 30km and 100km a day, depending on the weather and difficulty of terrain.
“We’ll probably be on our bikes about 80% of the time, as it is not conducive to cycle to traffic-congested cities like Jakarta. That would mean using folding bikes and public transportation,” he added.
While they have found several sponsors for their meals and accommodation. Peavy hopes to raise funds through their bike ride to help cover their costs with remaining funds will go to EEASEA. (Universiti Putra Malaysia has offered to guide and sponsor the entire leg of the trip in Malaysia).
“More than just building networks, we are looking into designing a series of lessons to accompany the videos, which can be used by teachers and students as reference for their own conservation and social responsibility programmes,” concluded Peavy. An enhanced version of this article was published on The Star iPad app on March 16.
This Saturday 21 April 2012 marks a significant date for the Sun Bears in Malaysia. Over 35 musicians including singer songwriters Rafique Rashid who has penned a song specially about the bears, and Amir Yussof, Jerome Kugan as well as upcoming acts like Tashya's Ink, The Impatient Sisters, Ryota Katayama, bands from International School of Kuala Lumpur come together to perform at Rockin' 4 the Environment's Sun Bear Rock! 2012 in Central Market, Kuala Lumpur.
The musicians supporting the cause are instrumental in generating public awareness on the Sun Bears species - one of the smallest and the least known of the eight bear species in the world. Until today, Sun Bears are still being hunted and poached from their natural habitat. So the weeklong festival seeks to raise awareness about the plight of the species as well as the importance of continuous environmental education: read press release.
We INVITE YOU to attend the official launch of Rockin' 4 the Environment: Sun Bear Rocks! this Saturday, 21 April 2012 from 12.00pm-4.00pm.
The programme is as follows:
21 April 2012 @ Central Market Main Carpark Stage (Free) 12:00 Welcome speech by Kenny Peavy of Environmental Education Alliance of Southeast Asia 12:30 Introduction to Sun Bears by Wong Siew Te of Bornean Sun Bears Conservation Centre in Sepilok, Sabah 12:45 Musicians rock for the Sun Bears! 13:00 The Impatient Sisters 13:30 Rafique Rashid 14:00 Rustic Rose 14:30 Tak Nak 15:00 Ten Thousand Talents 15:30 Shazet beatbox 16:00 Close
I am very happy to announce that my little sun bear, Jelita, made specially for the next BSBCC fundraiser has won a Golden George Award - the "Oscar" of the teddy bear world! I entered her in the competition in the hope that she might engender more awareness of Sun bears - and she did me proud! I was stunned and thrilled to bits when she won the "naturbär" category............and i have to say that the trophy is quite something - two kilos of solid bronze, and heavy to hold when you are shaking with emotion and excitement! The Golden George competition is run in conjunction with the Teddybär Total show in Münster, Germany - a two day event which attracts exhibitors from all over the world. And there I was there with my bears, but wearing sun bear t.shirts - a copy of Forty Wild Life Heroes open on my table (at the appropriate section) and telling anyone who would listen about "our " bears :) And the nicest thing happened on saturday morning......the show organiser took the Bürgermeisterin (Mayoress) of Münster around the show, after she had opened it.............came to my table, introduced us and then told her that I not only make bears but campaign hard for REAL bears - how nice was that? Result is that she went off clutching a flyer inviting her to our fund raiser.........YAY! anyway - Jelita is one of the prizes in our June fundraiser - and she comes with added allure........"Oscar - winer". I hope she raises lots for the BSBCC...........oh - but I get to keep the trophy !