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All-year crocodile hunting permits
Published on: Wednesday, May 15, 2024
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All-year crocodile hunting permits
“This is one of the ways to ensure sustainable consumption for the crocodile industry in Sabah. However, there has been minimal response in terms of licence applications, as of now,” Liew said.
Kota Kinabalu: The State Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment, through the Sabah Wildlife Department (JHL), has opened hunting licences for crocodiles throughout the year.

“This is one of the ways to ensure sustainable consumption for the crocodile industry in Sabah. However, there has been minimal response in terms of licence applications, as of now,” said its Minister Datuk Christina Liew at the closing of the Workshop on Managing Crocodile-Human Conflict in Sabah, organised by JHL, here, Tuesday.

The two-day workshop, attended by more than 100 participants, discussed the delicate balance between human safety, livelihoods and the conservation of crocodiles in our ecosystem, and a harmonious coexistence between humans and crocodiles in Sabah.

The text of Liew’s speech was read by the Ministry’s Deputy Permanent Secretary I, Mary Malangking. 

The Minister, who is on an official trip overseas, said it is her firm belief that by harnessing our natural resources sustainably, we can create opportunities that benefit the people of Sabah. 

“It is my sincere hope that these measures will not only alleviate conflicts but also open doors to new opportunities, such as tourism and the production of luxury goods, thus enhancing our local economy.

“Therefore, in the future, crocodiles will not be feared but rather appreciated by the people,” she pointed out.

The participants were reminded of the underlying goal, which is to ease the fears of fellow Sabahans while ensuring the conservation of crocodiles in their natural habitat. This endeavour, Liew said, requires unity and collaboration. 

“I urge everyone of you to continue working hand in hand, across agencies and communities.”

While conceding that for generations, crocodiles have been feared as a threat to human life and livelihood, the Minister said it is imperative to acknowledge their pivotal role in maintaining the health of our ecosystem, and as a potential resource for improving our local communities’ livelihoods.

“It is clear that there is a significant gap in our society’s understanding of the growing conflicts between humans and crocodiles. 

“Hence, action and a platform are needed to bridge these gaps, educate and raise awareness,” she asserted.

On the shared vision of a harmonious co-existence between humans and crocodiles in Sabah, Liew said it is our responsibility to chart a course that balances the conservation of crocodile populations with ensuring the safety and livelihoods of our communities. 

“Drawing inspiration from successful strategies implemented in Sarawak and valuable insights shared by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Crocodile Specialist Group Australia through this workshop, we gain knowledge needed to develop programmes and strategies in managing human-crocodile conflict in Sabah,” she added.

Based on the outcome of the workshop, the Minister assured that the State Government through her Ministry will take into consideration all the recommendations put forth in this workshop by preparing a plan for mitigating human-crocodile conflict in Sabah. 

Meanwhile, Liew made a vote of special thanks to the speakers and facilitators, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Crocodile Specialist Group Australia, and those from the Sarawak Forestry Corporation for sharing their expertise and guiding the discussions.

Among those present were JHL Deputy Director 1 Roland Oliver Niun who represented the Director Augustine Tuuga, Senior Assistant Secretary Mohamad Zaid Yussof who represented the Secretary of the Office of Domestic Affairs and Research, Chief Minister’s Department, Director of Danau Girang Field Centre, Prof Dr Benoit Goossens, Charlie Manolis, who is a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Crocodile Specialist Group Australia.

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