Introduction to MNS


To promote the study, appreciation, conservation and protection of Malaysia's natural heritage.

The Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) has been contributing towards the protection of Malaysia’s natural heritage since 1940. Being a membership-based organization, we have been the reason behind the protection of many key habitats as well as national and state parks in Malaysia.

MNS works in a 4-prong approach towards habitat conservation:

1. Our Conservation unit works towards conserving important habitats through policy and advocacy, research and data collection in consultation with the federal and state governments. Our conservation campaigns over the years always includes engaging local communities. To learn more about our conservation work please click here.

2. The Environmental Education unit of MNS works towards raising public awareness, with an emphasis amongst school children through project involvement and hands-on experience. We have established School Nature Clubs in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, throughout the country, where children learn about the importance of the environment and nature conservation. To learn more about our environmental education work please click here.

3. MNS' Publications include primarily a popular quarterly periodical, the Malaysian Naturalist (MN), and a scientific periodical, Malayan Nature Journal (MNJ). These MN is aimed at relaying key conservation mesages to lay public; educating and increasing awarness on the environment, whilst the MNJ is targetted the scientific community. We also publish selected other books. To learn more about our publication work please click here.

4. The Parks unit of MNS looks into establishing and managing Nature Parks; primarily aimed at creating and raising public appreciation on nature and our environment. Parks bring nature closer to the public, creating an opportunity for better understanding of our natural surroundings. To learn more about our parks please click here.

MNS is a non-profit organisation, and as such financial support and volunteering assistance is crucial to us. With the many conservation issues emerging in our country, clearly there are many initiatives and projects that require funding to start or to continue.
MNS works very closely with federal and local governments, grassroots communities, private organisations as well as members of the media. In this new millennium MNS’ work has become very vital for the continued conservation of our natural habitats.
We are looking forward for organisations and individuals to come forward to become members of MNS; becoming our partners and funding our projects as well as volunteering in our many programmes. Together we can ensure the fragile beauty of Malaysia’s natural wonders are protected in perpetuity.


The Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) was incepted as the Malayan Nature Society in 1940. As with many institutions and organizations that predate the country’s independence, its' genesis was through the efforts of British expatriates deeply interested in the natural heritage of the land.

The initial founders of the society were the British administrators working in Malaya. Many of them were keen naturalists who had accumulated together a good collection of field notes. They felt these notes were invaluable records on the country’s natural history and should be published. Thus, in 1940, the Malayan Nature Journal (MNJ) and the Malayan Nature Society were born. MNJ Volume 1 No 1 was published in August 1940 on Natural Beauty Spots of Malaya, And the Need for Their Preservation.

The Society began with 112 members in 1940. Although the Second World War left its scars, by 1948, our membership had risen to 400 members. The 1,000-member mark was passed in the early 1980’s, and the 2,000th in 1986.

From its inception, MNS knew that the key to success would be the active involvement of members from all walks of life. The MNS was initially managed by a core group of volunteers who formed the Council and the then Permanent Finance Committee. This Council used to take care of the day-to day running of the Society, while the Permanent Finance Committee was the guardians of the Society’s funds. However, as the scope and extent and of the Society evolved into what it is today, full time staffs were recruited, and we now have 27 staff working at the Secretariat, that sees to the day-to-day running of the Society.

Our first major conservation project was to protect the Giant Leathery Turtle way back in the 1960s (check out MNJ Issue Vol 19 (2&3). The project, lead by the late Dr E. Balasingam, researched on the egg laying habits of the turtles, and was the first ever turtle eggs collection scheme for conservation done in this country. The hatchery programme that was started in 1961 was subsequently managed by the Fisheries Department.

While a whole range of activities are carried out nationwide by our members, it is the mega initiatives that garner the most public support. In 1977, MNS jointly with 5 other organizations, took out a half-page advertisement in a national daily and launched the Save the Endau-Rompin National Park Campaign. There were no immediate end to logging, but licenses were not renewed for the area after the 1977 concessions expired. 1985 marked a historical year – MNS initiated the Malaysian Heritage & Scientific Expedition to Endau Rompin. 1993 saw the Johor part of Endau-Rompin gazetted as a State Park, culminating years of discussions with the state government which stemmed from the Expedition.

Subsequently, 1993 saw MNS once again leading another landmark initiative – the year long Malaysian Heritage & Scientific Expedition to Belum, launched by the then His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong IX Sultan Azlan Shah. This expedition documented the diversity and richness of flora & fauna of the area, while gathering baseline data to assist the Perak state government in the area’s management. After year of continuous advocacy and other related initiatives, the Royal Belum State Park was legally gazetted as a totally protected area in May 2007.

Over the years, MNS, through its members, partners and supporters, has played an integral role in the conservation of Malaysia’s natural heritage. Being the largest membership based environmental organization in the country and with a string of success secured under our belt, we have now clearly become a strong voice for conservation in Malaysia; presenting our stand in promoting and ensuring responsible environmental stewardship in the country.


1963 Conservation of the Giant Leathery turtles in Terengganu
1960 Save Batu Caves Campaign
1960 Limestone massifs of the Kinta Valley researched
1974 Introduced the Malayan Naturalist, our quarterly periodical
1976-80 Blueprint for Conservation in Malaysia
1981 Save Pulau Redang Campaign
1984 Gua Kepayan Expedition
1985-89 Endau-Rompin Heritage Expeditions
1987 Kuala Selangor Nature Park established
1988 BOH-MNS Field Study Centre establishment
1990 MNS 50th Anniversary Conference on Conservation of Tropical Biodiversity
1991 UNEP Global 500 Awards
1991 School Nature Clubs (Kelab Pencinta Alam, KPA) launched with Ministry of Education
1991 MNS Tho Yow Pong Children Nature Education Fund established for underprivileged children to experience nature camps and trips to the rainforest.
1993 MNS efforts culminate in the establishment of Endau-Rompin National Park
1993 Belum Scientific and Heritage Expedition I
1993 MNS-FRIM-SHELL Nature Education Centre established in FRIM
1994 Malaysian Climate Change Group (MCCG), an alliance beginning with 3 local NGOs, formed.
1995 Started work towards the protection of Gunung Stong in Kelantan
1995 Kuala Selangor Nature Park receives Minamata award.
1996 Green the Nation - Tree Planting Group launched
1996 Framework for Nature Education and Research Centre in Endau-Rompin National Park (Johor)
1996 Terrestrial survey of the Johor Island Archipelago and Gunung Ledang on behalf of the Endau-Rompin National Park begins.
1996 National Biodiversity Project towards Biological Diversity Country Study Document
1996 MNS joins the campaign against Bakun Dam
1996 MNS joins the Malaysian Hills Network
1997 Milky Stork reintroduction at KSNP
1997 Environmental Education Program at Rimba Ilmu Universiti Malaya launched
1997 Terrestrial study for the Johor Island Archipelago and Gunung Ledang
1997-98 Avifaunal survey of Paya Indah, Selangor (Client: The Malaysian Wetlands Foundation)
1997 MNS becomes official national partner of BirdLife International
1998 Launch of the Asian Conservation Awareness Program (ACAP), a partnership amongst MNS, WildAid, and Department of Wildlife & National Parks Malaysia
1998 A Vegetation and Avifaunal Survey of Tasik Chini, Pahang (Client: Wetlands International-Asia Pacific
1998 A Feasibility study on the Establishment of a Nature Park in Malim Nawar, Perak (Inclusive of Avifaunal Survey)
1998 Belum Science and Heritage Expedition II
1998 Kampung Endah Model Site – A community project on environmental education.
1998 Study of the Klang Gates Ridge for the proposal of the Selangor State Park, in collaboration with TrEES
1998-04 Milky Stork Captive Breeding & Reintroduction Program is launched at Kuala Selangor Nature Park. First of its kind in the world !
1999 Johor Mangroves study for Johor National Parks Corporation
1999 Organised and Hosted BirdLife International World Conference, Awana Genting.
1999 Expedition to Pantai Aceh, Pulau Pinang
1999 Expedition to Pulong Tau, Sarawak
1999 Prepared proposal for the Establishment of Kinta Nature Park (Batu Gajah) and Development Plans (inclusive of avifaunal survey) [submitted to State EPU and Perak State Tourism EXCO]
1999-present Organisation of nationwide Asian Waterbird Census (Malaysia) [Annual country reports produced].
1999 Hosted the Birdlife International World Conference launched by the Minister of Science, Technology and Environment with Queen Noor of Jordan as Patron
2000 Millennium Tree Planting – A Green Gift to the Nation, Co-organiser. Entry to the Guiness World Book of Records for number of trees planted.
2000 Malaysia Water Forum
2000-present First Raptor Watch Week, Tanjung Tuan launched (in partnership with Melaka & Negeri Sembilan State and local government, agencies and businesses)
2000-01 Conducted a baseline natural resource inventory of Gunung Ledang (inclusive of avifaunal survey)
2000 Conservation of Rafflesia and Raja Brooke Bird Butterfly program in Ulu Geroh with indigenous community
2001 Launched Nature Education Centre, Endau-Rompin (Johor) launched.
2001 Wild for Wildlife, a public Awareness Program with WILAID International launched
2001 Provision of technical input and training to the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre to assess the use of small towns in Sarawak by migratory swallows.
2001 Avifaunal survey during the Kuala Selangor Biodiversity Survey.
2001 Study on Fireflies of the Kuala Selangor District
2002 MNS appointed as Ramsar CEPA NGO-Focal point for Malaysia
2002 Study on Eco-tourism carrying Capacity of Pulau Layang Layang
2002 Nature awareness and education camp for the local community of Pulau Tinggi – a project with Ford Motor Malaysia
2002 Conservation Assessment of the Lesser Adjutant Stork, a Globally Threatened Species in the State of Johor Darul Ta’azim, Peninsular Malaysia (Report prepared for the Johor State Government)
2002 Conducted a carrying capacity study of Pulau Layang-Layang (inclusive of seabird study)
2002 Cameron Highlands Botanical Study conducted by MNS and REACH
2002-05 Selection and Nomination of Important Bird Areas in Malaysia. Publication of the Handbook of Important Bird Areas in Malaysia.
2003 Raptor Watch 2003 resulted in the saving of Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve from development – a commitment from the Melaka State Government.
2003 Scientific & Heritage Expedition 2003 – Langkawi Islands.
2003 Conducted an avifaunal survey during the 3rd Belum Expedition organized by UKM-Forestry Department (Peninsular Malaysia).
2003 Avifaunal survey during the Scientific & Heritage Langkawi Expedition, organized by MNS, Langkawi Development Authority and Forestry Department (Peninsular Malaysia)
2004 The launch of MNS CENTRE Project, a community project at Kuala Selangor.
2004 Selection and nomination of Important Bird Areas in Malaysia. Publication of the Handbook of Important Bird Areas in Malaysia.
2004 Completion of the Hornbill Research Projects (1st phase), Royal Belum State Park
2004 Field research on hornbills in Belum-Temengor forest complex, Perak.
2004 Milky Stork Captive Breeding & Reintroduction Program Phase 1 ends with successful release of 9 birds into the wild as an experimental release. Phase 2 being sought.
2004 Malaysian Nature Society appointed Coordinator of Malaysian Climate Change Group (MCCG)
2005 Report prepared for Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, “Important Bird Areas and    Ramsar: Building Linkages and Priorities for Conserving Wetlands and Wetland-dependent Birds in Malaysia”.
2006 Kuala Selangor Nature Park becomes a member of Wetlands Link International (WLI)
2006 KPA celebrates 15th year anniversary
2006 MNS Belum Temengor Campaign 2006: 80,000 signatures collected
2006-07 Conducting an assessment of the feasibility of developing Birdwatching as a tourism product
2007 Directory of Important Bird Areas in Malaysia – Key Sites for Conservation launched

To find out more about how you can be involved in protecting Malaysia’s natural wonders click here. Or contact us at for more information.

Malaysian Nature Society (MNS)
Persatuan Pencinta Alam Malaysia
JKR 641 Jalan Kelantan, Bukit Persekutuan
50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +603 – 2287 9422
Fax: +603 – 2287 8773

You can also contact your local Miri Branch at