Seven Wonders No More For Sipadan

The panel of experts has chosen 28 Official Finalists for the New Seven Wonders of Nature, eliminating 49 other sites, including Sipadan Island. Below is the screenshot of those which made it to the final stage of voting to choose the New Seven Wonders of Nature.

List of 28 finalists for the New Seven Wonders of Nature

List of 28 finalists for the New Seven Wonders of Nature

The 28 finalists are: The Amazon, Angel Falls, Bay of Fundy, Black Forest, Bu Tinah Shoals, Cliffs of Moher, Dead Sea, El Yunque, Galapagos, Grand Canyon, Breat Barrier Reef, Halong Bay, Iguazu Falls, Jeita Grotto, Jeju Island, Kilimanjaro, Komodo Park, the Maldives, Masurian Lake District, Matterhorn/Cervino, Milford Sound, Mud Volcanoes, Puerto Princesa Underground River, Sundarbans, Table Mountain, Uluru, Vesuvius and Yushan.

The 28 were chosen based on the following criteria:

  1. Unique beauty of the nominated site
  2. Diversity and distribution (accounted for in 7 groups)
  3. Ecological significance (in terms of either stand-alone eco-systems and/or their significance for human beings)
  4. Historical legacy (relation that human beings and/or indigenous populations have or have had with the site)
  5. Geo-location (even distribution of the 28 Official Finalists between all continents)

We are disappointed… but still, Sipadan is a wonder of its own. Kudos to the Sabah Tourism and Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun for a hugely successful campaign during the first round of voting.

Live Blogging: Sipadan’s Bid to Become New Seven Wonders of Nature

This is a sticky post and will remain sticky until midnight of July 21, the day the panel of experts will announce 28 of the 77 nominees for the Official Finalists voting stage.

I will also try to carry a live blogging of the announcement of the 28 finalists which will be made on July 21 at 12.07pm GMT or about 8.07pm Malaysian standard time.

The live blogging is already going live. Please feel free to participate in the discussion. [UPDATE: Live blogging session is now closed]

Can Sipadan Make It To The New Seven Wonders Of Nature “Final”?

The last time I checked, that was a week ago, Sipadan was in fifth position in the Island Category. It will have to be among the top 11 in the category to qualify for the “shortlisting stage”.

As this entry is written, the voting for the first round — to select 77 nominees from a pool of some 260 nominees — is just over.

Voting process for the New Seven Wonders of Nature

Voting process for the New Seven Wonders of Nature

After this, the panel of experts will go through the 77 nominees and will shortlist 28 of them for the Official Finalists voting stage.

The New Seven Wonders of Nature website no longer display the live ranking but I guess Sipadan did make it to the group of 77 nominees.

Sipadan’s fate is now in the hands of the panel of experts. By July 21 we should be able to know whether Sipadan is shortlisted for the final round of voting to choose The New Seven Wonders of Nature.

Sipadan Breaks No 14th “Psychological Barrier”, Moves A Rung Up

sipadan-rank-13thSipadan has finally broken the Number 14 “psychological barrier”, the first time it does so since its nomination for the New Seven Wonders of Nature more than a couple of months ago. It reached Number 14 several weeks back but fell a rung to Number 15 soon after, before picking up speed and now it is in 13th position in the Island Category.

It needs to move up two more rungs to reach Number 11, the magic number that will qualify the island for the next round of voting. If votes are forthcoming, the island could reach Number 11 by the July 7 deadline.

Sipadan Regains 14th Position, Time To Break Barrier

Sipadan regained its 14th position in the race for the New Seven Wonders of Nature after slipping into 17th spot in the Islands Category.

Now that the island has regained its previous high, everyone who supports the island must now ensure it won’t slip lose anymore ground.

Sipadan needs to reach the 11th position to qualify for the next round of voting. Bocas del Toro, Ko Phi Phi Island and Maldives Archipelago remain the island’s stumbling block.

Indigenous Peoples Gather In Alaska For Climate Change Talk

Representative of indigenous peoples from around the world, including from Borneo, have gathered in Alaska to discuss issues related to climate change.

I wish I was there and cover the proceedings live on Borneo Blog.

Patricia Cochran, chairwoman of the Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change, one of the groups sponsoring the meeting said indigenous peoples, including representatives from Papua New Guinea, Borneo, Mexico, Kenya and Nepal would issue “recommendations for actions that we will take from here,” reports AFP.

Cochran described indigenous peoples as being “on the front lines of this global problem, at a time when their cultures and livelihoods in traditional lands are already threatened.”

AFP said the gathering in Anchorage is being held some 800km ast of the Alaskan village of Newtok, where intensifying river flow and melting permafrost have forced 320 residents to relocate to higher ground.

Dracula Fish Found in Borneo?

The title is misleading, really. The fish, is not found in Borneo, but rather in Burma or Myanmar. I don’t know how some people could confuse Borneo and Burma.

dracula-fish1
Photo: National Geographic

The tiny species of fish, so-named because of its Dracula-like teeth, was found in 2007 a stream in northern Burma or Myanmar as the country is known among its Southeast Asian neighbours.

However, it was only officially described as a new species recently.

Dr Ralf Britz, a zoologist at the Natural History Museum, in London, described the transparent creature as “extraordinary.”

“The teeth that Danionella dracula has are very surprising because none of the other 3,700 species in the Cypriniform group have any teeth in their jaws,” he said.

“In fact, they lost their jaw teeth about 50 million years ago in the Upper Eocene Period.

“Danionella dracula, however, evolved its own Dracula-like teeth structures by growing them from the jaw bones rather than re-evolving jaw teeth.”

The find is published in the latest issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

If you are interested to know more about the research into this tiny fish, here is the full text, titled “Spectacular morphological novelty in a miniature cyprinid fish, Danionella dracula n. sp.”

A brief but comprehensive information about the fish can be found here.

Mankind Has 100 Months To Save Planet Earth

prince-charlesPrince Charles is set to warn international community that mankind has a window of about 100 months or eight years to save Planet Earth before it plunges into irreparable damage.

He is expected to issue the warning in a keynote address in Rio de Janeiro, the Telegraph.co.uk said in a report.

He is expected to urge world unity to combat deforestation and that tackling deforestation in the 3.5 billion acres of rainforest on the planet is a key priority.

Watch out for his address on Thursday, March 12.