March 2013 - August 2014

June 2014
Peter Brown's new album BLUES

Taken at Az Samad's Open Mic at The Venue last year 2013


plus other acoustic acts @ The Library 235 Upper Street Islington, London N1 1RU, UNITED KINGDOM 8.30 pm free entry 
so if you happen to be in London please come by
The Virtually Acoustic Club Open Mic is every Monday night at the same venue (check):

BLUES  A new album by Peter Brown

pre-release copy.  Produced by Peter Brown & Khai Bahar.  Engineered by Khai Bahar.

C. Lemang Music 2014

Every track (1-14) features Peter Brown on lead vocal and acoustic guitar.  Additional musicians listed below.  Thanks to all these fine musicians

1. Gotta Make d’Music

A response to playing music commercially in a small country in S.E. Asia (but could be anywhere)

Electric guitar and guitar arrangements, electric bass & drum program:  Khai Bahar. Rap & backing vocals:  Peter Brown.  Solo lead guitar:  Rithan Vijay

2. If You Leave Me (I’m Gonna Go on Drugs)

A light-hearted look at a love falling apart

Electric guitar & guitar arrangements, electric bass & drum program:  Khai Bahar.  Harmonica:  Peter Brown

3. Nit Head Blues

Can’t get rid o’ dem biting insects

Harmonica:  Peter Brown

4. Lesser Being

Get those damn cyclists off the road – it’s my road in my Merc

Keyboards & backing vocals:  Markiza.  Bass:  Khai Bahar.  Percussion:  Zalila Lee

5. Blues

When you’re really down, pick up that guitar and get down to it 

Keyboards:  Markiza.  Lead acoustic: Khai Bahar.  Slide, backing vocals, harmonica & silly remarks:  Peter Brown.  Bass:  Kevin Theseira.  Drums:  Theo Graham-Brown

6. Ain’t Easy

She doesn’t recognise LOVE when it’s staring her in the face

Keyboards & backing vocals:  Markiza.  Lead and scittery rhythm guitar:  Khai Bahar.  Slide: Peter Brown. Bass:  Kevin Theseira.  Drums:  Theo Graham-Brown

7. Contradictions

When everything in your rel is opposite to what it should be 

Keyboards & backing vocals:  Markiza.  Lead guitars:  Julian Mokhtar & Khai Bahar.  Cello Florian  Antier.  Bass:  Kevin Theseira.  Drums:  Theo Graham-Brown

8. Golden Moonbeams

Take a bow leaning over that parapet 

Keyboards & backing vocals:  Markiza.  Lead guitar & guitar arrangements:  Ihzwan Omar.  Electric guitar:  Peter Brown.  Bass:  Kevin Theseira.  Drums:  Theo Graham-Brown.

9.  Sad Tomorrow

Not the same as love

Keyboards, vocals:  Markiza.  Slide:  Peter Brown.  Drums:  Paul Millott.  Percussion:  Zalila Lee

10. Open Mic

Rejection stares you in the face – yet you still keep going there to play 

Lead guitar licks and solo:  N. Rama Lohan.  Harmonica:  Peter Brown.

11. Jaded

Jump in – no, better not

12. Poverty

You need the chastening spirit

13. The River

Keep it flowing

14.  Insurmountable

What makes it all worth while


God Almighty, parents (genetic input), wife and musical partner Markiza, elder step-brother Ernest Hart, Nick Mason, Incredible String Band, Bread Love & Dreams, Rafique Rashid, Dave Russell, Phil Davies, Soft Touch, Khai Bahar, Wong Lip Kee, David Sherwood, Joe Siva, Sandy Monteiro, Rafil Elyas, Reza Salleh, Brian Gomez, Edward Gomes, N. Rama Lohan, all the fab musicians who played on this album and all who have encouraged our music.  So many thanks…

Tracks will be appearing soon on
thanks for the pic Albert

August 2014

April 2014
April 2014 Readings@Seksan's

Saturday April 26th 3.30 - 6.00 pm

Lineup :

Nelleita Omar 
Ridhwan Abdullah
Sheena Baharudin
Shaq Koyak
Lillian Tan
Gwen Smith
Markiza & Peter

Seksan's Gallery, 67 Jalan Tempenis 1, Lucky Garden, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur

Admission free and everyone very welcome. Please pass on the invitation to anyone else you think might be interested.

June 3rd Tuesday
The Library (It's a pub!) Upper Street Islington, London N1, 
Markiza & Peter Brown & Phil Davies 
so if you happen to be in London please come by
The Virtually Acoustic Club Open Mic is every Monday night at the same venue (check) :

 a novel by Peter G. Brown, available as an e-book on line (much cheaper than the paperback - about 1/10th of the price!)


For those of you who live beyond Malaysia, this newsletter is predominantly focused on this country and more particularly the area around Kuala Lumpur.  But wherever it is, it's still THE EARTH - its Environment and the squeezing of the environment is going on all over the world, so all of us are affected.

The environment (see below) is being assailed on all sides and fronts by those who have plans and schemes and business projects to build this and design that.  Some of them don't even have permission from the authorities to do what they are doing, which is to relentlessly cut down the trees and destroy the plant and animal wildlife as well as the quality of life for people who want places they can go for recreation and humanisation.  The Forest Research Institute Malaysia, FRIM is being threatened with a road being built through its forest park, while a large area of already gazetted forest is having to make way for another 6 lane highway (as if we don't have enough of them already).  The prospects for Bukit Kiara as well don't look bright.  Soon they'll be no green areas in the Kuala Lumpur area for fresh air and exercise as well as to conserve valuable and endangered species

This song that we wrote about this issue is being released as a single.  It's called "Losing Nature". The lyric is based on an article in The Star by Chong Sheau Ching about an area of forest that was being "developed".  But the song applies to many other similar cases of green parkland and preserved forest that are threatened with so-called "development". COMING SOON on (check it in about a week's time if you want to listen to it - a video will be made later this year).

Forest No Place For Barbed Wire

Are We Falling Off the Climate Precipice? 
Scientists Consider Extinction  by Dahr Jamail

Now, I wonder about the future of our planet. During a recent visit with my eight-year-old niece and 10- and 12-year-old nephews, I stopped myself from asking them what they wanted to do when they grew up, or any of the future-oriented questions I used to ask myself. I did so because the reality of their generation may be that questions like where they will work could be replaced by: Where will they get their fresh water? What food will be available? And what parts of their country and the rest of the world will still be habitable?

The State of Corporate Power

Insights into the Power of Corporations

by Brid Brennan

Transnational corporations, particularly gas & oil industry, and banking have continued to benefit extraordinarily from the ongoing economic and financial crisis, says Brid Brennan, who presents TNI's State of Power Report 2014 at the Public Eye Awards in Davos.

A speech by Brid Brennan, at the Public Eye Awards Press Conference, Davos, Switzerland January 23, 2014

TNI's 2014 State of Power Report, reveals that in the past year, transnational corporations (TNCs), particularly gas and oil industry and banking have continued to benefit extraordinarily from the ongoing economic and financial crisis while ordinary people pay the costs. Despite their responsibility for the financial and ecological crises, bailouts and "austerity packages" they work to the benefit of the 0.001% and squeeze the income and tighten the pressure on the 99%.

Read more

Bukit Kiara lovers strive on


1. No application: DBKL said the land clearing work is illegal as it has not received an application for clearing work.

2. A part of the land which is being turfed to prepare for the project.

3. A bike track used by the residents for their recreational activities has become a road for heavy machines and trucks.


The Government must review the need for the Kuala Lumpur Outer Ring Road (KLORR) project, as the Selangor State Park (SSP) – which it cuts through – contains vital water catchment areas, said environmental groups.

The Protection of the Selangor State Park coalition said it was greatly concerned over the proposal to degazette 106.55ha of land from four forest reserves in Selangor, namely the Ampang, Bukit Seputeh, Ulu Gombak and Ulu Langat forest reserves, for the KLORR.

Read More


Google has set up a new website, a state-of-the-art database to track deforestation, which is a major culprit behind the accelerating world climate change.

The website: will show tree loss around the world in high resolution and with frequent updates.  the data will be available for free and not require much technical skill to use.

The planet lost some 2.3 million square kilometres of forest from 2000 to 2012, according to data assembled by Google and University of Maryland, USA.  That is equivalent to 50 soccer fields of forest lost every minute of every day for 12 years.  Countries with the highest tree cover loss are Brazil, Russia, Canada, United States and Indonesia.

"The problem to date hasn't been the lack of goodwill, or even the lack of good forest regulations and laws written down.  It has been, among other things, the lack of ability to really know what's going on," said Andrew Steer, chief executive of World Resources Institute, a leader in creating the database.

"When the president of Indonesia passed good laws on forests, it was very difficult for him to know what was actually going on in real time," Steer said.

The Global Forest Watch database will allow anyone to look on line and verify the boundaries of protected forests, including buyers of palm oil who want to avoid illicit production.


I’ve got good news and bad news.

Good news first: negotiations for the “Trans Pacific Partnership”, a secret “free” trade agreement that could trash the climate, were temporarily put on hold thanks to a massive public outcry.

Now for the bad news: the TPP menace is back. Despite the global outpouring of opposition to this corporate giveaway, governments around the world are on the verge of locking in an agreement. Not surprisingly, the fossil fuel industry is helping lead the charge for a swift passage of this climate disaster.

Negotiators are meeting right now in Singapore to lock a deal -- but there’s still a chance that we can stop this. We’ve done it once, and we can do it again. This time, let’s make sure all governments withdraw their support for TPP for good:

Click here to tell governments to reject the Trans Pacific Partnership.

The TPP is so secretive that elected officials, civil society and the press have been shut out of negotiations. It is no coincidence that negotiators chose Singapore to meet: the country is one of the most strict places in the world when it comes to public demonstrations. And we had big plans at the meeting -- a team of volunteer activists was organising a petition delivery, but due to high security risks at the place, the plans had to be cancelled.

Corporations are trying to silence our movement, so we need to raise our voices even louder. If delegates are working with the fossil fuel industry on an agreement that puts our planet at stake -- without even letting people express their concerns -- than this can’t be a good deal for people or the planet.

Leaked text from Wikileaks confirms our worst fears: the TPP would empower fossil fuel companies to directly sue governments over laws and policies that they claim reduce their profits. Legislation designed to address climate change, curb fossil fuel expansion and reduce air pollution could all be subject to attack as a result of the TPP. This agreement could well be an enormous corporate power grab made at the expense of our democracy and our climate.

It’s strange enough that our governments aren’t boasting about the benefits TPP would bring.

They’re barely mentioning the deal in public, and are keeping public opinion as far as they can from negotiations. That’s why there’s no consensus among negotiators. And that’s why millions of people across the world are opposing TPP.

Stand with the people urging world leaders to reject the Trans Pacific Partnership

Let’s make them get our message loud and clear: the fossil fuel industry can try to make TPP secretive. They can try to keep us from reaching the negotiators. But they can’t prevent people-power from standing against what’s wrong for the planet.


Eduardo Santaela @


Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) - Environment Chapter - Wikileaks

TPPA Environment Chapter & Chair's Commentary Posted by WikiLeaks - Issues for NZ - Wikileaks

TPP - power to the corporations at the expense of the planet - Ecologist drgy

Meanwhile, the U.S. public remains completely shut out, with the Obama administration refusing to make public any part of the TPP negotiating text.


Demand oil Exploration End in Congo's Gorilla Rich Virunga National Park

By Rainforest Portal a project of EcoInternet,
March 9, 2014

TAKE ACTION to protect Tasmania’s old-growth temperate rainforests

** You are able to send protest emails and/or tweets. Please try the new tweet protest feature, as email protests are increasingly easy to block. Tweets are not able to be blocked, and are publicly visible, shaming the target of the ecology protest. If you deselect the tweet box, you will send email protests only, as in the past.

It has been two years since EcoInternet first alerted the international community that SOCO International – a London-listed oil company – planned to explore for oil in Virunga National Park. Virunga is Africa’s oldest national park and an UNESCO World Heritage site; and is home to a large population of wild gorillas, many other important wildlife species, primary rainforest ecosystems, and forest-dependent communities. Our earlier protests together caused other company’s considering oil exploration to pull out. And opposition is growing as WWF has embraced the campaign, successfully bringing the case to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Oil exploration in these globally vital rainforest ecosystems will further set a dangerous precedent that nowhere – whether protected, or ecologically important – is immune from oil industry destruction. It appears every last bit of Earth's large, wild and intact ecosystems will be sacrificed to industrial development – to extend our dependence upon fossil fuel, and delay transition now to renewable energy sources – ensuring abrupt run-away climate change and global ecosystem collapse.

Discuss Alert:

Please support Ecological Internet's campaigns to protect and restore old
forests at

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January 2014

Sunday, January 19, 2014
Featured acts:
Markiza & Peter Brown
Brian Gomez

Chris Borge
Ariff AB
Shaneil Devaser

…More to be announced!

Merdekarya Jalan 5/57 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia 
(off Jalan Gasing)

March 2013

December 2013

Dear Team MNS, 

Time flies and already, the wheels of this brand new year is now settling down to a steady rhythm. What’s been happening so far on the environmental end? Sadly, we see more and more of our natural heritage being whittled down by many irresponsible parties, as evidenced in the latest news on Bukit Kiara and Bukit Gasing. However, we are gratified to see more people ranging from students, private institutions to corporate companies stepping on to the green wagon and help green our precious planet. 

We hope that the fate of our environment and God-given heritage will see some better news as the year goes on. We on our part will continue to promote conservation and protection of our natural resources and we hope for your continuous support and welcome you to join us (if you haven’t already done so) in this call. 

Green regards, 

Malaysian Nature Society. to join go to:

This is a great website for those interested and concerned about the Environment
Many events including films on environmental issues held regularly every month

Gazette the Green Lung Now

The people who use Bukit Kiara have spoken out. They have even gone on a walk to highlight their grievances.

They see themselves as stakeholders and they want their voices to be heard, respected and taken into account, in the plans of the city fathers. Those who speak up are moderates and certainly not anti-development.

No one deserves to be belittled or threatened by any politician because of our concerns against encroachment to our hills or green lungs. It is WE who put them there. They should be thankful to us and not the other way around.

We do not care whether they are the state or federal governments, and we do not care whether they are in the Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat. They should listen to us.

Noam Chomsky on the threat of ecological disaster

“If there ever is future historians, they’re going to look back at this period of history with some astonishment,” Chomsky said. “The danger, the threat, is evident to anyone who has eyes open and pays attention at all to the scientific literature, and there are attempts to retard it, there are also at the other end attempts to accelerate the disaster, and if you look who’s involved it’s pretty shocking.” ...

Losing nature, losing nature, lose it easily
In times far off the survivors will write our history
The King of Kiara Trails

A message from the leader

Organic Consumers Association

Posted By: Alexis Baden-Mayer (campaign leader)

To hear Monsanto and its hired guns and faux scientists tell it, everyone's on the same page. Their page. Which is to say that genetically modified organisms (GMOs), along with all their pesticides and herbicides, are perfectly safe. Case closed. 

But this week, a group of international scientists (the real kind, not the ones paid by the biotech industry), physicians and academics signed a statement to set the record straight. No, they wrote. Despite the many claims to the contrary, there is no consensus that GMOs are safe. 

Said Dr. Angelika Hilbeck, chairwoman of the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER) and one of the signers: 

"The statement draws attention to the diversity of opinion over GMOs in the scientific community and the often contradictory or inconclusive findings of studies on GMO safety. These include toxic effects on laboratory animals fed GM foods, increased pesticide use from GM crop cultivation and the unexpected impacts of Bt insecticidal crops on beneficial and non-target organisms." 

Learn more

Read the statement

Read the list of scientists, physicians and academics

How will the world's economy crash? We think it will happen when the US dollar finally topples over. Journey along the rocky road from the web pages of Zero Hedge ("on a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero")


"A liquidity trap is a situation described in Keynesian economics in which injections of cash into the private banking system by a central bank fail to lower interest rates and hence fail to stimulate economic growth. A liquidity trap is caused when people hoard cash because they expect an adverse event such as deflation, insufficient aggregate demand, or war. Signature characteristics of a liquidity trap are short-term interest rates that are near zero and fluctuations in the monetary base that fail to translate into fluctuations in the general price levels."

Evidence is mounting that the US Federal Reserve has now become trapped within this dynamic.  The boost in asset prices caused by the increased levels of liquidity in the system has benefited the wealthy while doing little to jumpstart the real economy... Currently, with most economic indicators showing signs of weakness, it is clear that the Federal Reserve is currently experiencing a diminishing rate of return from their monetary policies.

From this standpoint it was shocking to see someone, particularly Larry Summers (Editor's note: At one point, Summers was the front runner to replace Ben Bernanke), actually discuss this issue during a recent CNBC interview stating his case on why it is wrong to rely on monetary policy as the main driver of the economy.

The important point is that, for the first time that I am aware of, someone has verbally stated that we are indeed caught within a liquidity trap. This has been a point that has been vigorously opposed by supporters of the Federal Reserve actions.

Of course, the lack of transmission of the current monetary interventions into the real economy has remained a conundrum for the Federal Reserve as the gap between improving economic statistics and the real underlying economic fabric continues to widen. As Larry states, we are indeed in uncharted territory. With the direct manipulation of interest rates near impossible, it leaves only verbal (forward guidance) and liquidity (increases of excess reserves) policy tools available.

The problem is that these tools have never been used to such a massive extent before in history.  While analysts and economist continue to suggest, with each passing year, that stronger economic growth is coming; it has yet to be the case. As discussed previously, this is a tell-tale sign of a liquidity trap. - by Lance Roberts of STA Wealth Management

Read the full report here: Zero Hedge.

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Our last "Bor Ei Engrok" night of the year is coming up next weekend at Merdekarya! Come and be entertained by musicians, stand-up comedians, spoken word artists.
Drop by to support our creative arts initiative for Orang Asli children across Malaysia. 

You can also sign up to volunteer for our village trip (5/1/2014) as well as drop off recyclable items and/or children's books.


Markiza and Peter Brown 
Nazim Ifran
Shaneil Devaser 
Ariff AB 

More to be announced soon!
A message from the leader

Rainforest Action Network

A message from the leader

Organic Consumers Association

Posted By: Organic Consumers Association (campaign leader)

Are we working to pass state GMO labeling laws, only to have Congress take away that right? 

Right now, a House and Senate conference committee is hashing out the details of the 2013 Farm Bill. Within the House version of that bill is an amendment offered by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) that has the potential to wipe out states' rights to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs). 

The King Amendment is designed to take away California's right to regulate food that comes from factory farms. Specifically, Rep. King wants to overturnCalifornia's Proposition 2, a law passed by the voters that says farm animals should have enough room to spread their limbs and turn around. 

But the amendment includes sweeping language about regulating states' rights to regulate food and farming. Sweeping enough that we believe it could threaten state GMO labeling laws. 

There's still time to keep this dangerous amendment out of the final version of the Farm Bill. Please call your U.S. Representative and two Senators today  at (202) 224-3121. Ask them to oppose the King Amendment and support states' rights to regulate food and farming. 

Find your representatives and senators


A petition to The Snack Food 20

Posted By: Rainforest Action Network (campaign leader)


Take 50 seconds to hear an important message from the RAN team, direct from the remote jungles of Indonesia:

Then, please TAKE ACTION and help save the last remaining wild orangutans from "Conflict Palm Oil."

Palm oil is found in roughly half the products sold in grocery stores, and its production on vast industrial plantations is now one of the leading causes of rainforest destruction worldwide. Palm oil is the single biggest threat driving orangutans toward extinction, and is also responsible for widespread human rights violations including displacement of Indigenous Peoples, land conflicts with forest-dependent communities, and forced and child labor. 

This is why we've dubbed it "Conflict Palm Oil"--and it's currently used in many of the most popular snack foods in the world.

Companies using Conflict Palm Oil in their products aren't just feeding you rainforest destruction and orangutan extinction, though--they're also feeding you climate change. Deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia, where nearly all palm oil is grown, is responsible for more carbon pollution into earth's atmosphere each year than all the cars, trucks, planes, trains and ships in the United States combined. In fact, due to deforestation, Indonesia has the world's third largest greenhouse gas emissions behind only China and the United States. 

But we can do something about it! 

Snack food companies using Conflict Palm Oil in their products need to hear from you. TAKE ACTION today!

For the great red ape,
Mike G.
Rainforest Action Network


from Bill McKibben,

In a reasonable world, Typhoon Haiyan would be the wakeup call that jolts world leaders meeting in Poland for UN climate talks into decisive action. Depressingly, the message isn’t yet getting through, which is why the Filipino delegation, and many allies, have embarked on a fast to underline the immense, immediate needs facing the victims of this storm.

For our part, we’re bringing thousands on thousands of messages of solidarity with Philippines climate leaders from around the world to the halls of the UN climate talks. This is our way of showing intransigent politicians that the world is counting on them to stand with the victims of Typhoon Haiyan and take real action.

Our team in Warsaw will deliver the messages alongside the Philippines delegation later this week, and it’s my hope that they’ll be carrying yours when they do. Click here to send a wake up call message on behalf of the Philippines.

Due to the overwhelming destruction of infrastructure and communication systems, the relief effort in the hardest hit places is only just beginning. In addition to sending that message, can you pitch in to support our friends in the Philippines as they recover from this unprecedented storm, if you’re able?

This Thursday, the penultimate day of UN talks, people will be gathering in climate justice for the Philippines vigils across the globe, to send the message we’re standing with the Philippines even if they won’t.

Yeb Sano, the lead Filipino negotiator at the UN Talks, has been fasting for 7 days in a brave protest of the inaction and delay in the face of climate disaster. And his courage is contagious: we're hearing from people around the world who are fasting with him in solidarity.

The full account of the destruction won’t be known for a while yet, but the message of Typhoon Haiyan already couldn’t be clearer. It doesn’t feel quite right to look for good in moments like these, but there is at least a glimmer of hope that such a tragedy will cut through the fog of politics and reveal the urgency of this crisis.

I fear it will only happen if we push however, and so push we will.

Many thanks,


How will the world's economy crash? We think it will happen when the US dollar finally topples over. Journey along the rocky road from the web pages of Zero Hedge ("on a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero")

"A liquidity trap is a situation described in Keynesian economics in which injections of cash into the private banking system by a central bank fail to lower interest rates and hence fail to stimulate economic growth. A liquidity trap is caused when people hoard cash because they expect an adverse event such as deflation, insufficient aggregate demand, or war. Signature characteristics of a liquidity trap are short-term interest rates that are near zero and fluctuations in the monetary base that fail to translate into fluctuations in the general price levels."

Evidence is mounting that the US Federal Reserve has now become trapped within this dynamic.  The boost in asset prices caused by the increased levels of liquidity in the system has benefited the wealthy while doing little to jumpstart the real economy... Currently, with most economic indicators showing signs of weakness, it is clear that the Federal Reserve is currently experiencing a diminishing rate of return from their monetary policies.

From this standpoint it was shocking to see someone, particularly Larry Summers (Editor's note: At one point, Summers was the front runner to replace Ben Bernanke), actually discuss this issue during a recent CNBC interview stating his case on why it is wrong to rely on monetary policy as the main driver of the economy.

The important point is that, for the first time that I am aware of, someone has verbally stated that we are indeed caught within a liquidity trap. This has been a point that has been vigorously opposed by supporters of the Federal Reserve actions.

Of course, the lack of transmission of the current monetary interventions into the real economy has remained a conundrum for the Federal Reserve as the gap between improving economic statistics and the real underlying economic fabric continues to widen. As Larry states, we are indeed in uncharted territory. With the direct manipulation of interest rates near impossible, it leaves only verbal (forward guidance) and liquidity (increases of excess reserves) policy tools available.

The problem is that these tools have never been used to such a massive extent before in history.  While analysts and economist continue to suggest, with each passing year, that stronger economic growth is coming; it has yet to be the case. As discussed previously, this is a tell-tale sign of a liquidity trap. - by Lance Roberts of STA Wealth Management

Read the full report here: Zero Hedge.

A message from the leader

Organic Consumers Association

"Our house is on fire. Rather than argue about how fast it's burning, we need to start throwing buckets of water."
- Michael Brune, Director, Sierra Club, Sept. 27, 2013 

Michael Brune is right. Our house is on fire. We'd better start throwing buckets of water. Fast. 

This World Food Day, OCA National Director, Ronnie Cummins, urged everyone who wants to help put out the fire to take a close look at the food you eat. Where did it come from? How was it grown or raised? What did it take to get it from the farm to your table?  

These questions are rarely part of the climate-change debate. Yet they should be. Because today's global food system, with its intense dependence on biotechnology, chemicals, water and fossil fuels, is destroying the natural capacity of plants, trees and soils to sequester excess greenhouse gases. 

We have a choice: Cook Organic. Or Cook the Planet. And time is not on our side. 

Read Ronnie's World Food Day message

Dear friends,

Twelve countries are about to agree a trade deal that would let companies sue our governments to get rid of laws that protect us, but reduce their profits! This affects legislation on everything from internet freedom to GMO labeling. With just 48 hours until the deal is sealed, three countries are wobbling. If we deluge them right now with a call to stand strong, we can stop this global corporate takeover before Monsanto uncorks the champagne:   


Monsanto’s about to celebrate their biggest coup ever, but we’ve got until the weekend to stop them. 

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a huge, ultra-secret deal among twelve major countries that would give corporations unprecedented power -- allowing them to use new global tribunals to sue our governments for passing laws that protect us, but reduce their profits! This could apply to everything from labeling GMO foods to protecting internet freedom. Wikileaks has broken the story and opposition is building fast, but the countries are rushing to seal the deal in 48 hours. 

This is insane, but we have a chance to stop it -- 3 countries are wobbling, and if they pull back now the whole deal could crumble. If we deluge leaders in Chile, New Zealand and Australia with a global call to stand strong, we can stop this corporate takeover before Monsanto uncorks the champagne. Sign up now and share this with everyone: 

The leaked Trans-Pacific Partnership drafts read like an extended Christmas wish-list for big business -- it would set a global standard of companies imposing their will on our governments through an opaque system of tribunals. These courts could limit access to cheap generic medicines in favour of branded medicines, and even allow cigarette companies to sue governments over health regulations that they say threaten profits! It’s almost too crazy to be true.

But practically no one has heard of the TPP! The talks are so secretive that not even our elected lawmakers know what’s in it -- just the negotiators and 600 corporate lobbyists. Now leaked texts have shocked politicians and citizens from Chile, New Zealand, and Australia. And they are pushing back on the corporate bullying, and against the US that is hell-bent on getting a deal agreed before there is too much public scrutiny. 

The TPP affects us all -- it infringes on our rights and undermines our democracies just to protect the corporate bottom line. And we only have days to stop it. Join the urgent call and tell everyone: 

It can be easy to feel small in the face of big corporate forces driving our governments. But people, not money, are the true source of power. Time and again, our community has proved that when we come together to protect our rights against corporate takeover, we can win. Let’s now stop this unprecedented threat to our democracies. 

With hope, 

Alice, David, Jooyea, Alex, Aldine, Julien, Ricken, and the Avaaz team

PS - Many Avaaz campaigns are started by members of our community! Start yours now and win on any issue - local, national or global:


WikiLeaks publishes secret draft chapter of Trans-Pacific Partnership (The Guardian) 

Full text of the leaked draft text (Wikileaks) 

The Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty is the complete opposite of 'free trade' (The Guardian) 

Fast track risky path for Pacific trade pact (Seattle Times) 

For Free Trade's Sake, Get IP Out of the TPP (Huffington Post) 

Philip Morris Leads Plain Packs Battle in Global Trade Arena (Bloomberg)

HOW on earth is this poor cobra going to get to the other side of the fence in search of food or be together with the rest of the family (pic)?

Despite a firm assurance from the then Housing and Local Government Minister in a public dialogue session in July 2012 that all fencing work at Bukit Kiara will stop immediately (the fencing project had caused extensive damage to the environment), the National Landscape Department (JLN) insists on carrying on with the project.

Do we want Bukit Kiara to be further damaged with all the huge machines and equipment?

What about the suffering of the wildlife which will have limited mobility in search of food?

Why are we restricting their access when they were born free? This picture epitomises the ill-effects of the fence on the powerless and long-suffering animals.

In short the continuation of the fencing project will bring more damage than good.

It is beyond me why JLN is willing to spend so much money on a project which benefits nobody. It is still not too late.

Hopefully, JLN will finally listen to the voice of the rakyat and

protect one of the last standing green lungs in the heart of the city.


Kuala Lumpur

(see pics Save Bukit Kiara)____________________________

A message from the campaign to

Save the Arctic

Posted By: Greenpeace (campaign leader)

Big news!

Earlier today the Russian government agreed to amend an amnesty bill to include the 28 Greenpeace activists and two freelance journalists that were arrested in September following a peaceful protest against oil drilling in the Arctic. The bill was just now officially adopted by the Russian Parliament. 

This means legal proceedings against them will be stopped and they should be home soon if they choose to accept amnesty.I can almost hear the collective sigh of relief, but they're not celebrating. They've all spent two months in jail for a crime they didn't commit, faced absurd criminal charges and drilling in the Russian Arctic is set to start any day now. 

As Peter Willcox, captain of the seized Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, said: "There's no amnesty for the Arctic."

After amnesty has been accepted and as soon as they have the necessary exit visas, they will be able to leave Russia. We're keeping our fingers crossed that the Russian authorities make the process speedy and allow them to spend the holidays with their families.

The support over the last four months has been overwhelming. There have been 860 protests in 46 countries, and more than 2.6 million people emailing their Russian embassy.

You've been at the heart of this - signing petitions, attending protests, getting your friends involved -- it has been an incredibly inspiring stand of solidarity.

This doesn't end once they're home. We must finish the job and save the Arctic.

P.SJoin the Arctic 30 in their mission to protect the Arctic from oil companies looking to profit off climate change. 


The fate of Bukit Kiara - when government doesn't listen to the people

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September-October 2013

3rd Protest Walk to Save Bukit Kiara - 
by Friends of Bukit Kiara

Article in The Star: fencing to resume

DateSaturday, September 28 2013

Venue: In front of Bakti Building (at the base of the Bukit Kiara jogging trail)

Time: 8:00 am

Please come and support us at this Walk. Bring your family and friends. At the same time spread this event to all. Please wear your `Save Bukit Kiara' T-shirts.

Why are we having this protest walk for the 3rd time?

Despite a firm assurance from the then Minister of Housing and Local Government, YB Chor in a dialogue session in July 2012 that all fencing work will stop immediately (the fencing project had caused extensive damage to the environment). Friends of Bukit Kiara was informed that they will be consulted on this matter should there be new developments. Therefore we were shocked to get a letter dated 26 Aug from JLN that it is going ahead with the fencing project with or without our support. Do we want to Bukit Kiara to be further damaged with all the huge machines and equipment? What about the suffering of the wildlife which will have limited mobility in search of food? Why are we restricting their access? In short the continuation of the fencing project will bring MORE damage than good. Therefore we strongly object to the continuation of the fencing project.

Despite the Malaysian Cabinet making an important decision in 2007 to keep 188.93ha (466.86 acres) of Bukit Kiara green, there is increasing concern whether the whole of Bukit Kiara will be gazetted as promised by the Government.

Recent developments with respect of Lot 52314 (62.5 acres for use as polo and equestrian grounds only) have raised concern on whether City Hall will give in to the demands of Berjaya Corporation to approve a development order to build a stadium, condos, hospital, international school, exhibition area etc.

The time has come for the Government not only has to give the rakyat an undertaking that Bukit Kiara's status will remain green but also inform Berjaya Corporation in no uncertain terms that it will not allow any form of development in the BK area as it is one of the few remaining green lungs left in the city.

We love Bukit Kiara as it is

Don't let corruption and greed destroy Bukit Kiara! Time to take action again. Watch this space. #Savebukitkiara

The 6th Eco Film Festival 2013 

@ Publika, Solaris Dutamas 11, 12 & 13 October

for all info click on their site below

Check out some of these fun workshops and talks that's happening 12-13 Oct, Publika at the 6th Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival. 

Whether for your kids, teens or grandma, this year's KLEFF has a bit of everything for everyone! 
Seats are limited so registration is encouraged. Some workshops are free while some requires a small fee (materials provided). 
Send your name, email and contact number to


The Bee @ Publika Saturday 12 October 2013
Free admission
Acoustic Showcase

3:00pm Jes Ibrahim
3:30pm Ariff AB
4:00pm Dzamira Dzafr

The Greenvibes Show

6:00pm The Rubberbands 
6:30pm Peter Hassan & Markiza 
7:00pm Azmyl Yunor 
7:30pm Viv & TNJU 
8:00pm S.O.G 
8:30pm Kien Lim 
9:00 pm Fazz

Newsletter July-August 2013


Saturday 3rd August 9.00 pm free admission
Rock on Wood II
CATS IN LOVE facebook
@ Mark's Place, Block B, Jalan SS7/13A, Plaza kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

mother earth


Humans: the real threat to life on Earth

Living without money and a place to call your own (and thriving on it)

Midway: A love story for our time

80% of Rainforests in Malaysian Borneo logged

A message from the campaign

Bee The Change

State officials in Oregon are temporarily restricting the use of more than a dozen pesticide products following the deaths of an estimated 50,000 bumblebees in the Portland area this month.

The measure, effective immediately, will last for 180 days while the Oregon State Agricultural Department investigates incidents of a mass bee die-off in the Portland suburb of Wilsonville, and a much smaller die-off in neighboring Hillsboro.

Eighteen pesticide products containing the active ingredient dinotefuran and used for ornamental, turf and agricultural applications have been banned for now.

"I have directed the agency to take this step in an effort to minimize any potential for additional incidents involving bee deaths connected to pesticide products with this active ingredient until such time as our investigation is completed and we have more information," the agency's director, Katy Coba, said in a statement released Thursday.

"Conclusions from the investigation will help us and our partners evaluate whether additional steps need to be considered."

A pesticide known as Safari, which contains dinotefuran and belongs to a class called neonicotinoids, caused the deaths of an estimated 50,000 bumblebees in a Target parking lot in Wilsonville this month, authorities said. Crews have wrapped the affected linden trees around the lot with protective netting to prevent further deaths.



Get others involved


(Beyond Pesticides, June 24, 2013) Just as Pollinator Weekbegan last week, an estimated 50,000 bumblebees, likely representing over 300 colonies, were found dead or dying in a shopping mall parking lot in Wilsonville, Oregon. Authorities confirmed Friday that the massive bee die-off was caused by the use of a neonicotinoid pesticide, dinotefuran, on nearby trees. Then on Saturday, it was reported by The Oregonian that what could be hundreds of bees were found dead after a similar pesticide use in the neighboring town of Hillsboro. 

According to the Xerces Society, this is the largest known incident of bumblebee deaths ever recorded in the country. Bumblebees, which are crucial to pollination of multiple berry and seed crops grown in the Willamette valley, have recently experienced dramatic population declines, a fate that is similar to other pollinators. Dan Hilburn, Director of plant programs at the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), told Oregon Live that he's "never encountered anything quite like it in 30 years in the business." The incident highlights the difficulty of permitting in commerce such a highly toxic material that indiscriminately kills beneficial insects. 

A recent study, An overview of the environmental risks posed by neonicotinoid insecticides, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, documents that neonicotinoid persistence in soil and water can cause broad and far-reaching impacts on ecosystem health, much of which have undergone little scientific scrutiny. The author asserts that world leaders have failed to meet their commitment made at the 2002 Convention on Biological Diversity – to achieve a significant reduction in the rate biodiversity loss. He points to neonicotinoids as a potential cause of this failure, due to their long-term persistence in soil and water. He specifically points to soil dwelling insects, benthic aquatic insects, grain-eating vertebrates, and pollinators as being in particular danger from the use of these chemicals.  

The ODA and Xerces Society had been working together to investigate the pesticide poisoning. After interviewing the landscaping company that maintains dozens of ornamental trees around the parking lot, ODA investigators learned that Safari, a pesticide product with the active ingredient dinotefuran, had recently been applied on Saturday, June 15 to control aphids.Dinotefuran is a neonicotinoid pesticide that is highly toxic to bees; the product's label strictly forbids its use if bees are in the area. 

Scott Black, executive director of the Xerces Society, noted that the pesticide was applied to the tree while it was flowering, an action that violates the product's instructions. "Beyond the fact that a pesticide was applied to plants while they were attracting large numbers of bees, in this case the pesticide was applied for purely cosmetic reasons. There was no threat to human health or the protection of farm crops that even factored into this decision." 

Neonicotinoids, including dinotefuran, can be broadly applied as a spray, soil drench, or seed treatment, however, the ability of these chemicals to translocate through a plant as it grows has led to the creation of a large market within chemical-intensive landscaping and agriculture. Once these systemic pesticides are taken up by a plant's vascular system, they are expressed through pollen, nectar and guttation droplets from which pollinators such as bees then forage and drink. Neonicotinoids kill sucking and chewing insects by disrupting their nervous systems. Beginning in the late 1990s, these systemic insecticides also began to take over the seed treatment market. Clothianidin and imidacloprid are two of the most commonly used neonicotinoid pesticides. Both are known to be toxic to insect pollinators, and are lead suspects as causal factors in honey bee colony collapse disorder. An extensive overview of the major studies showing the effects of neonicotiniods on pollinator health can be found on Beyond Pesticides' What the Science Shows webpage. 

Several different crops in the Willamette valley of Oregon rely heavily on the pollination services provided by bumblebees. Blueberriesraspberries, blackberries and crop seed production, which are grown in Oregon, all rely on bumblebees for pollination. Mace Vaughn, pollinator conservation program director with the Xerces Society, told Oregon Live, "Bumblebees are the single most important natural pollinator in Oregon."

Want to get involved? See this petition on Causes

A new petition from the campaign:  
Say No to Monsanto

Is Monsanto Using Back-Door Trade Deal to Force GMOs into EU?

Posted by Alexis Baden-Mayer (campaign leader)

Add your voice


TAKE ACTION: Tell President Obama and U.S. Trade Rep. Michael Froman: Trade Agreements Shouldn't Be Secret!

Public approval? Government regulations? Who needs 'em when you can use a global trade agreement to do an end run? 

If you thought recent news stories claiming that Monsanto has given up on trying to sell its genetically engineered seeds in Europe sounded too good to be true, you were right. Far from giving up, the biotech industry is now looking to a new trade pact between the EU and the U.S. that could blow the European market wide open for genetically modified organisms (GMOs). TheTransatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) calls for the removal of "unnecessary regulatory barriers" to trade. Among those barriers are restrictions on GMOs. Here's what Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) had to say about the deal: 

"US seed companies that for a decade have been struggling to break the deadlock over the authorization for the cultivation of their [GM] seeds now will be presented with the ultimate opportunity to change the entire process to suit their needs."

The TTIP, and its Pacific Rim counterpart, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), are being negotiated in secret. No input from the public. No access by Congress, despite requests from more than 140 Congress members to see drafts of the negotiating texts. Who does have input? More than 600 corporations. And if President Obama gets his way, both deals will be"fast-tracked" with no debate. 

Learn more here and here

TAKE ACTION: Tell President Obama and U.S. Trade Rep. Michael Froman: Trade Agreements Shouldn't Be Secret!

Want to get involved? See this petition on Causes

Markiza & Peter Hassan performing in gardens of Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre October 2011 (guitar kindly lent by Kevin "Broken Scar" Teh)

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Newsletter July 2013

352 (1st Floor), Jalan 5/57, Petaling Gardens, Section 5, PJ
Nan Blues, Brian Gomez, Markiza & Peter Brown
Saturday 29 June
9.00 pm
Admission RM10

Passion revisited band performing at Merdekarya 27.4.13

Earth Matters

The haze is a result of human interference into the natural system that mother nature has created. The root cause is the draining of peat swamp forests - this draining happens in Indonesia and in Malaysia even in Selangor. The main fires are now in Indonesia but I have seen them in Malaysia as well before. The fires that deliver the haze are under the soil - check out the pictures ... it is not really trees that are being burned down is the smoldering fires under the soil that keep delivering the thick haze. There is one simple solution to the problem - stop all drainage of peat areas. NO peat forest will ever burn if you leave it as mother nature created it. The water table is to high for the peat to burn! Only if the ever greedy human species starts the draining then 10 thousands of years of carbon storage of mother nature can be destroyed in weeks by fires that travel under the soil and that are very difficult to put out. One small fire can quickly spread to thousands of hectares of drained land. STOP ALL DRAINING OF PEAT LAND IN INDONESIA AND MALAYSIA - DRAINING PEAT LAND IS A CRIME AGAINST FUTURE GENERATIONS and it is damaging peoples health and the economy here and now. All the talk I see and hear seems to be not focused on the real root cause. The fires will return in the future until we STOP the DRAINING of PEATS.


By trail users, for trail users

from The Star Monday 24.06.13

Saving Bukit Kiara

For the past six years, Traks has been fighting an uphill battle to preserve Bukit Kiara. In June 2007, the Cabinet made a decision to gazette 189ha of Bukit Kiara as a permanent forest reserve. However, there hasn’t been any follow-up since.

Despite repeated rallies and campaigns by various NGOs and resident associations to protect Kiara, parcels of land have been leased out or are being considered for lease to private developers. In fact, bulldozers have been moving in and clearing chunks of Kiara over the years.

“The recent Bukit Kiara saga is quite saddening and is at the forefront of our minds right now,” says Roberts.

Together with environmental groups like Malaysian Nature Society and Global Environment Centre, and the Taman Tun Dr Ismail Residents Association, non-profit organisations like Landskap Malaysia and Friends of Bukit Kiara (FoBK), Traks organised the Save Bukit Kiara Walk in March. Thousands gathered at Kiara to show their support to preserve one of the few remaining green lungs in Kuala Lumpur.

“By destroying the city’s green areas, Malaysia is going against what’s now a generally accepted trend of having more green space per square metre of people,” he adds. 

“These spaces contribute to the quality of life for city folks by increasing the air quality, reducing heat effect from development, and improving the health of people in the community, among other benefits.  

“At the end of the day, without raw green space, there are no trails to build, maintain, manage or frolic about!” Roberts sums up.


from The Nutgraph


HSBC Bank Must Stop Funding Old-Growth Rainforest Logging

By the Rainforest Portal a project of Ecological Internet
June 23, 2013

TAKE ACTION to stop HSBC from funding old-growth rainforest logging:

HSBC Bank continues to fund logging companies pillaging old-growth rainforests and causing human rights abuses in Sarawak, Malaysia, and expanding globally. After ravaging all but 5% of Sarawak’s once pristine tropical rainforests, HSBC’s Sarawak clients – described in Papua New Guinea as the “Malaysian timber mafia” – now dominate the global, ecocidal old-growth timber industry. Anyone participating in the industrial destruction of Earth’s last old-growth forests – be they banks, governments, corporations, or NGOs – are legitimate protest targets, if we are to maintain local well-being and a habitable Earth for all. Please demand that HSBC end all involvement with old-growth rainforest logging.

Discuss Alert:

Please also send the following alerts (to which you will be forwarded) to protect old-growth forests as a keystone response to the climate and ecosystem crises as well:

Protect Papua New Guinea Indigenous Cave-Dwellers from Rainforest Destroying Mafia

Demand India Protect Old-Growth and Abandon Coal

Massive Chinese Dam Threatens Cambodia's Cardamom Rainforests

Please support Ecological Internet's campaigns to protect and restore old
forests at


(Madison, Wisconsin) – Ecological Internet – a small forest and climate protection NGO with a global reach – is thrilled to have contributed to an additional 170,000 hectares (about 420,000 acres) of Tasmania, Australia, old-growth forests being protected. Following decades of local protest, six years of blockades, tree sitting, and extensive international affinity campaigns spearhead by Ecological Internet and others, most of Tasmania’s remaining old-growth has been granted World Heritage area protection, which should exclude further logging. The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage area has been extended to include the iconic Upper Florentine and areas within the Styx, Huon, Picton, and Counsel River Valleys.

Tasmania is home to the tallest hardwood forests on Earth, with eucalyptus trees reaching nearly 100 metres and living for over 400 years, existing within one of Earth's greatest tracts of large, connected, and ecologically intact temperate rainforest. Tasmania contains large tracts of natural old-growth forest, glacial landforms, alpine and sub-alpine environments, wild rivers, indigenous heritage sites, and critical endangered species habitat. There are many species that rely on old growth trees for their survival, including important habitat for rare and threatened species such as the endangered wedge-tailed eagle and the Tasmanian devil.

“It’s fantastic that after so many years of campaigning, conservationists around Tasmania, and indeed the world, can celebrate the protection of these magnificent wild forests that contain the tallest flowering plants on earth and an array of wonderful wildlife… We can all smile broadly knowing that at last Tasmania’s forests of outstanding universal value are now protected for all time,” states Green Leader Christine Milne after the announcement was made by the UNESCO's World Heritage Committee and the Australian government on Monday. Forest conservationists must remain vigilant, as some politicians continue to espouse logging in the World Heritage area, which would make a mockery of this important declaration.

Ecological Internet and predecessor have been active in internationalizing Tasmanian forest protection for two decades, actively promoting local conservationist’s demands with affinity alerts, including successfully targeting for years Gunns to end its old-growth logging for pulp. Earlier this year Ecological Internet globally publicized findings [1] that, while the Australian government had made pledges to protect Tasmania's priceless temperate rainforests, industrial clearcut logging of old-growth continued in what was to be a World Heritage area.

Recently, several thousand forest activists associated with Ecological Internet from 110 countries sent some 129,795 protest emails demanding the Tasmania World Heritage area be extended and logging cease therein, demands which have been met in full.[2] Australia’s federal Environment Minister Tony Burke sent emails to all those who participated, stating, “They’re [Tasmania’s old-growth forests] protected forever now. Your work and advocacy has helped make this real,” publicly acknowledging our pressure as having contributed to the victory.

Our most recent of dozens of alerts over the past twenty two years supported conservationist Miranda Gibson, who, from atop the "Observer Tree" in the middle of this ancient forest, called for our help in protecting these globally significant forests.[3] For six years the Upper Florentine Valley had been defended by Tasmania’s longest running forest blockade. After the victory, Ms. Gibson noted, “Thousands of people across the globe have been part of this global movement to protect Tasmania’s ancient forests as World Heritage. Right around the world people today are celebrating the power of community action and what we have achieved for Tasmania’s forests.”

“My intuition is that global protest, spearheaded at a critical time by EI, played an unusually large role in ending Tasmania’s battle to protect the last large old-growth forests, as the hypocrisy of continuing to log forests marked for World Heritage status was too shameful to disregard,” says Dr. Glen Barry, Ecological Internet’s president. “When Australia gets things right, they do it in a big way, and this 170,000 hectare addition to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage area is a tremendously important gift to the Earth. Now if Australia can get off of coal, and protect and restore other old-growth forests that continue to be cleared, they may have a chance at ecological sustainability.”

### ENDS ###

[1] Status Report on Logging in World Heritage nominated forests by Still Wild Still Threatened and Huon Valley Environment Centre,

[2] Protest Tasmanian Old-Growth Logging in Proposed World Heritage Area,

[3] The Observer Tree,

** Please support Ecological Internet’s campaign to end industrial old-growth forest logging as a means to promote local advancement from standing forests, crucial to local and global ecological sustainability, with a donation at:

from Samantha Bailey - 


I want to give you an update from Istanbul, where we are a bit low on sleep but quite high on energy.

After months of hard work to prepare, climate organisers from 134 countries on every continent are in Istanbul for Phase 1 of Global Power Shift, spending every waking hour building new relationships, skills, and power. The days are divided between intensive skills trainings, regional collaborations, global visioning, and meals over the reddest tomatoes you'll ever see.

The skills that we're sharing will give us the tools we need to prepare for a wave of national and regional Power Shift actions in coming months, and the connections to people across the world will give us the vision to translate that energy into international action.

I'm writing you now to ask you to join what comes next. After we wrap up here in Istanbul, there will be a wave of regional and national Power Shifts across the planet. We're making those plans now, and we need to know if you will be there with us to continue our amazing growth.

You can join phase 2 of Global Power Shift by signing up here -- will you join us?

Phase 2 of Global Power Shift will put pressure directly on national governments across the world.

Tomorrow, Christiana Figueres the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will be coming to GPS here in Istanbul to discuss the path forward to international climate action, and we want her to leave here with the strongest mandate possible to push leaders to take action.

We want to be able to show her messages from tens of thousands of people who have pledged to create a bold wave of climate activism in countries around the world. If you sign on today, we'll be able to do that -- and will be that much closer to strong international action on climate.

In a fight this big, everyone has a role to play. Can you step into yours by pledging to ramp up the climate movement in your home countries for Phase 2 of Global Power Shift?

I also want to let you know a bit more about who you'll be fighting alongside during Phase 2.

You'll be shoulder-to-shoulder with the warriors of the Pacific, who told everyone here about their Warrior Day of Action, sending the message that as the ocean waters rise about their island homes, they are not drowning -- they are fighting. You'll also be standing with youth here from Eastern Europe who are winning hearts and minds to shut down gigantic coal plants and end a generations-long legacy of industrial pollution. And you'll be joining the fight alongside our friends here from central Africa who are defending climate-critical forests while also adapting their communities to the early impacts of climate change.

There are many more stories to come that you will only be able discover by joining in. I'm amazed by the hard work and joyful solidarity on display here in Turkey -- but the most amazing thing about what's happening now in Istanbul is that it's just the beginning.

I hope you'll join us for what's next.


New message about Support new Marine Protected Area / Apoye nueva Área Marina Protegida / Nandayure, Costa Rica

Posted by Randall Arauz (campaign leader)

Add your voice


We still need a little over 2000 signatures to reach our 20000 goal.  Please, sign and distribute, and be a part of this campaign to protect hawksbill and olive ridley sea turtles, and promote sustainable small scale fisheries to the benefit of coastal communities.

Want to get involved? See this petition on Causes

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Newsletter June 2013


Sunday 9th June 2013.  9.00 am onwards
MNS Selangor Branch Open Day
World Environment Day @ Kota Damansara Community Forest (KDCF)
we (Markiza & Peter Hassan and others) will be playing a few environmental songs between 9 am and lunchtime)

MNS calls for politicians to make a green stand
The Malaysian Nature Society called on all political parties to pledge real action to halt unsustainable development recently

Wednesday 12th June 2013
Featured artist at Merdekarya:  Markiza & Peter Brown 9-10 pm
OPEN MIC 8-9 pm
Every night a different acoustic artist plays between 9 and 10 pm

All the songs from Passion's albums Open Secret & Love & Music
(newly digitally  remastered)
are now up on
as well as our environmental songs Like a Polar Bear & Ecopocalypse)
We shall be playing songs from these albums and the green songs on 12.6.2013 at Merdekarya
(see link above for location details)

Love Food, Hate Waste

A campaign urges people to get smart and creative about curbing food wastage.

from The Star 2 by Tan Cheng Li

THE amount of food we throw away is staggering – one-third of all food produced globally. Currently, 1.3 billion tonnes of food worth around US$1 trillion (RM3.1 trillion) fails to make it from farm to table, according to the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).

Which is why this year, the World Environment Day theme is Think.Eat.Save. The aim is to spread awareness on the environmental impact of food wastage.

FAO data shows that consumers in Europe and North America waste between 95kg and 115kg of food a year each, while those in Africa, south Asia and south-eastern Asia, 6kg to 11kg a year.

Read More


An update from the campaign

Update #4 Ban the use of neonicotinoid pesticides before they devastate bee populations in the USA

this update with others

New Report Details Mounting Bee Losses
Beyond Pesticides, 
May 13, 2013 

According to preliminary results of a survey by the Bee Informed Partnership, 31.1 percent of managed honey bee colonies in the U.S. were lost during the 2012/2013 winter.  Though these preliminary loss reports are similar to the past six year average of 30.5 percent, the new loss numbers represent a 42 percent increase compared to the previous winter. Survey participants indicate that they consider a loss rate of 15 percent as "acceptable," but 70 percent of participants suffered losses greater than this. With continued winter bee losses of over 30%, and concern whether there will be enough bees to pollinate U.S. crops this year, beekeepers and environmentalists say it is imperative that regulators act by banning the neonicotiniod pesticides that have been implicated in the global decline of honey bee populations. 

In addition to this national report, several state level incidents of large scale honey bee colony losses have been reported. In a recent incident in Florida, citrus groves experienced an acute foliar poisoning that resulted in severely damaged colonies. Oranges had an early bloom this year, and were still blooming near the end of April. One beekeeper's colonies suffered immense losses due to drift from an application of Montana 2F, an imdacloprid-based insecticide, from a neighboring grove. 1000-1500 colonies were killed, while 10,000-13,000 colonies suffered severe damage. Citrus trees were sprayed while bees were actively foraging during daylight hours. The foliar application directions on Montana 2F's label clearly state, "Do not apply during bloom or within 10 days prior to bloom or when bees are actively foraging." Imidacloprid is one of the neonicotinoid pesticides that have been linked to dramatic bee declines. Recently, the European Commission voted to ban the use of these chemicals

In Maryland, close to 60 percent of the managed hives died during the 2012/2013 winter, according to the state bee inspector and local beekeepers. "This is the worst I've seen in 35 years. We didn't all get stupid at once. I don't know what it is, but it isn't our stupidity," said Steve McDaniel, a 35-year beekeeper and retired chemist. Maryland depends on a robust honey bee population to pollinate a large volume of the state's crops.  These crops — apples, melons, berries and pumpkins — are valued in excess of $40 million. 

In Canada, beekeepers are calling on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to allow commercial beekeepers to import package bees from the U.S. because of higher than expected bee losses this past winter. Some beekeepers reported average losses of up to 50 percent of their hives. Though weather is seen as a major factor in the wintering losses of Canadian honey bees, the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists also argue that the use of systemic pesticides are connected to these dramatic bee loses. 

In study after study pesticides, specifically neonicotinoids, have been linked to bee declines. These chemicals are used extensively in U.S. agriculture, especially as seed treatment for corn and soybeans. Agriculture is not the only concern however, as pesticide applications in home gardens, city parks, and landscaping are also prime culprits in the proliferation of these harmful chemicals. The systemic residues of these pesticides not only contaminate pollen, nectar, and the wider environment, but have repeatedly been identified as highly toxic to honey bees. 

Recently, Beyond Pesticides launched a comprehensive campaign called BEE Protective to support nationwide local action aimed at protecting honey bees and other pollinators from pesticides.  BEE Protective is releasing a variety of educational materials, including a BEE Protective Habitat Guide, providing information on creating native pollinator habitat in communities, eliminating bee-toxic chemicals, and other advocacy tools. The campaign also encourages municipalities, campuses, and homeowners to adopt policies that protect bees and other pollinators from harmful pesticide applications and create pesticide-free refuges for these beneficial organisms. In addition to scientific and regulatory information, BEE Protective also includes a model community pollinator resolution and a pollinator protection pledge.

European Update

Posted by Ben EJ Evans (campaign leader)

It starts with you


Ladies and Gentlemen, Right now in Brussels, a scam seems to be taking place that will harm bees, biodiversity and all citizens who have been fighting for several years to ban bee killing pesticides in Europe and every country in the world. The alleged ban on neonicotinoids announced by the European Commission appears to be a scam, thought out by the agrochimical firms to obtain official agreement for the bee-killing pesticides they sell.



We Know Who You Are: 71 Senators Reject GMO Labeling

Posted by Alexis Baden-Mayer (campaign leader)

It starts with you


TAKE ACTION: Click here to find out how your senators voted and call them to let them know what you think.

On the eve of a worldwide protest against Monsanto, 71 U.S. senators voted against an amendment to the Senate version of the 2013 Farm Bill that would have guaranteed states the right to enact mandatory GMO (genetically modified organism) labeling laws. 

Seventy-one Senators voted against you, the 90 percent of consumers who have said that you want labels on foods containing genetically engineered (GE) ingredients. 

Seventy-one Senators – including 43 Republican so-called defenders of states' rights - voted against your state's Constitutional Tenth Amendment right to protect the health, safety and welfare of its citizens and local businesses. 

We know who those Senators are. And we plan to make certain that everyone who cares about food safety and food sovereignty knows who they are, too.

TAKE ACTION: Click here to find out how your senators voted and call them to let them know what you think.

Ecological Internet

British Columbia rejects pipeline: Guardian 

EcoInternet so pleased to see BC Canada govt reject the Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline. We were the first international group to protest, and had already worked with local opposition to delay the project for a year. Nearly 1/2 million protest emails were sent from: Remain vigilant!


Protect Papua New Guinea Indigenous Cave-Dwellers from Rainforest Destroying Mafia

By the Rainforest Portal a project of Ecological Internet

TAKE ACTION to protect Papua New Guinea’s nomadic cave-dwellers

Notorious Malaysian illegal loggers Rimbunan Hijau have diversified into mining in primary rainforests, in East Sepik threatening unique nomadic cave-dwellers and their 20,000 year old ancient stenciled cave art. Support the local resistance and demand an end to indigenous genocide and rainforest ecocide in the name of false development that is little more than pillaging and plundering of cultural and biological diversity.

Please also send the following alerts (to which you will be forwarded) to protect old-growth forests as a keystone response to the climate and ecosystem crises as well:

Demand India Protect Old-Growth and Abandon Coal

Massive Chinese Dam Threatens Cambodia's Cardamom Rainforests

Ecuador Tribe Will "Die Fighting" to Defend Rainforest #IdleNoMore

Please support Ecological Internet's campaigns to protect and restore old
forests at  Here is a film that gives the low-down on the current irrational belief in ECONOMIC GROWTH, that calls out the prosperity strategy that is founded on increasing population, increasing consumption and expanding economies for being UNSUSTAINABLE.

Go to this website: and sign the statement supporting the goal of a steady state economy

Economic growth - Population growth - Urban Growth - Over consumption
It's time to kick the habit of growth addiction
(if we want to save the Earth and save our civilisation, that is)

Third World Network News
Title : TWN Agriculture Info: G8 Hunger Summit Initiative Rejected by African Civil Society - Corporate Takeover of Agriculture and Land Will Increase Hunger, Groups Claim
Date : 03 June 2013


Abidjan, Addis Ababa, Algiers, Harare, Mombasa,   
3rd June 2013

G8 "Hunger Summit" initiative rejected by African civil society - Corporate takeover of agriculture & land will increase hunger, groups claim

At the heart of the leading initiatives to “modernise” African agriculture is a drive to open markets and create space for multinationals to secure profits. Green revolution technologies – and the legal and institutional changes being introduced to support them – will benefit a few at the expense of the majority.

As world leaders gather at the high profile ‘Hunger Summit’ in London this week to endorse the spate of on-going initiatives to ‘modernise’ African agriculture, 57 farmer and civil society organisations from 37 countries across the continent have slammed these efforts as ‘
a new wave of colonialism’. Harmonisation, free trade and the creation of institutions and infrastructure to facilitate multinational companies' penetration into Africa are presented as the answer to food insecurity on the continent.

These large multinational seed, fertiliser and agrochemical companies are setting the agenda for the G8’s "New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa", the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the implementation of the African Union’s Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP).

“This current focus on Africa has to be placed in the larger context of the gathering global crises with financial, food, energy and ecological dimensions. Africa, with its so called ‘abundant’ yet ‘underutilised’ land, is seen as the new frontier in all of this,” said Meriem Louanchi of the Association de R้flexion, dดEchanges et dดActions pour lดEnvironnement et le D้veloppement, an Algerian NGO.

This renewed interest in African agriculture is framed in the logic of the Green Revolution: introduce hybrid (or potentially genetically modified) seeds that, used in conjunction with irrigation and chemical fertilizers and pesticides, produce higher yields. Drawing small-holder farmers into a cash economy through the provision of credit is fundamental to this process.

However, past experiences of the Green Revolution do not bode well. Initial productivity gains tapered off, as was the case in India, while the system itself resulted in an increased concentration of land holdings, and a declining number of food producing households, with little option for other livelihood opportunities. “This was accompanied by a precipitous loss of biodiversity, severe soil degradation and water pollution from the overuse of synthetic fertilizers, and water shortages caused by wasteful water use in irrigation,” noted Million Belay, Co-ordinator of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), a pan-African platform comprising networks and farmer organisations across Africa, representing small holder farmers, pastoralists, hunter / gatherers, indigenous peoples and citizens.

“These interventions from AGRA and the G8 are, first and foremost, about opening markets and creating space for multinational corporations such as Yara, Monsanto and Cargill, to secure profits,” added Francis Ngang, Secretary General of Inades-Formation and regional focal point of COPAGEN (a network of civil society organisations, predominantly small-holder farmers’ organizations in West Africa). “As world leaders speak in philanthropic terms about ‘ending hunger’, behind the scenes Africa’s seed and trade laws are being ‘harmonised’ to the whim of these agri-business giants. The efforts of Africa’s farmers over millennia stand to be privatised and expropriated, while traditional and vital practices such as seed saving and sharing stand to be criminalised”.

That these initiatives have been framed in terms of the African Union’s CAADP lends them an air of legitimacy as being an African process. “It has to be remembered that CAADP emerged, as a programme of the New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), at the height of neo-liberalism in the early 2000s. As such, we consider it to be a compromised instrument,” said Moses Shaha, Chair of the Eastern and Southern African Farmers Forum (ESAFF), from Kenya. “For many African governments, whether they agree with CAADP's prescriptions or not, it offers the only possible source of financial relief after decades of structural adjustment.”

As G8 leaders and the leaders of agribusiness peddle these false solutions, there are a myriad of genuine alternatives, based around the concept of food sovereignty, which would be far more appropriate for the African continent. The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) is a rich source of scientifically sound proposals in this regard.

“We call upon the G8, AGRA and CAADP to acknowledge the realities on the ground in Africa, such as the huge variation in agro-ecological conditions, agricultural practices and amongst farmers themselves, and to provide appropriate and dedicated support to all food producers,” concluded Elizabeth Mpofu, of Via Campesina Africa from Zimbabwe. “Further, these institutions must abandon efforts to assert private ownership over seeds, agricultural techniques and knowledge, and invest in and facilitate open source technologies in equal partnership with our farmers.”

Meriem Louanchi: +213 21 6985 /
Million Belay: +251 11 550 71 72 /
Francis Ngang: +225 22 40 02 16 /
Moses Shaha: +254 67 31686 /
Elizabeth Mpofu: +263 772 44316 /

See Civil Society Statement at

Re: An agro-ecological vision for US agriculture

The Union of Concerned Scientists has emphasized the urgent importance of agro-ecological solutions to address the dismal state of U.S. agriculture which it describes as a "dead end". Citing how the country's industrial food production system has been detrimental to air, water, soil and human health, it says that agro-ecological farming or what it calls "healthy farms" are the way forward for sustainable food production and will be far better for the people, the environment and the economy.

It provides a clear description of what a healthy farm will be. First of all, a healthy farm will satisfy three critical indicators: high productivity; economic viability (which includes fair working conditions); and environmental stewardship. To meet these criteria, a healthy farm will be characterized by four factors: (1) multi-functionality, meaning that it serves food production as well as social, economic and environmental goals; (2) regeneration of soil and biodiversity; (3) biodiversity in choice of crops, livestock and land; and (4) interconnectedness with the environment around it. A healthy farm will thus necessarily apply the following ecological practices: (1) a landscape approach which optimizes the beneficial role of uncultivated areas on a farm; (2) the use of crop diversity and crop rotation; (3) integration of crops and livestock; and (4) the use of cover crops.

The advantages of healthy farms are many, promises the UCS. These include: less use of harmful chemical pesticides, drought resilience due to improved soil retention of water, and the benefits of maintaining a rich biodiversity on the farm and around it. To make healthy farms a widespread reality across the country, however, serious policy changes and investments need to be made alongside a clear move away from the outdated and harmful industrial mode of agriculture. The UCS calls for greater financial incentives, increased outreach and technical assistance for farmers converting to healthy farms, and more public-funded research on sustainable farming.

You can download the full report at

19 year old invents Ocean Clean-up Array

19 year old Dutch inventor Boyan Slat 

has unveiled plans to create an ocean clean-up array that could remove 7 million tons of plastic waste from the world's oceans

Read about it

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Newsletter April 2013

Fool on the Hill proudly presents



SATURDAY APRIL 20th 2013 8.00 pm

Shaneil Devaser's EP was released 
online on January 21st 2013, and he has been gigging all over the place since to promote it. On April 20th 2013, the EP would have officially been in circulation for about 3 months, and what better way to celebrate than to have the official launch party in conjunction with his 25th birthday? 

The EP Launch Party will be held at Merdekarya, an awesome venue located at 352, Jalan 5/57, Petaling Garden, 46000 PJ SGR MY, on April 20th 2013. Doors open at 8pm. Besides a 5-piece acoustic set by Shaneil Devaser, there will be a host of guest acts including Ray Cheong, Kaya, TiC, Psytrus, Ariff AB, INSTAKE, Free Deserters and Markiza & Peter Brown

Shaneil Devaser's EP, priced at RM20 a pop, is currently available for purchase at Merdekarya, Petaling Jaya MY; Distro Republic, Kota Kinabalu MY and via the official store ( Bring your copy of the EP on April 20th 2013, or grab your copy on the day itself, to get it autographed by the man himself.


352 (1st Floor), Jalan 5/57, Petaling Garden, Section 5, PJ (above Sun Raj Restaurant)


music, food, drink & conviviality
Click HERE!  for PICS & BIOS of the performers

facebook event:

We are celebrating the 20 years of our publishing company Lemang Music which

in April 1993 released Passion's first album OPEN SECRET featuring Markiza and 
Peter Hassan Brown, helped by numerous session musicians, including Julian Mokhtar, 
Paul Millott, Halim Shamsudin, Antares, Tommaso Cecere, Rick Omar.  
This was the first ever English album in the pop medium in Malaysia 
produced and financed entirely by the artists without a record company.
All original hitherto unpublished songs.  Copies of a remastered version 
will be available on the night, with 2 bonus tracks.  Please come and support the alternative music scene

We are on REVERBNATION:  For some excellent and interesting (arrresting) tracks go to:


The new CD compilation from WWF and Universal Music, containing tracks by Jes Ebrahim, Kyoto Protocol, Oh Chentaku, Tempered Mental, Salam Muzik, Darren Ashley, Pop Shuvit, Paid in Fiction, Ray Cheong, Soft Touch & Sausage Named Bob. 

50% of sales proceeds from this album will go to WWF-Malaysia's conservation work! Please buy this album

50% of sales proceeds from this album will go to WWF-Malaysia's conservation work; with the other 50% going to the contributing artists. We (Markiza & Peter Brown) decided to contribute a song to the album to support WWF-Malaysia's green cause because we are seriously concerned at the increasing pollution of the Earth  – the oceans, the forests and habitats for wildlife, and the seemingly relentless destruction of fragile environments which threaten eco-systems and extinction of huge numbers of plant and animal species, which present human society does not seem to have the will or the means to control, bearing in mind the limited resources of Earth, the increasing world population and everyone’s desire for a better standard of living.  But if we don’t control this development we face nothing less than destruction of humanity and everything else.

Thanks to Universal Music Malaysia for producing the Earth Hour 2013 Album, and please support WWF-Malaysia's conservation work -- log on to and buy the album today.

For your reference, here's some links on the album being sold via pandashop:

1. (click thru the top banner)
2. You can buy the album here: 
3. Here's the release about the album being part of Earth Hour 2013 campaign:


If you want to experience a real master of acoustic music then listen to this

New post on Media Room

MEDIA RELEASE: Reef Check Malaysia and other NGOs join forces to raise awareness on reef conservation

by Jasmine Low [at]


Reef Check Malaysia and other NGOs join forces to raise awareness on reef conservation

27 March 2013, Kuala Lumpur - The annual Rockin’ for the Environment (R4E) series is back again this Earth Day with a new theme: Rockin’ for the Reefs (R4R). Over 30 local musicians including powerful jazz ‘n soul vocalist Poova and 2013 VIMA ‘Song of the Year’ artiste Bihzhu as well as guitarist/composer/educator Az Samad will rock the stage at The Square in Publika Mont Kiara on 21 April 2013 from 1pm to 10pm to show their support on the importance of protecting our coral reefs.


The one-day free concert and exhibition is planned to engage communities to learn more about coral reefs and how the public can play a bigger role in reef conservation. Apart from musical entertainment from local bands and school groups, R4R will also have exhibition booths by 12 local environmental NGOs and also green businesses. The public are also encouraged to sign up for the “Adopt-A-Reef Critter” programme where for a small sum they can adopt, symbolically, one of three reef creatures, providing an opportunity to learn more while raising awareness about the fate of this important ecosystem. In the evening, the organisers are planning an acoustic evening, with music from some of Malaysia’s better-known voices.

            “For many people, coral reefs are an “invisible” ecosystem, most people never see them. So they don’t care about them. Working with EEASEA on this year’s Rockin’ for the Environment programme gives us the opportunity to showcase coral reefs and teach more people about how they provide a range of valuable ecosystem services which human society needs,” said Julian Hyde, General Manager of RCM.

“Since we started Rockin’ for the Environment in 2005, we have gotten popular local talents like emcee Rina Omar, famous musicians Pop ShuvitYuna and The Impatient Sisters to help spread environmental awareness during Earth Day. This year, you can expect another stellar line-up by 2013 Song of the Year (VIMA) award recipient –Bihzhu, powerhouse vocalist Poova, guitarist/composer/educator Az Samad and dozens of talented musicians like Zalila LeeRelentClinton Liew band, Amrita Soon and school bands!” added Kenny Peavy, former Science school teacher at ISKL with accolades as Founder of Rockin’ for the Environment, Director at EEASEA and Earth Matters Institute.

R4R 2013 is spearheaded by Reef Check Malaysia - the world's largest international coral reef monitoring programme involving volunteer recreational divers and marine scientists and Environmental Education Alliance of Southeast Asia (EEASEA) with the support from venue sponsor Publika, environmental education partner EcoKnights, cause-marketing agency Go International Group as well as local and international schools. R4R will continue throughout the week from 22-27 April 2013 with environmental talks and road shows held at local and international schools. The campaign is also adopted and promoted by international schools in Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand.

More information about Rockin’ for the Reefs (R4R) can be found .


About Rockin’ for the Environment (R4E)

Rockin 4 the Environment is a music, arts and cultural festival to raise awareness and funds for local environmental education and conservation initiatives! Visit and LIKE us

R4E milestones

  • 2012, SUN BEAR ROCK raised RM13,200+ for the Bornean Sun Bears Conservation Centre in Sandakan, Sabah
  • 2010, DUGONG ROCK! raised RM8000+ for Kelab Alami Malaysia
  • 2009, ORANGUTAN ROCK! raised over RM27,000 for the ORANGUTAN APPEAL UK to help support and raise awareness of the plight of the endangered Orang Utan species.
  • 2008, TIGER ROCK! raised RM11,000+ for MyCat.
  • 2007, TURTLE ROCK! raised RM7000+ for SeaTru (now known as TRRG)

About Reef Check

Reef Check Malaysia (RCM) is part of the worldwide Reef Check network. Established in 1997, Reef Check was the first organisation to draw attention to the plight of the world’s coral reefs. A National coordinator was appointed to Malaysia in 2001, and RCM was registered as an NGO in 2007. Since then, RCM has established an annual coral reef survey programme, reporting on the health of Malaysia’s coral reefs, informing management decisions and providing data for scientists. For the last five years, RCM has been educating children on the islands off the East coast of Peninsular Malaysia about coral reefs and their conservation, and more recently has set up programmes for children in urban areas, including three locations in Sabah. RCM work with communities to raise awareness of the importance of coral reefs, and how communities and tourism operators can contribute to the sustainable future of coral reefs. More recently, RCM has experimented with coral reef rehabilitation using coral nurseries.

Visit for details.


Empowering communities & Inspiring action for a sustainable future. The Environmental Education Alliance of South East Asia (EEASEA) is dedicated to empowering communities with the attitude, knowledge and skills that will inspire them into action and stewardship for a sustainable future. EEASEA sponsors both Rockin’ 4 the Environment and GREEN Riders as events to raise awareness and inspire action for the environment and social responsibility in the South East Asian Region. Website:

About EcoKnights

EcoKnights is a local environmental organization that advances efforts in environmental education and awareness for women and youths in the country.  EK designs and provides engaging platforms for communities to participate and take proactive measures and solutions to address local and environmental issues and concerns. For more information log on to

About Go International Group

A marketing communication agency founded in 2006, Go International Group has been supporting Rockin’ for the Environment since 2008. Go International Group is committed to serving the youth community. It believes in developing Malaysian youth via its signature event – FEYST: Indie Youth Festival, which has empowered 38 young Malaysians to make their mark in the world by attending and competing in international festivals like Electronic Sports World Cup in USA and France, DreamHack in Sweden, Digital Youth Awards in Shanghai and Malaysia Fest in Sydney. The company provides turnkey consultancy in developing strategic marketing communication campaigns for corporate Malaysian clients who are especially interested in engaging young people. 


Earth Matters

This is more important than anything

Dear Avaazers, 
It’s unbelievable, but Monsanto and Co. are at it again. These profit-hungry biotech companies have found a way to exclusively ‘own’ something that freely belongs to us all -- our food! They’re trying to patent away our everyday vegetables and fruits like cucumber, broccoli and melons, forcing growers to pay them and risk being sued if they don’t.

But we can stop them from buying up Mother Earth. Companies like Monsanto have found loopholes in European law to get away with this, so we just need to close them shut before they set a dangerous global precedent. And to do that, we need key countries like Germany, France and the Netherlands -- where opposition is already growing -- to call for a vote to stop Monsanto’s plans. The Avaaz community has shifted governments before, and we can do it again.

Many farmers and politicians are already against this -- we just need to bring in people power to pressure these countries to keep Monsanto’s hands off our food. Sign now and share with everyone to help build the biggest food defense call ever:
Once a patent exists in one country, trade agreements and negotiations often push other countries to honour it as well. That's why these food patents change everything about how our food chain works: for thousands of years, farmers could choose which seeds they’d use without worrying about getting sued for violating intellectual property rights. But now, companies launch expensive legal campaigns to buy patents on conventional plants and force farmers to pay exorbitant royalty fees. Monsanto and Co. claim that patents drive innovation -- but in fact they create a corporate monopoly of our food.

But luckily, the European Patent Office is controlled by 38 member states who, with one vote, can end dangerous patents on food that is bred using conventional methods. Even the European Parliament has issued a statement objecting to these kinds of destructive patents. Now, a massive wave of public outcry could push them to ban the patenting of our everyday food for good.

The situation is dire already -- Monsanto alone owns 36% of all tomato, 32% of sweet pepper and 49% of cauliflower varieties registered in the EU. With a simple regulatory change, we could protect our food, our farmers and our planet from corporate control -- and it's up to us to make it happen:
The Avaaz community has never been afraid to stand up to corporate capture of our institutions, from pushing back the Rupert Murdoch mafia, to helping ensure that telecoms keep their hands off our Internet. Now it’s time to defend our food supply from this corporate takeover.

With hope and determination,
Jeremy, Michelle, Oli, Dalia, Pascal, Ricken, Diego and the whole Avaaz team

The Malaysian Nature Society dares politicians to declare green stand  

read more

1 in 7 people lack access to clean water
Sunday 21st April 

Bukit Kiara is one of the few remaining green lungs in the heart of the city and that it has been designated a green lung.
Bukit Kiara
 must forever remain green – irrespective of whether parts of it are privately owned. DBKL must be firm in not 
approving any development plans from the private owners.
Please leave it as it is to preserve the peace, quiet and tranquility. The public, especially joggers, walkers, cyclists and 
nature lovers would be ever so grateful.

The photos from the Arkansas tar sands pipeline spill are just stunning. This gives a whole new meaning to 'not in anyone's back yard.'

The media and politicians are beginning to connect the dots to the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry almost 10 times more of the same dangerous substance over longer distances.

SHARE this if the time has come to say no to tar sands once and for all. 

Read more about the spill here:

GREEN LIVING from Malaysian nature Society



Sourced and adapted from and Available at:

Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are any living thing that has had its genetic material altered in some way through human scientific interference. This does not refer to “selective breeding,” such as when certain crops are selectively bred by gardeners over time to withstand heat, for instance, or the process by which different dog breeds were developed over time. Instead, GMOs undergo a form of gene therapy under lab conditions whereby segments of DNA are spliced, rearranged or removed altogether. You may have been eating genetically modified food for years and not even know it.

In the United States, much of the corn and soybeans produced (especially those to be fed to livestock or to provide filler material in processed foods at the supermarket) contain some portion of genetically modified material. GMOs have infiltrated our shops and food chain largely without much study into their long term health effects on our bodies. However, The Environmental Working Group conservatively estimates that each American consumes about 190 pounds of GM foods every year despite this lack of research. Choosy consumers are worried about these potential health impacts:

1. Allergies.  Perhaps the number one health concern over GM technology is its capacity to create new allergens in our food supply. Allergic reactions typically are brought on by proteins. Nearly every transfer of genetic material from one host into a new one results in the creation of novel proteins. Genetic engineering can increase the levels of a naturally occurring allergen already present in a food or insert allergenic properties into a food that did not previously contain them. It can also result in brand new allergens we’ve never before known.

2. Antibiotic Resistance.  Genetic engineers rely heavily on antibiotics to guide experiments. It works like this: Not all host cells will take up foreign genes, so engineers attach a trait for a particular type of antibiotic resistance to the gene they introduce into host cells. After they have introduced the gene into the cells, they douse all the cells with the antibiotic to see which ones survive. The surviving cells are antibiotic-resistant, and therefore engineers know they have taken up the foreign gene.  Overuse of antibiotics can potentially cause the development of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Several health organizations, including the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association, have spoken out about the need for the use of these antibiotics to be phased out of the process of making GM foods.

3. Pesticide Exposure.  The majority of GM crops in cultivation are engineered to contain a gene for pesticide resistance. Most are “Roundup Ready,” meaning they can be sprayed with Monsanto’s glyphosate herbicide Roundup without being harmed. The idea is that if the crop itself is immune to Roundup, you can spray it to kill any weeds endangering the plant without worrying about harming your crop.

Sound like a good thing? Only if increased human exposure to pesticides is a good thing. Glyphosate has been linked to numerous health problems in animal studies, among them birth defects, reproductive damage, cancer and endocrine disruption.

4. Unpredictability and the Unknown.  Foreign genetic material in a host can cause other genetic material in that host to behave erratically. Genes can be suppressed or overexpressed, causing a wide variety of results. One consequence of over-expression, for example, can be cancer. Nutritional problems can also result from the transfer. In one example, cows that ate Roundup Ready soybeans produced milk with more fat in it. In another example, milk from cows injected with a genetically engineered growth hormone was found by a number of researchers, including those published in the journal Lancet, to have substantially higher levels of a compound known as insulin-like growth factor-1, which is linked to human breast, colon and prostate cancers. The milk also has higher levels of bovine growth hormones in it, along with pus and sometimes antibiotics. GM crops have been linked to health problems as diverse as reproductive damage, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. Concerned scientists have been outspoken about these risks.


Corn and soy, much of which are genetically engineered, are rapidly overtaking native grasslands in some parts of the world, including a number of US states. This is a trend that may have a not-so-insignificant impact on our environment and subsequently, our ability to secure our food supply long-term.


GMO labelling was introduced to give consumers the freedom to choose between GMOs and conventional products. Essentially, if a foodstuff is produced using genetic engineering, this must be indicated on its label. As of June 14, 2010, new regulations regarding the labelling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food have been enacted in Malaysia through amendments to the Food Regulations under the Food Act 1983. These regulations are in accordance with provisions found in the Biosafety Act of Malaysia that require the identification and labelling of living modified organisms (LMOs), which itself has been enacted as part of Malaysia’s responsibilities as a signatory to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity of the United Nations.


Dear Peter, 

Gangs of armed poachers have begun to make hunting endangered rhinos a bloodsport. Recently, around Kaziranga National Park, park rangers spent several hours fighting off a gang of poachers trying to kill a rhinoceros. Short-staffed and under-equipped, park rangers were unable to protect the rhinoceros from being hunted down.

Only twenty years ago, one-horned rhinoceros were on the brink of extinction. Now, more than two-thirds of the global population of the rhino live in the Kaziranga National Park. The recent surge of poaching has dramatically demonstrated that Indian park rangers are not equipped to effectively protect the gentle giants. Without adequate protection from the Indian government soon, many believe that the rhino will once again be on the path towards extinction.

Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan, Minister of India's Environment and Forests, must step in and heighten the security around Kaziranga National Park. Sign the petition today and urge the Indian government to protect these endangered animals from vicious poacher gangs.


3 April 2013
Civil society organisations from the SADC region, and around the world have condemned the SADC draft Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (Plant Breeders’ Rights) as spelling disaster for small farmers and food security in the region. These groups, representing millions of farmers in Africa and around the world have submitted their concerns to the SADC Secretariat. They are calling for the rejection of the Protocol and urgent consultations with farmers, farmer movements and civil society before it’s too late.
According to the groups, the Protocol is inflexible, restrictive and imposes a “one-size-fits-all” plant variety protection (PVP) system on all SADC countries irrespective of the nature of agricultural systems, social and economic development. It is modelled after the 1991 International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 1991), an instrument which was developed by industrialized countries to address their own needs.  UPOV 1991 grants extremely strong intellectual property right protection to plant breeders, and disallows farmers from continuing their customary practices of freely using, exchanging and selling farm-saved seeds.
According to Moses Shaha, regional chairman for the East and Southern African small-scale Farmers’ Forum (ESAFF): “The proposed legislation gives big-business breeders significant rights, but in doing so, disregards and marginalizes small farmers and their plant varieties. It fails to recognize that small-scale farmers and their customary practices of freely exchanging and re-using seed for multiple purposes, constitute the backbone of SADC’s agricultural farming systems.”

About half of SADC members are Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and are not currently under any international obligation to put in place any such PVP system. Indeed, the majority of SADC members have limited or no experience with PVP systems, or the impact these systems will have on food security, farmers, farming systems and livelihoods in the region.
According to Elizabeth Mpofu, a small farmer from Zimbabwe: “Small farmers in Africa play a vital role in keeping food costs down, and contribute immensely to the development of locally appropriate and adapted seeds, and to the diversity of crops. Any PVP system that fails to support and promote these farmer managed systems, and instead adversely impacts on them, is clearly a recipe for disaster for the region’s farmers.”

Like UPOV 1991, the Protocol is severely lacking in flexibilities to allow vulnerable states to address their particular socio-economic problems. The Protocol imposes a “one grant system” whereby the SADC Plant Breeders’ Rights Office will have the full authority to grant and administer breeders’ rights on behalf of all SADC members. “This top-down approach effectively undermines the rights of SADC member states to take any decision related to the protected plant varieties; decisions that are at the very core of national socio-economic development and poverty reduction strategiesThe Protocol also does not contain concrete measures to prevent misappropriation of plant genetic resources and does not live up to international commitments of the majority of SADC members to promote the sustainable use of plant genetic resources and plant breeding with the participation of farmers” pointed out Andrew Mushita, of the Community Trust for Development and Technology, in Zimbabwe.
“The whole rationale and underlying premise for the Protocol is unknown to us because we, as civil society, have been locked out of the process. What specific consultations have taken place, and with whom? What data and impact assessments have guided the development of the Protocol?” asks Mariam Mayet, of the African Centre for Biosafety.
The submission can be downloaded at

The Green Liberty Party
The political philosophy: “Earth is dying if we let it. Stop burning and cutting, or die. Without ecology there can be no economy. We must work less and live more. Live free and green.”

Human growth in population and industry, at the expense of ecosystems is destroying the natural world, causing mass extinction, abrupt climate change, and economic as well as biosphere collapse. The challenge facing humanity, the greatest challenge of all time, is to foster a political, social, and economic transformation that realigns the human project with its ecosystem habitat.

The corporate-owned American two-party duopoly has proven to be corrupt, unethical, and profoundly ecologically unsustainable. It is time for a political agenda that values all species and ecosystems and plans for the long-term well-being of humanity and all life. It is time for global political Earth revolution to sustain land, water, and air and to achieve universal human rights and economic fairness.

Earth Meanders by Dr. Glen Barry
Personal Essays from Ecological Internet 
March 24, 2012


Earth is collapsing and dying. Humanity is systematically destroying the biodiversity, ecosystems, climate, and biosphere upon which all life depends. Earth's ecosystems continue to be plundered for profit as if air, land, water and oceans have no intrinsic value. Climate change is an important part of a widespread collapse of the global biosphere – the thin mantle of life arrayed in ecosystems surrounding the planet – as industrial growth destroys nature for stuff.

There remains only a short time to stop the industrial growth machine from irreparably destroying the biosphere. There is NO replacement, no backup biosphere. Either the human family comes together now to cut emissions and protect ecosystems, or being may well end – certainly well-being.

The central tenets of a Green Liberty political philosophy affirm that abrupt climate change, global ecosystem loss, and biosphere collapse threaten the well-being of the entire human family and of all life. This crisis is only survivable if we drastically cut emissions and move at once to protect natural ecosystems. Continued exponential human and industrial growth at the expense of life-giving ecosystems can only end in ecological and social collapse. We have met ecocide, and it is us. Yet not even this ecocidal state of affairs excuses loss of humanity's inherent rights, freedom, and duties.

Earth's people want and deserve universal democracy, political liberty, economic justice, and sustained ecology for everyone, for the whole world, and they want it now. It is time for a monumental global political realignment as lovers of ecology and liberty unite to topple the ecocidal nanny state and corporate oligarchy, at the ballot box and marketplace when possible, otherwise in the streets.

The human industrial growth machine is systematically liquidating the ecosystems upon which all life depends. At its root, abrupt climate change is one of many crises, others including overpopulation, ecocidal industrial growth, ecosystem loss and diminishment (especially the oceans and old-growth forests), inequity amidst plenty, and failed human development that equates advancement with ecocide.

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Newsletter March 2013

Earth Hour
Saturday 23 March @ Publika, Solaris Dutamas
1 Jalan Dutamas 1, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Main stage show 
featuring many artists (see below)

EcoKnights is teaming up with MAPKL and Publika this year to engage more community members to take on a proactive role in addressing sustainability and environmental concerns, bringing you exciting 

workshops and talks. Be part of the change!  All day from 10 am to 10 pm

JOIN THE GLOBAL MOVEMENT! On Earth Hour we are uniting with all the people around the world to protect our planet earth.

At 8:30pm THE LIGHTS WILL BE TURNED OFF!Come and see what happens in Publika when the lights go out!!


When: 7pm - 10pm

Where: The Square

Hosted by Edwin Sumun
- Elvira Arul

- Dewangga Sakti
- Kwang Tung Dance Company
- Nyoba Kan Butoh 
- Adam Pole Fit Champion 2012
- Ji An & Yii Kah Hoe
- Francis Wolf
- Viva Vertical Aerial Arts
- Tugu Drum Circle
- E.S.T Opera 
- Markiza & Hassan


When: 22 - 24 March 
10am - 10pm
Where: The Boulevard & Art Row

more info

Earth Matters

Save Bukit Kiara Walk 2013 March 17th

Report on Bukit Kiara Walk:

MARCH 18 — "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." — Martin Luther King Jr

Did you stand up to be counted to save your joy in 

Bukit Kiara?  — Lim Chui Choo

A home-made poster hanging near fencing demarcating Bukit Kiara in Kuala Lumpur from where private commercial development is coming up says it simply: "People who destroy Bk Kiara are not only bad people but also good people because these good people do not stand up".

About 2,000 supporters including those from a coalition of residents associations (RAs) and NGO The Friends of Bukit Kiara (FoBK) stood up and walked the talk to save Bukit Kiara on March 17 in silent protest to urge the authorities to gazette the forest reserve and against development proposed by a private developer. 

Parents came with young children bearing posters they created with "save the forest and animals". A group of juniors from the Kota Damansara Forest Community walked with a banner asking "What about us?" Ecological thinking has taken root in Malaysia, it seems. 

Indeed, young and old alike from all walks of life are standing up to be counted and heard regarding the depravation and degradation of the environment they live in as seen in the Walk to save Bukit Kiara on March 17. 

A former ambassador, AJ Yahaya, related that "my family and I are saddened by the news that we may lose Bukit Kiara. This wonderful forest reserve-cum-park has given us so much joy, has become part of our lives, and to lose it would be unbearable. Our lives would be scarred forever. That is why my family and I are joining the Walk to save Bukit Kiara." 

Maya, a grandmother who bought seven Save Bukit Kiara Tees for her grandchildren even though the smallest size were way too big for them at the last awareness walk on July 15, 2012, was at the frontline proudly holding up the banner in this walk. 

Expats from the UK, France, Germany, Australia, Canada, the US, even Finland and Sweden who have made Malaysia their second home came, rescheduled their busy Sunday morning activities. Supporters from activity groups of young and old, tai chi, chi gong and line dancing groups in the adjacent park showed up to be counted. 

A pastor and his wife and some Christians walked with their God in Bukit Kiara for one Sunday morning in awareness that "God is everywhere, that He is not confined to any space nor time and that Mother Nature is God-manifest." 

Some Buddhist devotees rescheduled their chanting, meditation and temple duties to practice what the Dharma taught them — to be aware of what is going on and to do what brings happiness to oneself and which benefits the society as well. 

Women supporters wanted the authorities to "listen, listen, listen" to their aspirations for a clean and green Malaysia for their children and grandchildren.

Did you on that fine Sunday morning chose to stand up to be counted for your own joy and to save Bukit Kiara?

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.

letter in The Star:

An update from the cause


Get others involved


The Whole Truth About Whole Foods' GMO Labeling Policy

Whole Foods made a huge splash in the media last week when the company announced that its U.S. and Canadian stores will be required to label all genetically engineered foods in its stores, by 2018. But five years? Surely the largest national organic grocer in the country can do better than that. After all, Whole Foods is already labeling in its European stores.

Don't get us wrong. This is great news. It's a clear victory for consumers and the GMO labeling movement. And a serious blow to Monsanto. And it's proof that marketplace pressure works, that consumers have the power to change food policy. So let's take it a step further. Whole Foods makes billions of dollars a year selling products that carry the misleading "natural" label. Not only do most of these products contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs), but they're also full of pesticides, synthetic chemicals and a host of very unnatural additives. It's time for Whole Foods to clean up its whole act, by creating a policy that says no product in its stores can be called "natural" if it contains GMOs. Or any of that other unnatural stuff.


Chemicals in everyday items cause a Health Hazard
Endocrine Disruptive Chemicals can be found in a large variety of materials and goods, including pesticides, packaging materials, pharmaceuticals (contraceptive, hormone therapies, lipid regulators, beta-blockers, anti-depressants), flame retardants (used in mattresses, sofas and textiles), electronics, plastic additives, plastic toys, personal care products, household cleaners and construction materials...  read more

Wildlife not spared either
WILDLIFE species and populations are on the decline worldwide – and it is not just due to over-exploitation or loss of habitat. Chemical contamination is also at play here...  
read more

Poisoned: Finless porpoises all over the world have been found to have perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS, used in stain repellents, surface coating agents and fire-fighting foams) in their livers
The report State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals is available at

The Possible Hazards of the VERY SMALL

Green Living Column  from Malaysian Nature Society  



You may be surprised to find out how many products on the market utilise nanotechnology.


• Sunscreen - Many sunscreens contain nanoparticles of zinc oxide or titanium oxide. Older sunscreen formulas use larger particles, which is what gives most sunscreens their whitish color. Smaller particles are less visible, meaning that when you rub the sunscreen into your skin, it doesn't give you a whitish tinge.


• Self-cleaning glass - A company called Pilkington offers a product they call Activ Glass, which uses nanoparticles to make the glassphotocatalytic and hydrophilic. The photocatalytic effect means that when UV radiation from light hits the glass, nanoparticles become energized and begin to break down and loosen organic molecules on the glass (in other words, dirt). Hydrophilic means that when water makes contact with the glass, it spreads across the glass evenly, which helps wash the glass clean.• Clothing - Scientists are using nanoparticles to enhance your clothing. By coating fabrics with a thin layer of zinc oxide nanoparticles,  Manufacturers can create clothes that give better protection from UV radiation. Some clothes have nanoparticles in the form of little hairs or whiskers that help repel water and other materials, making the clothing stain-resistant.


• Scratch-resistant coatings - Engineers discovered that adding aluminum silicate nanoparticles to scratch-resistant polymer coatings made the coatings more effective, increasing resistance to chipping and scratching. Scratchresistant coatings are common on everything from cars to eyeglass lenses.


• Antimicrobial bandages - Scientist Robert Burrell created a process to manufacture antibacterial bandages using nanoparticles of silver. Silver ions block microbes' cellular respiration []. In other words, silver smothers harmful cells, killing them.


Q: I’ve just heard that an organic certification agency has added nanotechnology to its list of forbidden things. What is it and should I be concerned about it?


A: Nanotechnology is a powerful platform for manipulating matter at the level of atoms and molecules in order to alter their properties. Nanomaterials are defined as particles having one or more dimensions of 100nm or less. One nanometer (nm) is one millionth of a millimeter and one billionth of a meter – or approximately one 80,000th of the width of a human hair. A strand of DNA is 2.5nm wide and a red blood cell 7,000 nm.


The fundamental properties of matter change at the nanoscale. According to research conducted at the University of Rochester’s Department of Environmental Medicine and published in Environmental Health Perspectives in 2005, altered properties can include color, solubility, material strength, electrical conductivity, magnetic behavior, mobility (within the environment and within the human body), chemical reactivity and biological activity.


The manufacture of products using nanotechnology has exploded in recent years, creating something akin to a gold rush mentality. More than 720 products containing nanomaterials are now on the market. They include sunscreens and cosmetics, food additives, temperature-moderating clothing, food packaging, agricultural fertilizers, computer chips and mobile phones, inks, computer storage devices and displays, football stadium lights, tennis racquets, burn dressings and dental binding agents.  Nanotechnology proponents envision it being used in the future to create cheaper ways of producing electricity from the sun, earlier and better diagnostics and treatment of diseases and water purification in developing countries. Currently, there is an estimated $9 billion a year worth of research being done.


There is no doubt that nanotechnology will have a massive impact on all industries and sectors of the economy, society and ecology. Opinion is divided as to whether these changes will be positive or negative. But there is enough concern that The Soil Association in the U.K. – one of the world’s pioneers of organic agriculture – announced in January that it has banned human-made nano- materials from the organic cosmetics, foods and textiles that it certifies. A 2007 survey by 15 governments estimates there are at least 70 nanotech food-related applications already on the market and most major food and beverage corporations are investing in nanotech R&D.


In a statement, The Soil Association explained its motivation: “Our concern with nanoparticles lies in the fact that the properties of materials at this size can differ significantly from those at larger scales. Nanoparticles are so small they can sometimes bypass the body’s natural protective boundaries such as skin…Industry and government are belatedly conducting safety tests that will take several years to reach firm conclusions. Therefore we’ve applied the precautionary principle.”


And that’s the problem: Products containing nanomaterials have been released commercially in the absence of regulatory oversight and in spite of warnings from some of the oldest and most respected scientific bodies in the world, such as the U.K.’s Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering, which published a report in 2004 urging tighter controls on the industry, suggesting that nanomaterials be treated like new chemicals.


In particular, the report highlighted the potential risk of “free” nanoparticles that it said could escape into the atmosphere, be inhaled and have an effect on health, in the same way that ultra fine particles that are a by-produce of forest  fires, volcanoes and processes like welding and vehicle combustion can be harmful to health. Professor Mark Welland, head of the University of Cambridge Nanoscale Science Laboratory, says that we know inhaled nanoparticles found in the bloodstream have dispersed throughout the brain. But, he adds, it is not known if this poses a health risk.


According to a 2006 report prepared under the auspices of the U.S. Congress by that country’s National Research Council, there is also evidence that engineered nanoparticles can have adverse effects on the health of laboratory animals, enter human cells and trigger chemical reactions in soil, interfering with biological and ecological processes. That report also urged precaution to protect the health and safety of workers, the public and the environment.


Oxford University’s Dr. Alexis Vlandas is Nanotechnology spokesperson for International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility also worries about nanoparticles entering the human body. He says, “A much more proactive effort is needed to understand the complex phenomena (bio-accumulation, degradation, unforeseen chemical reactions, etc.) which could lead to negative impact on human health or the environment.”


Nevertheless, there is still no legal requirement anywhere in the world for manufacturers to conduct new safety tests on nano-scale ingredients.  Nor is there any requirement for manufacturers to demonstrate that they do not present a negative impact to the environment or to indicate the presence of nano-scale ingredients on product labels. In fact, there is not even an internationally accepted nomenclature, set of definitions and measurement  systems for nanotechnology, although that is being

worked on. And, finally, the social, economic and ethical challenges posed by nanotechnologies have yet to be addressed.


Nowhere are untested nanomaterials entering consumer products faster than in the personal care and cosmetics industries. And their use is of concern because these products are used daily and are designed to be used directly on the skin. They may be inhaled and are often ingested. While the jury is still out on whether nanomaterials can enter intact skin, studies show that broken skin is an ineffective barrier. This suggests that the presence of acne, eczema or shaving wounds is likely to enable the uptake of nanoparticles into the body. Furthermore, in preparing its 2006 report Nanomaterials, Sunscreen and Cosmetics: Small Ingredients, Big Risks, Friends of the Earth (FOE) found that many cosmetics and personal care products contain ingredients that intentionally act as “penetration enhancers,” raising concerns they may increase the likelihood of skin uptake of nanomaterials and possible entry into the blood stream.


Nano-scale carbon molecules called “fullerenes” or “buckyballs” are among the ingredients currently being used in face creams and moisturizers. They have been found to cause brain damage in fish. Even low levels of exposure to fullerenes have been shown to damage human liver cells. Chemistry professor Tony Ryan of the University of Sheffield in England has questioned their safety. “I wouldn’t put buckyballs anywhere near my face,” he says. “We need to understand more about the toxicology. One of the potential dangers…is: Are we creating a new asbestos? The asbestosis response is based on the shape of the particle. Part of the issue is in the shape of the molecule and how they’re introduced. We just need to be careful about

the risk versus the benefit.”


Nanoparticles of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are used to make sunscreens transparent but, says FOE, they have been shown to be photoactive, producing free radicals and causing DNA damage to skin cells when exposed to UV light. In 2007, Consumer Reports asked an outside lab to test for nanoparticles of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in eight sunscreens that listed either compound on their label. All eight contained the nanoparticles, yet only one disclosed their use.


The ETC Group, a pioneering Ottawa-based organization working on global issues like biotechnology, conservation of agricultural biodiversity and food security, takes a strong stand on nanotechnology. It cautions that while it offers opportunities for society, it also involves profound ethical, social and environmental risks, not only because it is an enabling technology to the biotech industry, but also because it involves atomic manipulation and will make possible the fusing of the biological world and the mechanical. In 2003, the ETC Group called for a moratorium on research involving molecular self-assembly and self-replication until the ramifications have been studied.


They’re not the only organization calling for a moratorium. FOE-US has called for a moratorium on all commercial release of nanotechnological materials and products. They say, “Given the serious risks and impacts associated with nanotechnology’s introduction, public involvement in decision making regarding nanotechnology and the introduction of a regulatory regime based on the precautionary principle must be prerequisites to further commercialization of nanoproducts.”


In July of 2007, an international coalition of consumer, public health, environmental, labor, and civil society organizations spanning six continents called for strong, comprehensive over sight of nanotechnology and its products. Over 40 groups released a paper entitled Principles for the Oversight of Nano-technologies and Nanomaterials, citing risks to the public, workers and the environment and demanding a moratorium on it pending research and regulation. 


“Even though potential health hazards stemming from exposure have been clearly identified, there are no mandatory workplace measures that require exposures to be assessed, workers to be trained or control measures to be implemented,” explains Bill Kojola of the AFL-CIO, which was part of the coalition. “This technology should not be rushed to market until these failings are corrected and workers assured of their safety.”


“Nanomaterials are entering the environment during manufacture, use and disposal of hundreds of products, even though we have no way to track the effects of this potent new form of pollution,” agrees Ian Illuminato of FOE. “By the time monitoring catches up to commerce, the damage will already have been done.”


There is also a concern that nano-technology will provide the tools for continuous surveillance, with implications for civil liberties. And then there’s the growing nano arms race, which could create a whole new generation of weapons of mass destruction including nano-biological weaponry. Over a decade ago, retired U.S. Admiral David Jeremiah told a conference on nanotechnology and global security that nanotechnology will prove more significant than nuclear weapons.


Fortunately, public pressure seems to be goading governments into action. The Environment, Healthy and Safety Division of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has made the safety of nanomaterials a priority. Canada, Germany, Japan, Australia the U.K. and the U.S. have created working groups to look into the implications of nanotechnology commercialization.


However, the amounts of money being spent are minuscule in comparison to the $6 billion spent last year by governments worldwide on nanotech. (The U.S. government’s $5 billion between 2001 and 2006 is the biggest publicly funded science endeavor since the Apollo moon landing, with the largest portion funding military applications.)In Canada, the Consumers Council has recently received a $60,000 grant from Canada’s Office of Consumer Affairs to study the impact of nanotechnology on consumers and to improve the capacity of consumers to advocate regarding regulatory decisions.


Here’s hoping other organic certification agencies follow The Soil Association’s lead and add nanotech to their lists of outlawed ingredients. Meanwhile, we think that product manufacturers and distributors must bear the burden of proof to demonstrate the safety of their products: If there is no independent health and safety data review for a nanotech product, then their products shouldn’t be sold.


(Edited and compiled from an original article by

Wendy Priesnitz. Available at:


Not enough data exists to know for sure if nanoparticles could have undesirable effects on the environment. Two areas are relevant here:

1. In free form nanoparticles can be released in the air or water during production (or production accidents) or as waste by-product of production, and ultimately accumulate in the soil, water or plant life.

2. In fixed form, where they are part of a manufactured substance or product, they will ultimately have to be recycled or disposed of as waste. It is not known yet whether certain nanoparticles will constitute a completely new class of non-biodegradable pollutant. In case they do, it is not known how such pollutants

could be removed from air or water because most traditional filters are not suitable for such tasks (their pores are too big to catch nanoparticles).


Of the US$710 million spent in 2002 by the U.S. government on nanotechnology research, only $500,000 was spent on environmental impact assessments. Risks identified include: self-replicating nanobots aggressively or through slowly rising supremacy wiping out the whole biosphere; further destabilising the already endangered diversity of the biosphere.


Concerns have been raised about Silver Nano technology used by Samsung in a range of appliances

such as washing machines and air purifiers. To properly assess the health hazards of engineered nanoparticles the whole life cycle of these particles needs to be evaluated, including their fabrication, storage and distribution, application and potential abuse, and disposal. The impact

on humans or the environment may vary at different stages of the life cycle.


Massive Chinese Dam Threatens Cambodia's Cardamom Rainforests

By Rainforest Portal a project of Ecological Internet: with John Seed, Rainforest Information Centre:

March 14, 2013

TAKE ACTION to ensure Cambodia's Cardamom rainforests remain standing:

The Areng Valley in the Cardamom Mountains of south-west Cambodia is threatened with flooding by a Chinese hydropower dam. This biodiversity gem - home of the Siamese crocodile and indigenous Khmer Daeum - is to be destroyed for a relatively small amount of electricity. Standing large, connected, and ecologically intact old-growth forests are required for local and global ecological sustainability and well-being.

Please send the following alerts to protect old-growth rainforests as well:

Tell Avon, New Jersey: Old-Growth Rainforest Boardwalks Cause Abrupt Climate Change

Protest Tasmanian Old-Growth Logging in Proposed World Heritage Area

Ecuador Tribe Will "Die Fighting" to Defend Rainforest #IdleNoMore

Please support Ecological Internet's campaigns to protect and restore old
forests at

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Markiza & Peter Brown performing at The Perseverence, presented by The Virtually Acoustic Club, 2008

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