Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Bungee jumping for Sg Ingei funds

File photo of Iskandar, son of Sg Ingei Faunal Biodiversity Survey Project Manager and WWF Special Advisor to the HoB project Dr Mikaail Kavanagh, walking past a large tree during a "VIP" visit of the UBD-led faunal biodiversity survey to Sg Ingei from March 25-27, 2011. Picture: BT file
Thursday, May 3, 2012
A MALAYSIAN student, Iskandar Kavanagh, is set to bungee jump to raise funds for Brunei's Sg Ingeibiodiversity faunal survey project on May 5.

Members of the public can donate and find out more information at http://www.justgiving.com/IskandarKavanaghJumps.

Iskandar, 20, a student at Durham University, UK will bungee jump on May 5, to commemorate his 21stbirthday and for the two-year Universiti Brunei Darussalam-led (UBDSg Ingei biodiversity faunal biodiversity survey, a project under the Heart of Borneo (HoB).

Iskandar shared with The Brunei Times via email on what inspired him to take the leap.

The bungee jump, which will be organised by Durham University Charities Kommittee, or DUCK, is an annual event, and this year it happens to be on his 21st birthday. Iskandar thought bungee jumping would be a fun way to celebrate his birthday right before his exams.

"If I were going to raise money for anything and do something that terrifying, what would I raise it for? The Sg Ingei Faunal Expedition came to mind, as I was a volunteer for them during my Easter break last year and I honestly feel like it was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done!" he said.

And fortune has it, DUCK gave him the green light to raise money for the cause.

"I became really excited and basically acted on impulse from there," he said.

DUCK exists to help Durham Students raise funds and awareness for local, national and international charities.

As of 7pm (Brunei time, May 2), the donation stands at £384 ($771); Iskandar hopes to reach his target of £550 ($1,104).

Donations had been pouring in when he started on April 24 with, his initial target at £100 ($201). He decided to raise the target to £200 ($402), and that too was reached.

The donation reached £300 ($602) on April 30.

An excerpt taken from his website said, "I am absolutely ecstatic right now as the £300 target has been surpassed! This has really exceeded my expectations, thank you to everyone who has donated so far! I've been very happily surprised a few times already, so I've decided to REALLY raise the bar this time, with the new target of 550!".

The donation will be channelled to the UBD team through WWF, which manages the funds for the SgIngei Faunal Survey.

The second year Geography BSc undergraduate said the environment has always been his passion and it was this passion that compelled him to do more.

"I have loved animals since I was a little kid. It definitely stems from my parents taking me to the zoo and nature parks and growing up with pets in the house. That love just grew into a passion for conservation as I got older and once I started to understand the importance of such things to a higher degree," he said.

"My dad (WWF special advisor to the Heart of Borneo Dato' Dr Mikaail Kavanagh) who was going for the expedition, let me know about the trip and I showed how interested I was about it. He pointed this out to some of his colleagues and they said, 'Cool, bring him along!'," he said.

When asked what his most memorable experience was while volunteering at Sg Ingei, Iskandar said "I really enjoyed tracking all sorts of bugs at night, as I have always been into these 'creepy-crawlies' as I find them fascinating, combined with my interest in macro-photography," he said.

He hopes the biodiversity faunal survey will be successful, "from researching current wildlife and discovering new species to protecting that wildlife from poachers, unnecessary development and sustaining it for our future".

Iskandar said from what he had seen "the people of Brunei are doing a pretty good job at looking after their wildlife".

"Then again, that never stops. So keep up the good work and always remember that every little bit counts, from the smallest piece of litter being recycled to the amount of fuel used a week. Maybe even try a little volunteering here and there, it really does make you feel great. Most importantly, no matter who you are, know that you can make a change for the better," he added. The Brunei Times

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