From the moment we arrived at KOPEL’s EcoCamp, it became abundantly clear that not everyone was enthusiastic about the multitude of invertebrates that inhabit Borneo’s rain forest ecosystems as I was. More specifically, there seemed to be a distinct sense of terror surrounding the many (and some of them, frankly, quite large) spiders that had … Read more

IF NOT PALM OIL, WHAT ELSE? The story of Sabah’s development

One day dedicated to learn about Palm Oil industry from the perspective of local people in Sabah, Malaysia. Why is this interesting? My interest in the palm oil industry started due to the current news in Colombia, my home country, (currently fourth producer of Palm oil worldwide after Indonesia and Malaysia) to increase its production … Read more

The Quest for the Pygmy Elephant

  Janet told us that the pygmy elephants come to Tungog Lake on their migration path; this is one of the last stops they make before turning around and heading back to the mountains. The ecocamp sits between the Tungog Lake and the Kinabatanga River. The whole class was excited with the anticipation of the … Read more

Trapping Wildlife…With Cameras!

Shelan is the team captain for the wildlife team. The team consisted of David, John, and Sarah. Our mission was to deploy three cameras in different areas of the rainforest. The targeted areas are within a restoration site in three different areas: a successful restoration, an unsuccessful restoration, and an untouched forest. The goals of … Read more

Learning and Growing at the KOPEL Nursery

On the 10th day of University of San Francisco’s (USF) Tropical Restoration Ecology class, students, led by Team Leader Paula Pereira, worked with nursery manager, Norsalleh, to both experience and help with nursery operations. KOPEL’s Nursery Program houses over a thousand individuals of each plant species being propagated at the nursery in preparation for tree plantings at restoration … Read more

Water Quality Monitoring in Kinabatangan Watershed

Water Quality Monitoring in Kinabatangan Watershed On June 3, 2016 (Day 3), Team Borneo met with Rosli to discuss the water quality monitoring KOPEL conducts. They began water quality monitoring in 2013 due to declining fish populations observed from the last 10 years. Just last year (2015), they witnessed two mass fish kills, one in … Read more

Day 2 on Paradise Island aka Borneo

Disconnected yet connected. Empty yet full. Uncomfortable yet comfortable. The first few days at the Kopel Eco Camp have been full of dichotomies. In a world where we are subjected to sensory overload on a daily basis, I feel so fortunate to be in such a serene and peaceful place. Initially, it was very disconcerting … Read more