Genting boost for wildlife conservation
Published on: Tuesday, August 28, 2018
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Kota Kinabalu: A Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between Genting Plantations Berhad and Sabah Wildlife Department will see wildlife, including Borneo pygmy elephants, having more living space.The agreement would see 44.5 hectares of oil palm plantation land being set aside for wildlife conservation in the east coast.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Christina Liew said the move would give elephants and other wildlife an undisturbed area to go to, adding that the move would also help reduce human-elephant conflict.

"Today is the MOU launching where we encourage plantation owners to participate in the conservation programme for the elephants with the State Government. So its the the private sector with the government and we launch the programme to encourage more private sector plantation owners to participate as the problem of human-elephant conflicts need to be tackled soon as possible," she said.

Christina was officiating the Umbrelephant Campaign at Sutera Harbour on Monday which was aimed at creating more awareness on efforts to protect elephants in the State.

Liew hoped the MoA pioneer project would encourage other plantations and estate owners to follow suit.

"I do believe that after today's programme there will be more big players who will come on.

Whoever wants to do business in Sabah please cooperate with the government in this conservation programme."

Liew said the campaign was also being introduced in schools, where it is hoped such a move can help to instil a love for animal protection in students.

The campaign is ongoing and we hope at every school we can recruit young people to be in the programme.

So far only five schools in the outskirts but we hope other schools including in the city will also pick it up as it is a good programme where the next generation should be able to pick up this love for conservation for our wild animals in the State.

Liew said that there were only about 2,000 Borneo pygmy elephants left in Sabah.

"It is not a big number. I think at 2,000 we should be setting off the alarms already.

We are thankful to some of the NGOs and organisations who are willing to give up lands for this conservation programme, including Genting Plantations Berhad."

Asked about the snare traps which posed a risk to elephants, Liew said State wildlife officials were also undertaking efforts to find and remove these snare traps in the forest reserves and estates areas. - Neil Chan


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