Sarawak’s First Amphibian and Reptile Pod Launched by Sarawak Energy



Sarawak Energy has launched Sarawak’s first Amphibian and Reptile Pod, an innovative approach to conservation that is also the first ex-situ conservation facility of its kind in Malaysia as part of its focus on developing its energy resources responsibly and in a sustainable manner to maximise the positive impacts and minimise potential harm on society and the environment.

The biosecurity husbandry facility will house seven species of concern particularly from Sarawak Energy’s project areas for research purposes, housing as many as 50 amphibians and reptiles before they are released to identified alternative reintroduction sites. The facility also includes terrariums that mimic the natural habitat of rescued amphibians and reptiles and innovative setups for monitoring purposes.

The pod will also house the Trophidophorus sebi, or Baleh Water Skink, a newly named species that is found only in the Baleh area, discovered during the wildlife survey for the Baleh HEP.

Sarawak Energy Group Chief Executive Officer, Datu Haji Sharbini Suhaili, officiated the launching event.

He was joined by Sarawak Energy Group Chief Operating Officer, Ir. James Ung; Chief Executive Officer for Sarawak Forestry Corporation, Haji Zolkipli Mohamad Aton; Professor Dr Indraneil Das of Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation, UNIMAS; Sarawak Energy’s General Manager for Research & Development, Dr. Ng Sing Muk; Head for Permits, Licensing & Registration for Sarawak Forestry Corporation, Norzehan Binti Ramji and Sarawak Forestry Corporation Wildlife Officer, Taha Bin Wahab.

Speaking during the event, Datu Haji Sharbini said,“ Sarawak is one of the world’s mega biodiversity regions, and we believe taking the appropriate actions to support the State’s effort to conserve and protect biodiversity is a shared responsibility,” he said.

Sharbini also shared Sarawak Energy’s role in driving environmental related initiatives such as the sustainable management of forests, which are essential to water catchments and the Group’s efforts in conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems.

He said, "We are fortunate to have collaborated with like-minded organisations such as UNIMAS, Forest Department Sarawak, and the Sarawak Forestry Corporation, and greatly appreciate their support as we work together to help Sarawak to achieve its ambition to become a developed and sustainable state by 2030."

The initiative also demonstrates the Group’s commitment in adopting international good practices guided by the International Hydropower Association’s (IHA) Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Tools.

Ir. James Ung, who spoke about Sarawak Energy’s Hydropower Environmental Sustainability Programme explained that Sarawak Energy’s R&D department had implemented a series of research on terrestrial fauna at the Baleh HEP and its adjacent areas.

According to James, “Our Sarawak Energy Hydro Environmental Sciences Research Blueprint was developed in 2018 and aimed to bridge knowledge gaps, facilitating effective decision-making in managing the environmental challenges of our hydropower projects.”

“We have also funded internally driven collaborative research projects and expeditions within our hydropower project areas for our biodiversity and species distribution surveys, monitoring of rare and endangered species and studies on ecology as well as natural history.”

Congratulating the team for the successful establishment of the Amphibian and Reptile Pod, he added, “The pod is designed by our in-house ecologists to carry out ex-situ research on these species, providing new knowledge on species-specific husbandry requirements for housed amphibians and reptiles. Such a facility supports Sarawak Energy’s journey towards environmental excellence and aspiration to become an exemplary organisation in environmental stewardship. Together, we look forward to the successful operation of the Amphibian and Reptile Pod and the impressive research outputs from the team”.

Group photo with Sarawak Energy’s Environmental Sciences Division and Laboratory Services Division under the Research & Development Department.

Senior Terrestrial Ecologist, Pui Yong Min, showing Datu Haji Sharbini Suhaili and Haji Zolkipli Mohamad Aton the Baleh Water Skink

Visit to the Amphibian and Reptile Pod

“Tropidophorus sebi” or Baleh Water Skink