Peninsular Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Peninsular Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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News Article | May 12, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.co.uk

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, May 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --  Tenaga Nasional Berhad ('TNB'), Malaysia's national electric utility company, today completed the acquisition of a 50% interest in one of the UK's largest portfolios of operating solar power assets, with a combined capacity of 365 MW. TNB is one of the largest utility companies in Asia with a market capitalisation of approximately USD 18 billion and a total power generation capacity of around 13GW, predominantly in Malaysia. The c. GBP 470 million transaction is TNB's first investment in renewable generation capacity in Europe. The acquisition was made as part of TNB's ongoing five-year international expansion plan and achieves one it is main objectives, to acquire up to 250 MW of renewable energy capacity by 2020. The acquisition was made via Vortex Solar UK Limited, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of a TNB joint venture, Vortex Solar Investment S.a.r.l. ('Vortex'), which acquired a 100% interest in the portfolio. TNB has a 50% shareholding in Vortex alongside Beaufort Investments S.a.r.l. which holds the balance of 50%. Vortex Solar UK Limited signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement in January with a subsidiary of Terraform Power Inc. to acquire the solar portfolio which includes 24 solar photovoltaic farms, one of Britain's largest solar power portfolios. TNB funded the acquisition from the proceeds of a US$750 million sukuk issued by the company in October 2016. Datuk Seri Ir. Azman bin Mohd, TNB's CEO, said: "We are pleased to complete this acquisition, which was a rare opportunity to acquire a sizeable solar power business in the UK. The acquisition also helps us deliver the renewable energy part of TNB's international expansion plan more than one year ahead of schedule." "The assets are an excellent investment and are earnings enhancing, with 80% of revenue under long term, 15-year power purchase agreements and subsidized by Renewable Obligation Certificates for 20 years." With the completion of the acquisition, TNB's international renewable energy portfolio will have a combined net installed capacity of 252 MW following acquisitions in power companies in India and Turkey in 2016. Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) is Malaysia's only electric utility company. Its core activities are in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. In addition to being the nation's primary electricity generation enterprise, TNB also transmits and distributes all the electricity in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Federal Territory of Labuan. As at 31 August 2014, TNB supplies electricity to approximately 8.6 million customers. TNB, through its subsidiaries, is also involved in the manufacturing of transformers, high voltage switchgears and cables; the provision of professional consultancy services, construction and operating and maintenance of district cooling facilities, generation equipment, repair and maintenance, fuel supply services; services related to renewable energy, energy efficiency and power quality; higher education and skill training and undertakes research and development. As an integrated electricity provider, TNB has and will continue to meet its crucial role in powering the nation's progress. For further information, please visit www.tnb.com.my Beaufort Investments S.a.r.l., is the investment manager of Vortex. Vortex was established in 2014, sponsored by EFG Hermes, to pursue yielding renewable energy investments in Europe. Vortex comprises a team of 10 dedicated infrastructure and private equity specialists with wide experience in global infrastructure and renewable energy investments and today manages 822MW of wind and solar assets spreading across six countries, making it one of the largest renewable energy focused investment vehicles in Europe Since its launch in late 2014, Vortex has successfully invested more than EUR 1.3 billion in the European renewables market. The UK solar portfolio joins an existing 457MW (net) portfolio of operating onshore wind assets operated by EDP Renovaveis SA across four Western European countries. TerraForm Power (Nasdaq: TERP): Terraform Power Inc. is a global owner and operator of clean energy power plants. For inquiries, please contact Malcolm Robertson (+65 90294930) at malcolm.robertson@fticonsulting.com


News Article | May 12, 2017
Site: en.prnasia.com

-- Acquisition has a total enterprise value of circa GBP 470 million -- It is the first acquisition by TNB in the UK and is part of an ongoing international expansion strategy KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, May 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --  Tenaga Nasional Berhad ('TNB'), Malaysia's national electric utility company, today completed the acquisition of a 50% interest in one of the UK's largest portfolios of operating solar power assets, with a combined capacity of 365 MW. TNB is one of the largest utility companies in Asia with a market capitalisation of approximately USD 18 billion and a total power generation capacity of around 13GW, predominantly in Malaysia. The c. GBP 470 million transaction is TNB's first investment in renewable generation capacity in Europe. The acquisition was made as part of TNB's ongoing five-year international expansion plan and achieves one it is main objectives, to acquire up to 250 MW of renewable energy capacity by 2020. The acquisition was made via Vortex Solar UK Limited, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of a TNB joint venture, Vortex Solar Investment S.a.r.l. ('Vortex'), which acquired a 100% interest in the portfolio. TNB has a 50% shareholding in Vortex alongside Beaufort Investments S.a.r.l. which holds the balance of 50%. Vortex Solar UK Limited signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement in January with a subsidiary of Terraform Power Inc. to acquire the solar portfolio which includes 24 solar photovoltaic farms, one of Britain's largest solar power portfolios. TNB funded the acquisition from the proceeds of a US$750 million sukuk issued by the company in October 2016. Datuk Seri Ir. Azman bin Mohd, TNB's CEO, said: "We are pleased to complete this acquisition, which was a rare opportunity to acquire a sizeable solar power business in the UK. The acquisition also helps us deliver the renewable energy part of TNB's international expansion plan more than one year ahead of schedule." "The assets are an excellent investment and are earnings enhancing, with 80% of revenue under long term, 15-year power purchase agreements and subsidized by Renewable Obligation Certificates for 20 years." With the completion of the acquisition, TNB's international renewable energy portfolio will have a combined net installed capacity of 252 MW following acquisitions in power companies in India and Turkey in 2016. Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) is Malaysia's only electric utility company. Its core activities are in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. In addition to being the nation's primary electricity generation enterprise, TNB also transmits and distributes all the electricity in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Federal Territory of Labuan. As at 31 August 2014, TNB supplies electricity to approximately 8.6 million customers. TNB, through its subsidiaries, is also involved in the manufacturing of transformers, high voltage switchgears and cables; the provision of professional consultancy services, construction and operating and maintenance of district cooling facilities, generation equipment, repair and maintenance, fuel supply services; services related to renewable energy, energy efficiency and power quality; higher education and skill training and undertakes research and development. As an integrated electricity provider, TNB has and will continue to meet its crucial role in powering the nation's progress. For further information, please visit www.tnb.com.my Beaufort Investments S.a.r.l., is the investment manager of Vortex. Vortex was established in 2014, sponsored by EFG Hermes, to pursue yielding renewable energy investments in Europe. Vortex comprises a team of 10 dedicated infrastructure and private equity specialists with wide experience in global infrastructure and renewable energy investments and today manages 822MW of wind and solar assets spreading across six countries, making it one of the largest renewable energy focused investment vehicles in Europe Since its launch in late 2014, Vortex has successfully invested more than EUR 1.3 billion in the European renewables market. The UK solar portfolio joins an existing 457MW (net) portfolio of operating onshore wind assets operated by EDP Renovaveis SA across four Western European countries. TerraForm Power (Nasdaq:TERP): Terraform Power Inc. is a global owner and operator of clean energy power plants. For inquiries, please contact Malcolm Robertson (+65 90294930) at malcolm.robertson@fticonsulting.com


Under the unique strategic alliance, which builds on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in 2014 and pilot project and trials over a few years, Trilliant will transfer valuable know-how to TNB, enabling them to deploy and support the advanced smart communications network. The firms will jointly develop new solutions and ultimately deploy advanced smart grid and smart city solutions to customers internationally. This will support TNB's expansion goals and enhance its leading position in the smart grid areas. TNB has long-term plans of transforming itself into a domestic and regional champion. "This alliance is an example of the efforts we are taking towards realizing our long term strategy," said Datuk Seri Azman Mohd, President & Chief Executive Officer at Tenaga Nasional Berhad. "This strategic alliance facilitates the development of innovative Smart Grid & AMI applications and services that can be deployed to customers locally and internationally," according to TNB and Trilliant. Currently the per capita use of electricity in Southeast Asia is half the global average, but with rapidly increasing population and GDP growth, energy consumption is projected to increase by 80 percent over the next two decades. This is driving energy providers to invest in solutions to increase efficiency to control costs and provide improved service for the consumers. TNB's nationwide smart meter deployment, announced in 2016, will ultimately be one of the largest of its kind in the region. The meter deployment is currently underway in the state of Melaka (formerly known as Malacca) and this will be expanded to cover all of the company's customers, currently totaling 9.2 million, growing at nearly four percent a year. A March 2017 Brand Finance report ranked TNB #24 (and the fastest growing) in its Global Top 50 Utility Brands. It is also currently the 18th largest utility (in term of market value) in the world. TNB has been very active in diversifying its portfolio, announcing multiple investments across the globe in recent months "The alliance fundamentally changes the business model of utilities working with technology companies to bring combined experience back into the local economy," said Trilliant Chairman and CEO Andrew White. "Through the partnership, utilities across the region will benefit from TNB's leadership and investment in innovation to gain access to technology to meet the energy needs of a rapidly expanding economy." Trilliant is a leading global smart communications solution provider that serves utilities across the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. Trilliant's unified offering of customized RF networks under a single management platform is the most field-proven and compliant solution in the world. About Trilliant Trilliant® offers the energy industry's only enterprise-wide Smart Communications Platform for connecting the internet of things (IoT) through a secure, standards-based, multi-technology, open spectrum solution. With three decades' experience and the most field-proven and globally compliant solution, Trilliant maximizes smart grid and smart city investments and makes operations future-ready. www.trilliantinc.com About TNB Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) is the largest electricity utility in Malaysia and a leading utility company in Asia. Listed on the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia with almost RM132 billion in assets, the Company's more than 33,500 employees serve an estimated 9.2 million customers in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Labuan. TNB's core businesses are in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. In Peninsular Malaysia, the Company supplies households and industry with electricity generated from ten thermal stations and three major hydroelectric schemes. It also manages and operates the National Grid which links TNB power stations and IPPs to the distribution network. http://www.tnb.com.my/


TNB has long-term plans of transforming itself into a domestic and regional champion. "This alliance is an example of the efforts we are taking towards realizing our long term strategy," said Datuk Seri Azman Mohd, President & Chief Executive Officer at Tenaga Nasional Berhad. "This strategic alliance facilitates the development of innovative Smart Grid & AMI applications and services that can be deployed to customers locally and internationally," according to TNB and Trilliant. Currently the per capita use of electricity in Southeast Asia is half the global average, but with rapidly increasing population and GDP growth, energy consumption is projected to increase by 80 percent over the next two decades. This is driving energy providers to invest in solutions to increase efficiency to control costs and provide improved service for the consumers. TNB's nationwide smart meter deployment, announced in 2016, will ultimately be one of the largest of its kind in the region. The meter deployment is currently underway in the state of Melaka (formerly known as Malacca) and this will be expanded to cover all of the company's customers, currently totaling 9.2 million, growing at nearly four percent a year. A March 2017 Brand Finance report ranked TNB #24 (and the fastest growing) in its Global Top 50 Utility Brands. It is also currently the 18th largest utility (in term of market value) in the world. TNB has been very active in diversifying its portfolio, announcing multiple investments across the globe in recent months "The alliance fundamentally changes the business model of utilities working with technology companies to bring combined experience back into the local economy," said Trilliant Chairman and CEO Andrew White. "Through the partnership, utilities across the region will benefit from TNB's leadership and investment in innovation to gain access to technology to meet the energy needs of a rapidly expanding economy." Trilliant is a leading global smart communications solution provider that serves utilities across the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. Trilliant's unified offering of customized RF networks under a single management platform is the most field-proven and compliant solution in the world. About Trilliant Trilliant® offers the energy industry's only enterprise-wide Smart Communications Platform for connecting the internet of things (IoT) through a secure, standards-based, multi-technology, open spectrum solution. With three decades' experience and the most field-proven and globally compliant solution, Trilliant maximizes smart grid and smart city investments and makes operations future-ready. www.trilliantinc.com About TNB Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) is the largest electricity utility in Malaysia and a leading utility company in Asia. Listed on the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia with almost RM132 billion in assets, the Company's more than 33,500 employees serve an estimated 9.2 million customers in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Labuan. TNB's core businesses are in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. In Peninsular Malaysia, the Company supplies households and industry with electricity generated from ten thermal stations and three major hydroelectric schemes. It also manages and operates the National Grid which links TNB power stations and IPPs to the distribution network. http://www.tnb.com.my/ To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/tenaga-nasional-berhad-forms-strategic-alliance-with-trilliant-to-support-innovation-and-growth-plans-300462023.html


News Article | December 14, 2016
Site: www.rechargenews.com

Norwegian solar developer Scatec has entered the Malaysian solar energy market in a deal with national electric utility Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB). Working in consortium with local firm ItraMAS, three 21-year power purchase agreements have been agreed for solar projects totalling nearly 200MW and worth some $300m. The three projects are expected to generate 285GWh of electricity per year. To be located in Merchang in the north, Jasin in the south and Gurun in the west of Peninsular Malaysia, the three PV parks will see Scatec as EPC contractor expecting to invest about $60m for a 49% equity stake. Led by ItraMAS, the local consortium also includes two other Malaysian companies, Maltech and Cam Lite. Choo Boo Lee, CEO of ItraMAS, said: “This is a significant achievement for Malaysia and the solar industry in the region as these projects will help develop local supply chains and uplift local communities.” Malaysia is already a significant manufacturer of solar modules. Commenting on the agreements, Scatec chief executive, Raymond Carlsen, said: “This is a stepping stone to enter one of the most dynamic and fast growing regions of the world.” His comments follow an announcement in January this year, when Scatec said it expects to end 2018 with 1.4GW-1.6GW of solar capacity online or under construction, the vast majority of which will come in Africa, and has recently inked deals for long-term solar projects in Brazil (150MW) and Mozambique (40MW). Together with the Malaysian development the company’s project backlog now stands at 731MW, it said in a statement.


President Donald Trump‘s newly sworn-in Secretary of State, recently retired ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, turned heads when he expressed support for an aggressive military stance against China’s actions in the disputed South China Sea during his Senate committee hearing and in response to questions from Democratic Party Committee members. Tillerson’s views on China and the South China Sea territory appear even more concerning against the backdrop of recently aired comments made by Trump’s increasingly powerful chief strategist, Steve Bannon, that the two nations were headed toward war in the next five to 10 years, as reported by the Independent (UK). However, what Tillerson did not reveal in his answers is that Exxon, as well as Russian state-owned companies Gazprom and Rosneft, have been angling to tap into the South China Sea’s offshore oil and gas bounty. “We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops,” Tillerson said at his hearing, speaking of the man-made islands China’s military has created in the South China Sea and uses as a military base. “And second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed.” Tillerson, who came under fire during his hearing for maintaining close business ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, was asked for further clarification on what he thinks the U.S. posture toward China should be in one of dozens of questions sent to him by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD). In responding, Tillerson spelled out the bellicose stance he believes the U.S. should take toward China, a country Trump has often said should be handled with a metaphorical iron fist. Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary and Communications Director, echoed this in a recent press briefing, stating that, “The U.S. is going to make sure that we protect our interests there.” “It’s a question of if those islands are in fact in international waters and not part of China proper, then yeah, we’re going to make sure that we defend international territories from being taken over by one country,” said Spicer. While President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took a rather hawkish U.S. foreign policy stance toward China known as the Pacific “pivot,” these developments under the new administration appear to take tensions with China to a new level. The Chinese government sees the Trump White House and Tillerson’s recent statements, if carried out, as an act of “war” toward the country, which Beijing says would not be allowed to stand unchallenged. A DeSmog investigation shows that “our interests” (to quote Spicer) overlap suspiciously often with those of ExxonMobil, Gazprom, and Rosneft. Exxon’s offshore oil and gas ties in the region circle the South China Sea from Vietnam and the Philippines to Indonesia and Malaysia. Gazprom also maintains business ties with Vietnam. While most western oil majors have veered away from tapping into this oil and gas, Exxon has not shied away. “Unlike other Western oil majors, which have usually taken a wait-and-see approach when drilling in the disputed waters, ExxonMobil appeared unfazed by the political uncertainty in the region and maintained extensive business links with almost every Southeast Asian country,” wrote the South China Morning Post. A leaked 2006 U.S. State Department cable published by Wikileaks shows that “China began to warn oil majors against conducting oil exploration activities in the disputed South China Sea in 2006, the year Tillerson became ExxonMobil’s chairman and chief executive,” the Morning Post further detailed. According to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data from 2013, the South China Sea contains 11 billion barrels of oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. As Lee Fang and I recently revealed for The Intercept, while Tillerson served as CEO of Exxon, the U.S. Department of State directly intervened on the company’s behalf to help the company win favorable financial terms to tap into that offshore oil and gas in countries which own offshore oil and gas in the South China Sea in both Vietnam and Indonesia. On January 12, the New York Times became the first news outlet to dig into Exxon’s bounty of South China Sea offshore oil and gas and how it could possibly relate to Tillerson’s hardline views on the disputed territory there. “What is also not clear is the extent to which Mr. Tillerson’s tough stance on the South China Sea springs from his extensive experience in the region during his time as chief executive of Exxon Mobil, when his company became embroiled in bitter territorial disputes over the extensive oil and gas reserves beneath the seafloor,” wrote the Times. “During his tenure, the company forged close ties to the Vietnamese government, signing an agreement in 2009 with a state-owned firm to drill for oil and gas in two areas in the South China Sea.” That agreement was completed with a “quiet signing given sensitivities with China,” according to a State Department cable published by Wikileaks. ExxonMobil Vietnam’s then-President Russ Berkoben told the State Department that “although EM is uncertain of China’s reaction, it is ready if China reacts,” according to the cable. The deal made Exxon the largest offshore acreage holder in Vietnam, with 14 million acres to explore and tap into. In 2008, the South China Morning Post reported that Exxon had “been approached by Chinese envoys and told to pull out of preliminary oil deals with Vietnam.” Vietnam stood its ground, telling China that Exxon and other companies had a right to drill in its territorial sea under its laws. Three years later in 2011, Exxon said it had “encountered hydrocarbons” in the area during its exploratory drilling in a company statement. China reacted with fury, moving its own state-owned oil platform, belonging to China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CONOC), to the same area in 2014. U.S. Secretary of State at the time John Kerry called CONOC‘s move “aggressive” and “provocative,” with the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi telling Kerry to “speak and act cautiously” on the issue. On January 13, PetroVietnam and Exxon announced a $10 billion deal to build a natural gas power plant in the country, set to be sourced with the gas Exxon will tap from the South China Sea via the Ca Voi Xanh offshore field. Exxon will also ship the gas to Vietnam via one of its underwater pipelines. PetroVietnam also has a joint venture with the Russian state-owned company Gazprom; it goes by the name VietGazprom. Together, they operate five offshore blocks in the South China Sea. Gazprom began negotiations to buy a 49 percent stake in Vietnam’s sole oil refinery, the Dung Quat refinery, in April 2015 but walked away from the potential deal in January 2016. Rosneft, the Russian state-owned company which maintains close business ties with Exxon, also has skin in the game for offshore drilling in Vietnam through its subsidiary Rosneft Vietnam. The project is Rosneft’s first international offshore project. “The implementation of projects in Vietnam is one of the priority [sic] of Rosneft’s international strategy,” said Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, a close ally of Putin, of the project in a March 2016 press release. “The development of offshore fields in one of the most dynamically growing Asia-Pacific region country is a remarkable example of high-tech cooperation with our partners … We appreciate not only the current progress of joint projects implementation in Vietnam, but also the future prospects for their development.” Rosneft and PetroVietnam signed a joint cooperation agreement in May 2016, which includes but is not limited to offshore drilling, that will further bolster the ties between Rosneft and Vietnam in the South China Sea. “The agreement provides for the expansion of cooperation between the parties in Russia, Vietnam and third countries in the area of hydrocarbon exploration and production (including offshore), processing, commerce and logistics, as well as staff training,” reads a Rosneft press release. “The parties agreed to consider potential options for joint projects and define the basic terms of cooperation as well as establish a working group for each of the areas of cooperation.” Rosneft also co-owns the underwater Nam Con Son Pipeline on a 32.7 percent basis through its subsidiary Rosneft Vietnam Pipelines, which is also owned on a 51 percent basis by PetroVietnam. Exxon is a co-owner of the production sharing agreement between Indonesian state-owned company Pertamina and Thailand state-owned company PTT Public Company Limited, the three of which produce offshore gas from the East Natuna field. In recent months, as with Vietnam, tensions have ratcheted up between Indonesia and China over the disputed territory in the South China Sea. Exxon previously had a stake in offshore wells in the Philippines in the South China Sea, which it sold in 2011 to Mitra Energy (now Jadestone Energy). Exxon decided to sell off the wells after it failed to produce commercial-scale levels of oil and gas. “ExxonMobil drilled the four wells to test a new exploration play concept,” Exxon said in a statement in 2011. “While it encountered gas in three of the four wells drilled, non-commercial quantities of gas were found and ExxonMobil will withdraw from [the project] and resign as the operator.” In 2014, Exxon expressed interest in the Philippines’ offshore reserves up for offer once again, according to an official statement made by the Philippines Department of Energy (DOE). But that bid did not go anywhere, with the DOE suspending all oil and gas exploration in the area due to the territorial dispute with China. In 1997 Exxon signed a production sharing agreement with Malaysian state-owned company PETRONAS. Six years later, the two companies began their first major drilling project in the South China Sea at the Bintang natural gas field. A decade later in March 2013, Exxon began production in Malaysia’s South China Sea-based Telok offshore gas basin, a project it co-owns on a 50-50 basis with PETRONAS. Exxon began phase two of Telok with PETRONAS in 2014, with the two projects together making up 15 percent of the country’s oil production and half its natural gas output. That same year, Exxon signed another $2.6 billion 50-50 ownership stake deal with PETRONAS for an enhanced oil recovery project in the South China Sea. “Exxon’s Malaysian subsidiary operates 34 platforms in 12 fields and has an interest in another 10 platforms in five fields in the South China Sea,” reported the Houston Chronicle, putting the enhanced oil recovery project deal into context. “Those fields supply about 20 percent of Malaysia’s crude oil output and condensate and 50 percent of Peninsular Malaysia’s natural gas needs.” Today, Tillerson has sold all of his Exxon stock, which normally would have been deferred to him over a period of time post-retirement. Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) recently said he worries Tillerson will see the world through “oil-coated glasses,” given Exxon’s multicontinental reach to every continent on the planet besides Antarctica. But as the South China Sea shows, even if not dealing directly with oil and gas reserves, “black gold” can still loom large when considering geopolitical and foreign policy negotiations. Some believe Tillerson, from that vantage point, is a fatally flawed choice. “The proportion of Tillerson’s job that would have the appearance of conflict is just enormous,” David Arkush, managing director for Public Citizen’s climate program, recently told Bloomberg. “If someone has to recuse himself from that many matters, he has no business being in that role.”


While recent initiatives have attempted to address conservation priorities at global and national scales, most of these focus on developed countries in temperate regions. There is a need, say experts at The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC), to develop similar strategies in developing countries, especially in biodiversity hotspot areas. K. Nagulendran (Nagu), a third year PhD student with the School of Geographical and Environmental Sciences, led a multi-stakeholder exercise involving several hundred participants to identify conservation priorities in Peninsular Malaysia. They have produced a list of 35 ranked conservation issues within seven general themes. The aim is to influence policy-makers, practitioners and researchers and ensure conservation becomes an integral part of the development process. The results – 'A multi-stakeholder strategy to identify conservation priorities in Peninsular Malaysia' - have been published in the open access academic journal Cogent Environmental Science. The project makes the case for the prioritisation of conservation actions in Peninsular Malaysia guided by science, in consultation with a wide range of key stakeholders. It is also important to focus collective action given the limited resources available for conservation activities. Malaysia is part of the Sundaland Biodiversity Hotspot and is ranked 12 globally in terms of its National Biodiversity Index. Malaysia boasts a wealth of biodiversity which includes 306 species of mammals, 742 species of birds, 567 species of reptiles and over 15,000 plant species. Although the country has a target to increase terrestrial protected areas from 13.8% of total land area in 2015 to 20% by 2025, economic development has already had an impact on wildlife. The Sumatran rhino has disappeared altogether and the country has seen a steady decline in the number of Malayan tigers. Through a series of workshops and online surveys, the objective of the research was to engage relevant stakeholders in the identification of conservation priority issues in Peninsular Malaysia; produce a list of ranked conversation issues; and test differences in priority perception among the stakeholders involved in the exercise. The results suggest that there should be: improvements to policy and management to champion biodiversity issues; a strengthening of environmental laws and enforcement; recognition of socio-economic issues especially among indigenous and local communities; increases in funding and resource allocation; knowledge, research and development to inform decision making; a greater understanding and protection of the rights of nature and cultural heritage; a more holistic public awareness and participation to bring about change to promote conservation. Balancing the need for economic development Nagu works for the Malaysian Government's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. He graduated with a Masters in Environmental Management from The University of Nottingham in 2003 and has been recognised by the University for his work in the evolution of Malaysia's policies on the environment and natural resource management. He said: "The country faces important trade-offs in its aim to conserve biodiversity while balancing the need for economic development. The project allowed us to effectively engage a broad spectrum of stakeholders – including those in powerful and influential positions. We hope this exercise can be used as a blue print for conservation priorities and policies in Malaysia and other tropical countries. By making this paper open access, it can be available to all. All of us need to understand that we can make a change and choose a lifestyle that is more harmonious with nature." Malaysia is generally considered an example of success in its smooth transition into modern economy with an ambition to be a high income economy by 2020. Malaysians below the poverty line has been drastically reduced from 52% in 1957 (at independence) to less than 0.6% in 2014. This rapid economic development, however, has come with a cost to the environment. In 1940 almost 80% of Peninsular Malaysia was under forest cover – this figure had dropped to 44% by 2014. While the world is losing biodiversity at unprecedented rate, the first objective of the Convention on Biological Diversity adopted in 1992 is to conserve the earth's biodiversity. The Aichi Biodiversity Targets renewed this mandate to address and halt biodiversity loss by 2020. Prioritisation of conservation approaches by identification of issues will assist developing countries with limited resources for conservation in supporting the achievements of Aichi Targets as illustrated in this paper. The senior authors of the study are Dr Campos-Arceiz, associate professor in Tropical Conservation Ecology at UNMC, and Dr Rory Padfield, lecturer in Geography at Oxford Brookes University. Dr Campos-Arceiz said: "To generate ownership of the issues and potential solutions there is a need for inclusiveness and multi-stakeholder participation in the identification of conservation priorities. Although we will have contrasting perceptions of conservation priorities, it is important to have multi-stakeholder support and involvement to pursue our conservation agenda." More information: A multi-stakeholder strategy to identify conservation priorities in Peninsular Malaysia, K. Nagulendran et al. Cogent Environmental Science, Volume 2, 2016 - Issue 1 Article: 1254078 | Received 17 Aug 2016, Accepted 25 Oct 2016, Accepted author version posted online: 31 Oct 2016, Published online: 21 Nov 2016, www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/23311843.2016.1254078


News Article | November 28, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Rich in biodiversity, with a rapidly growing economy, Malaysia exemplifies the tension between conservation and economic development faced by many tropical countries. While recent initiatives have attempted to address conservation priorities at global and national scales, most of these focus on developed countries in temperate regions. There is a need, say experts at The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC), to develop similar strategies in developing countries, especially in biodiversity hotspot areas. K. Nagulendran (Nagu), a third year PhD student with the School of Geographical and Environmental Sciences, led a multi-stakeholder exercise involving several hundred participants to identify conservation priorities in Peninsular Malaysia. They have produced a list of 35 ranked conservation issues within seven general themes. The aim is to influence policy-makers, practitioners and researchers and ensure conservation becomes an integral part of the development process. The results - 'A multi-stakeholder strategy to identify conservation priorities in Peninsular Malaysia' - have been published in the open access academic journal Cogent Environmental Science. The project makes the case for the prioritisation of conservation actions in Peninsular Malaysia guided by science, in consultation with a wide range of key stakeholders. It is also important to focus collective action given the limited resources available for conservation activities. Malaysia is part of the Sundaland Biodiversity Hotspot and is ranked 12 globally in terms of its National Biodiversity Index. Malaysia boasts a wealth of biodiversity which includes 306 species of mammals, 742 species of birds, 567 species of reptiles and over 15,000 plant species. Although the country has a target to increase terrestrial protected areas from 13.8% of total land area in 2015 to 20% by 2025, economic development has already had an impact on wildlife. The Sumatran rhino has disappeared altogether and the country has seen a steady decline in the number of Malayan tigers. Through a series of workshops and online surveys, the objective of the research was to engage relevant stakeholders in the identification of conservation priority issues in Peninsular Malaysia; produce a list of ranked conversation issues; and test differences in priority perception among the stakeholders involved in the exercise. The results suggest that there should be: improvements to policy and management to champion biodiversity issues; a strengthening of environmental laws and enforcement; recognition of socio-economic issues especially among indigenous and local communities; increases in funding and resource allocation; knowledge, research and development to inform decision making; a greater understanding and protection of the rights of nature and cultural heritage; a more holistic public awareness and participation to bring about change to promote conservation. Balancing the need for economic development Nagu works for the Malaysian Government's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. He graduated with a Masters in Environmental Management from The University of Nottingham in 2003 and has been recognised by the University for his work in the evolution of Malaysia's policies on the environment and natural resource management. He said: "The country faces important trade-offs in its aim to conserve biodiversity while balancing the need for economic development. The project allowed us to effectively engage a broad spectrum of stakeholders - including those in powerful and influential positions. We hope this exercise can be used as a blue print for conservation priorities and policies in Malaysia and other tropical countries. By making this paper open access, it can be available to all. All of us need to understand that we can make a change and choose a lifestyle that is more harmonious with nature." Malaysia is generally considered an example of success in its smooth transition into modern economy with an ambition to be a high income economy by 2020. Malaysians below the poverty line has been drastically reduced from 52% in 1957 (at independence) to less than 0.6% in 2014. This rapid economic development, however, has come with a cost to the environment. In 1940 almost 80% of Peninsular Malaysia was under forest cover - this figure had dropped to 44% by 2014. While the world is losing biodiversity at unprecedented rate, the first objective of the Convention on Biological Diversity adopted in 1992 is to conserve the earth's biodiversity. The Aichi Biodiversity Targets renewed this mandate to address and halt biodiversity loss by 2020. Prioritisation of conservation approaches by identification of issues will assist developing countries with limited resources for conservation in supporting the achievements of Aichi Targets as illustrated in this paper. The senior authors of the study are Dr Campos-Arceiz, associate professor in Tropical Conservation Ecology at UNMC, and Dr Rory Padfield, lecturer in Geography at Oxford Brookes University. Dr Campos-Arceiz said: "To generate ownership of the issues and potential solutions there is a need for inclusiveness and multi-stakeholder participation in the identification of conservation priorities. Although we will have contrasting perceptions of conservation priorities, it is important to have multi-stakeholder support and involvement to pursue our conservation agenda."


News Article | September 25, 2016
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

Peninsular Malaysia hosts at least three rare mussel species, one of which (Hyriopsis bialata) is not found anywhere else on the planet. Now investigators suggest that this species may be in danger. Another species (Ensidens ingallsianus) may have already gone extinct, they add.


City parks are used for jogging, picnicking, even as scenic venues for wedding photoshoots, and serve as green lungs, providing fresh air for the urban community. But these parks are also important for local wildlife, providing refuges for animals which need green spaces to survive. Since 1990, the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur has seen an 87% loss in green land, a 77% increase in the human population, and rapid urban sprawl across the outlying Klang Valley. Considering that KL is located at the heart of the highly-threatened biodiversity hotspot of Southeast Asia, understanding the biodiversity of city parks is critical, but has received little attention. Butterflies react rapidly to environmental change due to their short lifecycle and high mobility. An estimated 20%-40% of the butterfly species of Southeast Asia are threatened with extinction due to urbanisation and deforestation across the region. To understand how well KL city parks can function as refuges for butterflies, a group of scientists led by Dr. John-James Wilson from the University of Malaya surveyed butterflies at ten parks across KL. The study also examined the effects of park age and park size on butterfly diversity. More than 1,000 species of butterflies are found in Peninsular Malaysia but only 60 species were recorded across KL parks. Almost all the butterflies recorded were widely distributed, common, species suggesting that species with broad geographical distributions are more likely to survive in cities. The lack of rare species in KL parks, which is similar to findings from Singapore and Hong Kong, indicates tropical city parks are poor substitutes to natural habitat for maintaining populations of rare butterflies. The study also discovered that more butterflies species are found in larger parks and in older parks. Within the parks, the highest number of butterfly species was found at wild sites, those with less intensive management. "In order to promote butterfly diversity in tropical city parks, park managers should set aside areas of the parks as unmanaged, semi-natural areas" says lead author UM Phd student, Mr. Kong Wah Sing. "Where management is necessary, the managers should use a diverse planting scheme of native flowers." More information: Kong-Wah Sing et al. Urban parks: refuges for tropical butterflies in Southeast Asia?, Urban Ecosystems (2016). DOI: 10.1007/s11252-016-0542-4

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