NYAA essay and question

Negative impacts on environment of Sibu due to outsiders and foreigners and how locals are trying to combat the negative effects?


In order to find out about Sibu I interviewed my expedition guide’s Dan and the others to find out about the negative impacts of outside sources on Sibu as well as how the locals are trying to do their part to prevent and combat this.

One of the first problems I learned about on Sibu was the dumping of engine oil from shipping containers into the ocean. We saw the ground covered in patches of oil in a mangrove on Day 2 of our trip although I didn’t get any photos. They are meant to dump the waste oil at ports so they can dispose of it properly, but it saves space and money to dump it in the ocean. When it is dumped it affects the sea life because it covers the eggs of turtles, wildlife can ingest it and die, and it can cover the feathers of birds and give them hypothermia. It is very hard to remove oil once it dumped. It also washes up on the shores of Sibu’s beaches. The locals try to clean it up by waiting until nightfall because the island is cooler at night. Oil solidifies at cool temperatures so they can pick up the solidified oil with shovels. Then they either burn it or dump it in the islands rubbish dump.

Trash such as plastics, bottles, non-recyclable items can be found in the oceans and beaches of Sibu. With labels of brands from all over the world including, Germany, France, Malaysia, China, Japan and more! The trash of people all around the world has ended up floating onto Sibu’s shores. In the ocean on some floating plastics I could even see barnacles growing on them as it adapted to the new environment. One resort have tried to do their part in disposing of the trash. Last year they started a project to protect sea turtles so there was a big effort to clean all the trash on the islands beaches around Sibu. But the effect was only short term. Over a short while more trash came to take its place and it was the same as before.

On Sibu there was a rubbish dump where they dumped the trash the island had. They don’t ship it to mainland to be recycled as it’s not practical due to the prices.This rubbish dump is managed by the locals. There is a lot of trash due to everything being stored in plastic bags. But they do try to reuse when they can! Some examples I found were plastic bottle caps being used to hold down big sheets of plastic protecting the kayaks, and plastic bottles with cement in them to hold down fishing lures as weights.

Sibu is a marine park which means it’s environment specially protected. You can’t take anything from Sibu. You aren’t allowed to take any fish, rocks, seashells, sea life, sand, or anything from the natural environment. It’s really following the motto of take nothing but photos leave nothing but footprints. Tourists who take seashells or rocks that are found in they’re bags can get a black mark on their passports. This make the security check they’re bags very carefully when going through customs  There are no big fishing ships allowed to prevent overfishing and an imbalance in the ecosystem. But the locals are allowed to fish with a rod and hook or small cages as this is they’re way of income and way to feed themselves.

In conclusion outsiders contaminate Sibu with oil spills and trash but the locals do they’re best to recycle the trash and clean beaches if possible. The main factor of that helps the environment is that Sibu is a marine park. In the same way Tioman is. Due to it being a marine park this means the environment is closely guarded and protected.

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1 Comment

  1. Katie Harper says: Reply

    Thanks for this Kamila. You took some great photos while we were away!

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