Malaysia: Sabah may implement seasonal hunting as part of its conservation effort

STEPHANIE LEE The Star 21 May 16;

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is thinking of having a seasonal ban on wildlife hunting even as it warns that the country may lose some of its endangered wildlife species as early as in the next 50 years.

Tourism, Culture and Environment minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said poaching and excessive hunting were contributing to the dwindling of wildlife.

“Hunting has been a tradition among the local communities especially those in the interior of Sabah but it should not be at the expense of wildlife existence in Sabah,” he said during the Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) Environment Day at the University College Sabah Foundation (UCSF) here yesterday.

“It is our choice and for us to decide. Otherwise in 50 years, we will only be able to see the orang utan and other endangered wildlife species in movies and pictures,” he added.

Masidi said the ministry may consider implementing seasonal hunting as a conservation effort.

“This approach allows animals in the wild to reproduce and is similar to the concept of tagal which prohibits fishing for a certain period of time in most rivers in the state,” he said.

YSD governing council member Caroline Christine Russell said conservation was vital for the country as it is listed as one of the earth’s most bio-diverse places with large numbers of endemic species.

She said Malaysia has 20% of the world’s animal species with a diverse variety of flora and fauna that are in constant danger of not only global climate change but also the threat of poaching.

Meanwhile, the one-day event saw numerous activities including talks, documentary screenings and exhibitions being held by YSD’s beneficiaries and partners namely the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre and Borneo Rhino Alliance.

Sime Darby Foundation has since 2009, committed RM129mil under its Environment pillar for conservation initiatives and environmental projects out of which RM81mil was for projects in Sabah.

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