Community-based monitoring is increasingly recognised as one solution to sustainable environmental management. However, the development of community-based monitoring has led to confusion or misconceptions regarding other similar initiatives. Through a review of the characteristics and synthesising criteria of effective community-based monitoring, this article addresses how to distinguish community-based monitoring from other forms of community engagement research. A review of relevant community-based monitoring literature identifies the characteristics of and knowledge gaps in procedures and governance structures. Additionally, evidence of common benefits, challenges and lessons learned for successful community-based monitoring are deliberated. As an outcome of the review, the article synthesises a set of community-based monitoring criteria as follows: (1) efficacy of initiatives, (2) technicality aspects, (3) feedback mechanisms and (4) sustainability. These synthesised criteria will be instrumental in designing customised community-based monitoring initiatives for environmental sustainability.
Temporal variation of Synechococcus, its production (μ) and grazing loss (g) rates were studied for 2 years at nearshore stations, i.e. Port Dickson and Port Klang along the Straits of Malacca. Synechococcus abundance at Port Dickson (0.3-2.3 × 10(5) cell ml(-1)) was always higher than at Port Klang (0.3-7.1 × 10(4) cell ml(-1)) (p 0.25), but nutrient and light availability were important factors for their distribution. The relationship was modelled as log Synechococcus = 0.37Secchi - 0.01DIN + 4.52 where light availability (as Secchi disc depth) was a more important determinant. From a two-factorial experiment, nutrients were not significant for Synechococcus growth as in situ nutrient concentrations exceeded the threshold for saturated growth. However, light availability was important and elevated Synechococcus growth rates especially at Port Dickson (F = 5.94, p 0.30). In nearshore tropical waters, an estimated 69 % of Synechococcus production could be grazed.
An environmental problem which is of concern across the globe nowadays is air pollution. The extent of air pollution is often studied based on data on the observed level of air pollution. Although the analysis of air pollution data that is available in the literature is numerous, studies on the dynamics of air pollution with the allowance for spatial interaction effects through the use of the Markov chain model are very limited. Accordingly, this study aims to explore the potential impact of spatial dependence over time and space on the distribution of air pollution based on the spatial Markov chain (SMC) model using the longitudinal air pollution index (API) data. This SMC model is pertinent to be applied since the daily data of API from 2012 to 2014 that have been gathered from 37 different air quality stations in Peninsular Malaysia is found to exhibit the property of spatial autocorrelation. Based on the spatial transition probability matrices found from the SMC model, specific characteristics of air pollution are studied in the regional context. These characteristics are the long-run proportion and the mean first passage time for each state of air pollution. It is found that the probability for a particular station's state to remain good is 0.814 if its neighbors are in a good state of air pollution and 0.7082 if its neighbors are in a moderate state. For a particular station having neighbors in a good state of air pollution, the proportion of time for it to continue being in a good state is 0.6. This proportion reduces to 0.4, 0.01, and 0 for the cell of moderate, unhealthy, and very unhealthy states, respectively. In addition, there exists a significant spatial dependence of API, indicating that air pollution for a particular station is dependent on the states of the neighboring stations.
The launch of Roadmap towards Zero Single-use Plastics in 2018 demands baseline data on the management of marine debris in Malaysia. In 2021, Malaysia is placed 28th top plastic polluter in the world with plastic consumption at 56 kg/capita/year, therefore data on mismanaged plastic is imperative. This paper reviews the abundance and distribution of marine debris in selected Malaysian beaches over the last decade (2010-2020) and discusses issue on its management. Plastic debris on beaches in Malaysia, was reported to range from 64 items/m2, to as high as 1930 items/m2, contributing 30-45% of total waste collected. Plastics film was the most dominant, mainly originated from packaging materials. Therefore, appropriate action including improved marine waste management system is crucial to tackle the problem, together with effective governance mechanisms. Various suggestions were proposed based on the statistical-environmental data to reduce the occurrence of marine debris in the country.
This study investigated the accumulation of debris at four sites, namely, Gebeng, Batu Hitam, Cherok Paloh, and Air Leleh, along the Pahang coastline, Peninsular Malaysia from March 2019 to February 2020. Plastic was the dominant debris (86.1%) and followed by cloth/fabric-based debris (6.0%), processed lumber debris (3.3%), rubber (2.7%), glass (1.5%), and metal (0.4%). The land-based debris (82.0%) was the major source of the deposition of marine waste. A statistically significant relationship was found between the seasonal variation and marine debris density in tidal and seasonal current along the Pahang coastline. In general, the Northeast Monsoon season had a higher amount of debris than the Southwest Monsoon season.
Sustainable agriculture is important for preserving environmental health and simultaneously gaining economic profits while maintaining social and economic equity. One way to evaluate sustainable agriculture is by studying agricultural eco-efficiency (AEE). Hence, this study constructed a data-driven method to evaluate and optimize AEE with the aim of providing a basis for improving the sustainable development of regional agriculture. Sixteen cities in Anhui Province, China, were considered in the study, and the variables used were agricultural resource inputs, environmental pollution, and agricultural economic development. Agricultural non-point source pollution (NPSP) emissions were considered the undesired output to build an AEE evaluation index system. Furthermore, a data envelopment analysis (DEA) model was established to analyse AEE from the static and dynamic perspectives. The spatial development and the temporal and spatial characteristics of AEE were also analysed. In addition, we applied a random effect (RE) panel Tobit model to quantitatively analyse the influencing factors of AEE from the input perspective and then proposed reasonable suggestions for improving the sustainable development of regional agriculture. Our findings show that the overall agricultural development in the 16 cities in Anhui Province has been continuously improving, even though there is an agglomeration of spatial development in some regions. In conclusion, this study provides suggestions and references for policy makers and agricultural practitioners regarding how to improve regional AEE and promote the sustainable development of the regional agricultural economy.
Contamination of endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) in tap water is an emerging global issue, and there are abundant influencing factors that have an ambivalent eﬀect on their transportation and fate. Different housing types vary in terms of water distribution system operation and design, water consumption choices, and other hydraulic factors, which potentially affect the dynamics, loadings, and partitioning of pollutants in tap water. Thus, this study analyzed 18 multiclass EDCs in tap water from different housing types (i.e., landed and high-rise) and the associated health risks. Sample analyses revealed the presence of 16 EDCs, namely hormones (5), pharmaceuticals (8), a pesticide (1), and plasticizers (2) in tap water, with the prevalent occurrence of bisphenol A up to 66.40 ng/L in high-rise housing. The presence of caffeine and sulfamethoxazole distribution in tap water was significantly different between landed and high-rise housings (t(152) = -2.298, p = 0.023 and t(109) = 2.135, p = 0.035). Moreover, the salinity and conductivity of tap water in high-rise housings were significantly higher compared to those in landed housings (t(122) = 2.411, p = 0.017 and t(94) = 2.997, p = 0.003, respectively). Furthermore, there were no potential health risks of EDCs (risk quotient
The utilization of plastics has now become a threat to the environment as it generates microplastic particles (<5 mm in size). The increasing studies on the occurrence of microplastics in different environmental compartments have raised concern about the potential effects on ecosystems and living organisms. Of these, numerous studies are focused on marine environments. The occurrence of microplastics is recently extended to the freshwater environments, including river systems, streams, lakes, pond, creek, and estuarine rivers. This paper overviews the current knowledge and research findings on the occurrence of microplastics in water, sediment, and fish in freshwater environments. The review also covers the adopted methodology and impacts of microplastics to the ecosystem. Future perspectives are discussed as well in this review.
The invasive weed Asystasia gangetica was investigated for its potential as a biomonitor and as a phytoremediator of potentially toxic metals (PTMs) (Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn) in Peninsular Malaysia owing to its ecological resistance towards unfavourable environments. The biomonitoring potential of PTMs was determined based on the correlation analysis of the metals in the different parts of the plant (leaves, stems, and roots) and its habitat topsoils. In the roots, the concentrations (mg/kg dry weight) of Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn ranged from 0.03 to 2.18, 9.22 to 139, 0.63 to 5.47, 2.43 to 10.5, and 50.7 to 300, respectively. In the leaves, the concentrations (mg/kg dry weight) of Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn ranged from 0.03 to 1.16, 7.94 to 20.2, 0.03 to 6.13, 2.10 to 21.8, and 18.8 to 160, respectively. In the stems, the concentrations (mg/kg dry weight) of Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn ranged from 0.03 to 1.25, 5.57 to 11.8, 0.23 to 3.69, 0.01 to 7.79, and 26.4 to 246, respectively. On the other hand, the phytoremediation potential of the five metals was estimated based on the bioconcentration factor (BCF) and the translocation factor (TF) values. Correlation analysis revealed that the roots and stems could be used as biomonitors of Cu, the stems as biomonitors of Ni, the roots and leaves as biomonitors of Pb, and all three parts of the plant as biomonitors of Zn. According to the BCF values, in the topsoil, the "easily, freely, leachable, or exchangeable" geochemical fractions of the five metals could be more easily transferred to the roots, leaves, and stems when compared with total concentrations. Based on the TF values of Cd, Ni, and Pb, the metal transfer to the stems (or leaves) from the roots was efficient (>1.0) at most sampling sites. The results of BCF and TF showed that A. gangetica was a good phytoextractor for Cd and Ni, and a good phytostabilizer for Cu, Pb, and Zn. Therefore, A. gangetica is a good candidate as a biomonitor and a phytoremediator of Ni, Pb, and Zn for sustainable contaminant remediation subject to suitable field management strategies.
Nano/microplastics (NPs/MPs), a tiny particle of plastic pollution, are known as one of the most important environmental threats to marine ecosystems. Wastewater treatment plants can act as entrance routes for NPs/MPs to the aquatic environment as they breakdown of larger fragments of the plastic component during the treatment process; therefore, it is necessary to remove NPs/MPs during the wastewater treatment process. In this study, understanding the effect of water shear force on the fragmentation of larger size MPs into smaller MPs and NPs and their removal by air flotation and nano-ferrofluid (i.e., magnetite and cobalt ferrite particle as a coagulant) and membrane processes were investigated as a proof-of-concept study. It is found that a two-blade mechanical impeller could fragment MPs from 75, 150 and 300 μm into mean size NPs/MPs of 0.74, 1.14 and 1.88 μm, respectively. Results showed that the maximum removal efficiency of polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride and polyester was 85, 82 and 69%, respectively, in the air flotation process. Increasing the dose of behentrimonium chloride surfactant from 2 to 10 mg/L improved the efficiency of the air flotation process for NPs/MPs removal. It is also found that the removal efficiency of NPs/MPs by the air flotation system depends on solution pH, size, and types of NPs/MPs. This study also found a less significant removal efficiency of NPs/MPs by both types of ferrofluid used in this study with an average removal of 43% for magnetite and 55% for cobalt ferrite. All three plastics tested had similar removal efficiency by the nano-ferrofluid particles, meaning that this removal technique does not rely on the plastic component type. Among all the process tested, both ultrafiltration and microfiltration membrane processes were highly effective, removing more than 90% of NPs/MPs fragment particles. Overall, this study has confirmed the effectiveness of using air flotation and the membrane process to remove NPs/MPs from wastewater.
Microplastic pollution is a prevalent and serious problem in marine environments. These particles have a detrimental impact on marine ecosystems. They are harmful to marine organisms and are known to be a habitat for toxic microorganisms. Marine microplastics have been identified in beach sand, the seafloor and also in marine biota. Although research investigating the presence of microplastics in various marine environments have increased across the years, studies in Southeast Asia are still relatively limited. In this paper, 36 studies on marine microplastic pollution in Southeast Asia were reviewed and discussed, focusing on microplastics in beach and benthic sediments, seawater and marine organisms. These studies have shown that the presence of fishing harbours, aquaculture farms, and tourism result in an increased abundance of microplastics. The illegal and improper disposal of waste from village settlements and factories also contribute to the high abundance of microplastics observed. Hence, it is crucial to identify the hotspots of microplastic pollution, for assessment and mitigation purposes. Future studies should aim to standardize protocols and quantification, to allow for better quantification and assessment of the levels of microplastic contamination for monitoring purposes.
The gravity of the impending threats posed by microplastics (MPs) pollution in the environment cannot be over-emphasized. Several research studies continue to stress how important it is to curb the proliferation of these small plastic particles with different physical and chemical properties, especially in aquatic environments. While several works on how to monitor, detect and remove MPs from the aquatic environment have been published, there is still a lack of explicit regulatory framework for mitigation of MPs globally. A critical review that summarizes recent advances in MPs research and emphasizes the need for regulatory frameworks devoted to MPs is presented in this paper. These frameworks suggested in this paper may be useful for reducing the proliferation of MPs in the environment. Based on all reviewed studies related to MPs research, we discussed the occurrence of MPs by identifying the major types and sources of MPs in water bodies; examined the recent ways of detecting, monitoring, and measuring MPs routinely to minimize projected risks; and proposed recommendations for consensus regulatory actions that will be effective for MPs mitigation.
This study determines the bulk surface water (BSW) dissolved inorganic nutrients of nitrogen (DINi) and phosphate (DIP) during the upwelling season off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, South China Sea. BSW samples were analysed for DINi and DIP by using a standard automated colorimetric method. BSW DINi and DIP concentrations varied between 0.11 and 2.55 μM (mean 1.12 ± 0.63 μM), and below detection limit, and 0.29 μM (mean 0.11 ± 0.08 μM), respectively. The spatial distribution of higher concentrations between DINi and DIP was distinct. However, the highest concentrations of DINi and DIP were mostly recorded in the month of peak upwelling (July and August), where colder BSW temperatures were also encountered during field sampling. This study provides new evidence on the presence of BSW nutrients of DINi and DIP during upwelling season peak in July and August before their decline in September.
Surface sediments along the Southern Terengganu coast (≤7 km from the coast) were analyzed for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The concentrations of 16 USEPA priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (ΣPAH16) ranged from 2.59 to 155 ng g-1 and their respective alkylated ranged between 8.80 and 24.90 ng g-1. Traces of acephenanthrylene, benzo[c]phenanthrene, thiophenic PAH, and benzonaphthofuran were identified. PAH diagnostic ratios and cross-plots revealed that these sedimentary PAH compounds are derived mainly from pyrogenic sources, primarily from biomass burning and petroleum combustion residues with minor petrogenic input. The high correlations between pyrogenic PAHs to total PAHs (r >0.73, p <0.5), and the Bap/Bep ratio to total PAHs (r = 0.88, p <0.5), suggest that atmospheric deposition and urban runoff are the main deposition pathways. The concentrations of the PAHs in the southern South China Sea fall in the moderate contamination range of 100-1000 ng g-1.
Seagrass is a valuable marine ecosystem engineer. However, seagrass population is declining worldwide. The lack of seagrass research in Malaysia raises questions about the status of seagrasses in the country. The seagrasses in Lawas, which is part of the coral-mangrove-seagrass complex, have never been studied in detail. In this study, we examine whether monthly changes of seagrass population in Lawas occurred. Data on estimates of seagrass percentage cover and water physicochemical parameters (pH, turbidity, salinity, temperature, and dissolved oxygen) were measured at 84 sampling stations established within the study area from June 2009 to May 2010. Meteorological data such as total rainfall, air temperature, and Southern Oscillation Index were also investigated. Our results showed that (i) the monthly changes of seagrass percentage cover are significant, (ii) the changes correlated significantly with turbidity measurements, and (iii) weather changes affected the seagrass populations. Our study indicates seagrass percentage increased during the El-Nino period. These results suggest that natural disturbances such as weather changes affect seagrass populations. Evaluation of land usage and measurements of other water physicochemical parameters (such as heavy metal, pesticides, and nutrients) should be considered to assess the health of seagrass ecosystem at the study area.
Decision-makers require useful tools, such as indicators, to help them make environmentally sound decisions leading to effective management of hazardous wastes. Four hazardous waste indicators are being tested for such a purpose by several countries within the Sustainable Development Indicator Programme of the United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development. However, these indicators only address the 'down-stream' end-of-pipe industrial situation. More creative thinking is clearly needed to develop a wider range of indicators that not only reflects all aspects of industrial production that generates hazardous waste but considers socio-economic implications of the waste as well. Sets of useful and innovative indicators are proposed that could be applied to the emerging paradigm shift away from conventional end-of-pipe management actions and towards preventive strategies that are being increasingly adopted by industry often in association with local and national governments. A methodological and conceptual framework for the development of a core-set of hazardous waste indicators has been developed. Some of the indicator sets outlined quantify preventive waste management strategies (including indicators for cleaner production, hazardous waste reduction/minimization and life cycle analysis), whilst other sets address proactive strategies (including changes in production and consumption patterns, eco-efficiency, eco-intensity and resource productivity). Indicators for quantifying transport of hazardous wastes are also described. It was concluded that a number of the indicators proposed could now be usefully implemented as management tools using existing industrial and economic data. As cleaner production technologies and waste minimization approaches are more widely deployed, and industry integrates environmental concerns at all levels of decision-making, it is expected that the necessary data for construction of the remaining indicators will soon become available.
Forests and agricultural lands are the main resources on the earth's surface and important indicators of regional ecological environments. In this paper, Landsat images from 1990 and 2017 were used to extract information on forests in Malaysia based on a remote-sensing classification method. The spatial-temporal changes of forests and agricultural lands in Malaysia between 1990 and 2017 were analyzed. The results showed that the natural forests in Malaysia decreased by 441 Mha, a reduction of 21%. The natural forests were mainly converted into plantations in Peninsular Malaysia and plantations and secondary forests in East Malaysia. The area of agricultural lands in Malaysia increased by 55.7%, in which paddy fields increased by 1.1% and plantations increased by 98.2%. Paddy fields in Peninsular Malaysia are mainly distributed in the north-central coast and the Kelantan Delta. The agricultural land in East Malaysia is dominated by plantations, which are mainly distributed in coastal areas. The predictable areas of possible expansion for paddy fields in Peninsular Malaysia's Kelantan (45.2%) and Kedah (16.8%) areas in the future are large, and in addition, the plantations in Sarawak (44.7%) and Sabah (29.6%) of East Malaysia have large areas for expansion. The contradiction between agricultural development and protecting the ecological environment is increasingly prominent. The demand for agriculture is expected to increase further and result in greater pressures on tropical forests. Governments also need to encourage farmers to carry out existing land development, land recultivation, or cooperative development to improve agricultural efficiency and reduce the damage to natural forests.
Rapid development and industrialization in Southeast (SE) Asia has led to environmental pollution, potentially exposing the general population to environmental contaminants. Human biomonitoring (HBM), measurement of chemical and/or their metabolites in human tissues and fluids, is an important tool for assessing cumulative exposure to complex mixtures of chemicals and for monitoring chemical exposures in the general population. While there are national HBM programs in several developed countries, there are no such national programs in most of the SE Asian countries. However, in recent years there has been progress in the field of HBM in many of the SE Asian countries. In this review, we present recent HBM studies in five selected SE Asian countries: Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand. While there is extensive HBM research in several SE Asian countries, such as Thailand, in other countries HBM studies are limited and focus on traditional environmental pollutants (such as lead, arsenic and mercury). Further development of this field in SE Asia would be benefited by establishment of laboratory capacity, improving quality control and assurance, collaboration with international experts and consortiums, and sharing of protocols and training both for pre-analytical and analytical phases. This review highlights the impressive progress in HBM research in selected SE Asian countries and provides recommendations for development of this field.
Setiu Wetland is rapidly developing into an aquaculture and agriculture hub, causing concern about its water quality condition. To address this issue, it is imperative to acquire knowledge of the spatial and temporal distributions of pollutants. Consequently, this study applied combinations of hydrodynamic and particle tracking models to identify the transport behaviour of pollutants and calculate the residence time in Setiu Lagoon. The particle tracking results indicated that the residence time in Setiu Lagoon was highly influenced by the release location, where particles released closer to the river mouth exhibited shorter residence times than those released further upstream. Despite this fact, the pulse of river discharges successfully reduced the residence time in the order of two to twelve times shorter. Under different tidal phases, the residence time during the neap tide was longer regardless of heavy rainfalls, implying the domination of tidal flow in the water renewal within the lagoon.