Today, students from all across Penang Islang will be documenting the flora and fauna all around them using the iNaturalist app. The enthusiastic response has outstripped our wildest expectations – competing today will be 610 groups from 32 schools! We wish everyone a wonderful day in nature and may the best team win!
Learning about the biodiversity living within cities is a great way to build awareness of urban flora and fauna while engaging the public in ensuring its protection. The Habitat Penang Hill and the Habitat Foundation organized the Penang Intersecondary School City Nature Challenge
to encourage interest among young people in urban biodiversity.
Students from secondary schools on Penang island will be competing for four all-expense paid trips to Hong Kong where they will have the opportunity to participate in the Hong Kong City Nature Challenge from 26th to 29th April 2019. The Penang Island City Nature Challenge which is open to the public will take place over the same dates, and this is an opportunity for everyone (not just students) to take part!
“We are delighted to see such keen interest from young people on Penang Island to the challenge of showcasing the diversity of life around us. It is our pleasure to support this event under our Foundation’s education programme, and the participation bodes well for Penang Island’s City Nature Challenge in April 2019 when we will compete with 150 cities around the world!” said Justine Vaz, General Manager of The Habitat Foundation.
For the Intersecondary Challenge, groups will document plants and wildlife in a bioblitz-style competition using the iNaturalist app which can be downloaded onto mobile phones. They will be competing to log the highest number of nature observations and document the largest number of species. Participants can take photos of nature anywhere on the island, from their backyard, school compound, parks or gardens.
“iNaturalist is a wonderful citizen science platform that immediately puts members in touch with amateur naturalists and experts alike from all over the globe. It simultaneously generates important biodiversity records while communicating the message that biodiversity is our shared global heritage and a shared global concern,” explains Dr Ahmad Zafir, Head of Environmental Education at The Habitat Penang Hill.
Special activities on the day
In conjunction with the event, The Habitat Penang Hill will be organizing a Nature Exploration Walk from 8.00 am to 11.00 am as well as a Night in The Forest Walk from 7.30 pm to 10.00 pm on Penang Hill. There is no charge for participating in these walks.
In addition all students participating in the Nature Challenge (and teachers and parents accompanying them) will also be able to enter The Habitat at a special rate.
The Penang Intersecondary School City Nature Challenge 2019 is being held with the support of by Penang Hill Corporation, Friends of Penang Botanic Gardens Society, Malaysian Primatological Society, Malaysian Nature Society, Penang Forestry Department, Penang Education Department, Night Spotting Project, Nature Classroom and Nature Walks Penang Hill.
Aside from the Hong Kong visit, there are also other attractive prizes to be won supplied by the event partners. The top five placed teams in the different categories will receive City Nature Challenge 2019 tshirts!
What is the City Nature Challenge?
The City Nature Challenge was first organized in the United States by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and California Academy of Sciences in 2016. It began as an inter-city competition between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The following year it went nationwide with tremendous success, and by 2018 the City Nature Challenge had grown into an international event involving 63 countries.
In 2019, the City Nature Challenge will be held from 26 – 29 April. The Penang Intersecondary School City Nature Challenge 2019 is an opportunity to familiarize students with the iNaturalist app and to encourage more participation in CNC 2019.
For more information on The Habitat Penang Hill, visit: http://thehabitat.my/
About The Habitat Foundation
The Habitat Foundation is a charitable trust based in Penang, Malaysia. The organization was established in 2019 to address deep concerns about the loss of biodiversity and natural habitats in Southeast Asia. The Foundation is the non-profit sister organization to The Habitat Penang Hill. Both organizations complement each other in the overall mission to connect people to the ancient rainforest on Penang Hill and raise awareness of biodiversity conservation. Funds generated by The Habitat Penang Hill are channeled into the programmatic work of the Foundation.
Our mission is to contribute to innovative solutions to conserve biodiversity, strengthen protected areas, protect the environment, and promote sustainability, in close cooperation with government agencies, experts, NGOs, and community partners.