Sunday, July 4, 2010

Return of wildlife

Fresh and clear imprints of hooves of the sambur deer, called " Rusa" in the local Malay lingo.

It's all prints, prints and prints. A couple of nights ago when it was full moon my farm was frequented by the sambur deers again. They must be having a party at the farm. That night the deep breathing sound and a bark or two came just yards away from the bedroom windows. I was overwhelmed with joy and ecstasy when the morning after I examined the sambur deers's hooves prints along the farm roads and open spaces. I believe now my agroecological farm has borne fruits. The planning and development of the eco-farm based on oil palm smallholding as core business has bore fruits not only in the bunches of ripe oil palm fruits but more important to me is the return of wildlife to the farm environment. Nature not only heals in Bintulu, it thrives beyond belief. But only if you do farming in an agroecological way which has been my mission when I started developing the oil palm holding within an agroecological framework about five years ago. All the sweat ,blood and tears have now been paid well. This proves that smallholders
can do a better job at sustainable agribusiness than the big-time plantation companies that do only destruction in their ways of developing mono-culture oil palm cultivation through out Sarawak. I believe now that smallholding oil palm business is the future for sustainable oil palm farming in Sarawak and not big time plantation companies' methods of destroying Sarawak's natural environment at day one when they first clear fell the pristine tropical rainforests for their massive and naturally -destructive plantation-style mono-culture. Plantation companies in Sarawak and Malaysia for that mater need to take a leaf or two from the humble and small farmers of Sarawak.
Along this creek I have preserved thick bushes of the shrubby dillenia shrubs ( with yellow flowers in the foreground) from which the sambur deers snap its fruits.
From this view what is seen is the mix of trees planted for biodiversity reasons, mainly to attract wildlife like pigeons, tree shrews, squirrels, all kind of sun birds, waterbirds, monkeys, civet cats, butterflies, cicadas, insects,fishes, etc.. Observe the natural terrain that are not disturbed and natural features like streams and ponds are preserved as well. It's obviously not your kind of " normal" oil palm holding.
This is one passageway that the sambur deers love to run through. Everyday on the way out to fetch my worker I'll just drive through the mud and I just don't really get bothered to stone the road for fear the deers will not love to travel the path anymore. I guess they love the dirt track like I do when driving through with my 4X4 pick-up. Well, all these have been worth it for the sambur deers' presence every now and then when the full moon is up is a magical moment at the farm.


  1. The success stories of your ecofarm is certainly something to Celebrate with a big C! With so much land on the island of Kalimantan (Borneo) has been turned into either monoculture palm oil plantations or left balding from logging industries, this is a good example of how we can coexist with the wildlife without sacrificing economic developments.