Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oh-Pee, Oh-Ver.

Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to Kampung Life, Loving It!
I am Cheng Boon, and i will be your first host for today.
With me, are Ashikin, Zhong Ming, Cherie, and Izzati.
I will first take you to Kampung Kuantan and tell you about the challenges that threaten its survival.
Ashikin will then tell you about the strategies put in place by various agencies to prevent the eventual extinction of Kampung Kuantan.
Zhong Ming will then bring you to Kampung Buankok and tell you more about the unique features found there.
Lastly, Cherie, and also Izzati, will tell you more about the activities we have, lined up specially for you at Kampung Buangkok.

But first, let us go to Kampung Kuantan.
Kampung Kuantan is located in the state of Selangor in Malaysia.
A beautiful river flows beside the Kampung, and at dusk, trees beside the river, will start flickering with synchronised lights.
Why? Because of this: A firefly species, called
Pteroptyx Tener.
What is so special about this species is that individuals of this species are able to come together and exhibit a synchronised flashing pattern.
What makes it even more unique is that this colony in Kampung Kuantan is one of the only two found worldwide, with the other one found in Brazil.

Now, for a bit of history.
Before the 1970's the phenomenon of the synchronised flashing fireflies at Kampung Kuantan was virtually unknown.
A local villager then decided to venture into an ecotourism business by ferrying the tourists around to see the fireflies up close.
In an effort to allow more villagers to earn an income from ecotourism, the Malaysian Nature Society, which is the MNS, then expanded the business so that now, the village attracts over two thousand people monthly.

However, as time passes, the riverine habitat is becoming increasingly polluted by human activities such as the discharge of untreated waste into the river, and also from the logging of the surrounding mangroves.
These activites change the salinity and pH of the river, and hence adversely affecting the surrounding ecology.
The fireflies, which are heavily dependant on the stability of the ecology, will thus be affected as well.

If nothing is done to stop this, Kampung Kuantan will lose its uniqueness, and subsequently, its attractiveness as an ecotourism spot.
This will then result in a loss of income for the villagers as there is nothing else in the Kampung which can attract the tourists.
The villager's current livelihood will therefore be unsustainable, and therefore will eventually result in the loss of Kampung Kuantan as the villagers would be forced to move out in search of jobs.

This flowchart here summarises the sequence of events which will take place if the riverine habitat is disturbed.
Fortunately, there have been measures put in place by various agencies to prevent the eventual extinction of Kampung Kuantan.
And now, Ashikin, who is our conservation expert, will tell you more about these strategies.
Ashikin, please.


It requires a way shorter amout of time to say it (never exceeded 4 mins) then to type it. Well, at least I didnt screw up during the actual presentation itself. In fact, i actually think its enjoyable. It feels good to see my group and I just talk about it off hand, especially after so much effort and weekends sacrificed. Well, we did it anyway. I think we make a great team.

And i think I've got the most imba question during Q&A: Why do you think so little people know about Kampung Buangkok? Like, how the heck am I supposed to know? =.=
Had to anyhow wack some parts of it. Especially the front, when i talked about the majority of people in Singapore are migrants. Yeah, i was having a hard time convincing myself too. But at least the assesors seem convinced when i said that the majority of us grew up during the period when Singapore was undergoing rapid urbanisation, and that it was actually hard to find KB unless you actually knew that it was there, since its totally obscured by vegetation.

Izzati was the best. Her question: If given a choice, where would you choose to live in? HDB flats or Kampung Buangkok?
Her answer: HDB flats. Because of the experience we had of STAYING OVER for 2 days at Kampung Buangkok.
Hook, line and sinker. =D

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