Malaysia is blessed with some of the world’s oldest & largest tropical rainforest which is home to many indigenous flora and fauna. The awe-inspiring beauty & generosity of Mother Nature can never be matched in variety and depth, by anything man-made.
However, over the years, Mankind has consistently exploited our natural resources to the extent that if the illegal logging, unsustainable industrialisation, animal poaching are left unchecked, our children and the future generation may no longer be able to freely breathe fresh air or swim in clean mountain streams. Indeed, deforestation today has reached such alarming rates that it threatens to scar our natural green & vibrant landscape for good! Global-warming is no longer just a cry of warning by a bunch of eccentric scientists & green activists, it is happening right now, and the extreme global change in weather patterns is our last warning to save our planet from self-Inflicted overpopulation and overdevelopment.
As an individual, there are many important ways in which we can help to protect & save our precious natural resources from abuse & overuse. Here are 7 Easy Steps which we can all take to help address the problem of global warming:-
1) Save Water especially for your personal & household use.
2) Practice Recycle, Reuse & Reduce especially when using & disposing of materials made from plastics, paper & glass.
3) Drive cars & ride motorcycles less, and instead, take the public transport, carpool or ride a bicycle.
4) Save electricity & opt for energy-saving electronic devices & household appliances.
5) Do not buy foodstuffs, medicine, clothing & any consumer products which are produced from endangered species, nor should we buy any goods or services derived from the exploitation of child labour, sweat shops, the poor and the underprivileged.
6) Whenever possible, we should buy from & support companies who uphold sustainable practices throughout their whole business operations from sustainable sourcing of raw materials, to both sustainable production & delivery. Good examples of such environmentally-sensitive companies are:
– Brands of “dolphin-free” canned tuna manufacturers
– Resort hotels who do not automatically give their guests a fresh towel everyday.
– Corporate Social Responsibility projects such as tree replanting & ‘gotong royong’ or community-based rubbish cleaning operations.
7) Support local, national or international Non-Profit Organisations who need the Public’s help to campaign peacefully to protect & preserve our precious natural environment. PEKA is one such Malaysian NGO who actively campaigns to Save Our Rainforest through their public awareness campaigns & through tree re-planting activities nationwide.
City Boy Meets Wild Forest
Trying to kill 2 birds with one big stone, metaphorically-speaking, I registered for this Merapoh Forest Run 2015 because firstly, I have been promised breathtaking sceneries unique to Taman Negara, by the race organisers. Secondly, and more poignantly, I wanted to give support to an organised running event which is playing an important role of highlighting the plight of our rapidly-dwindling virgin jungle. Oddly enough, I enjoy being a tourist in my own country, and her amazing places & friendly people will never cease to inspire me. Malaysian Tourism captured the spirit of traveling best with their catchphrase “To know Malaysia is to love Malaysia”. There are still many parts of Malaysia which I have yet to explore, and the prehistoric limestone caves in Merapoh is one of them. Why there and why now? Because big commercial conglomerates are already planning to build limestone quarries in Merapoh and their actions threaten to destroy what mother nature took millions of years to create. The same threat is happening in Chiku, Kelantan where there is a plan to build a cement plant which will not only affect the health & livelihood of the local farmers, but it will also destroy the last remnants of forest wildlife, as well as destroy the ecosystem within the 40-50 limestone caves in that area.
Surely, the authorities will not allow such atrocities to occur, right? Think again, my dear friends!
Remember not long ago, how important ancient artefacts were destroyed in Kedah by a private entity.
Remember, the land slide at Ringlet Town & the widespread soil erosion in Cameron Highlands which was caused by illegal farming carried-out by illegal workers!
Remember the destruction of protected coral reefs in Pulau Perhentian as a result of the building of State-run marine jetty which was ironically set-up to protect the very corals they were supposed to protect!
Remember the erection of a shopping mall at the historical Padang Melaka where historical ruins of an underground ancient wall were found & partially destroyed!
I am sure that you too can cite many other examples of negligence & abuse of power resulting in the irretrievable lost of many of Malaysia’s priceless treasures in our current society.
In short, we cannot leave the task of protecting our valuable natural resources and historical artefacts to the authorities alone without any form of monitoring by its Citizens.
Therefore, I hope more runners will put aside our personal demands for one moment and take part in this Run in order to save our forest, to save our environment, and essentially, to save ourselves.
The Nuts & Bolts
Here are 10 important things you ought to know about this Merapoh Forest Run 2015:-
1) Event is on 31st October 2015 & the race venue is at Taman Negara, Sungai Relau, Merapoh Entrance, Pahang.
2) The race organiser is Women Sports & Fitness Foundation Malaysia (WSFFM) in partnership with Tourism Malaysia, Tourism Pahang & PEKA.
3) The Race Technical Support, Bookings for Accommodations & Online Registration is handled by Running Project.
4) There is a 30km (RM80) & 15km (RM50) category. Registration is open to all Malaysians (18 years old & above), Asians & Expatriates in Malaysia.
5) 20% of the route will be trail & 80% on tarmac. No one will get lost or be left behind.
6) The drink stations will be approximately every 6km, and it is recommended you bring your own bottle or a hydration bag.
7) Malaysian Soldiers (ATM) & medical support will be stationed along the route to ensure runners safety.
8) The 30km runners can look forward to passing the Ikan Kelah Fish Sanctuary at the 15km mark.
9) There are 3 types of accommodation available for the participants, namely a Homestay, School Hostel, Campsite (with & without tent rental). For booking enquiries, call Nizam at 6019-372 1812.
10) Registration closes 10/Oct/2915. To register visit Running Project : Do not confuse Merapoh Forest Run 2015 (as described here) with Merapoh Trail Run which is a different run altogether.
For enquiries call Yatie (6016-608 4510), Arizal (6011-12249782) or Bukhari (6016-733 4100).
If you or your company are interested to be part of the sponsorship team, please contact Arizal (6011-12249782) immediately.
1. Happy Runner’s views expressed herein are personal, and they are accurate to the best of his knowledge unless otherwise implicitly stated.
2. Always read and understand fully all of the Event Terms & Conditions on the official event website BEFORE registering for any running events.
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