Sunday September 2, 2012
Kudos for Perhilitan’s move to beef up enforcement
THE World Wide Fund for Nature Malaysia (WWF-Malaysia), welcomes the news that the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) will be beefing up their enforcement unit.
We fully support the views of the Natural Resources and Environment Minister, Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas, that a strong Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 should be complemented with sufficient manpower in order for it to be enforced effectively.
To this end, WWF-Malaysia and other stakeholders in the Government, academia and NGOs had assisted in the formulation of the Act.
We would like to see it being enforced with much vigour in order to curb wildlife poaching and smuggling, which, if left unchecked, would have serious negative ramifications to the National Tiger Conservation Action Plan (NTCAP) and Wildlife Conservation Act.
WWF-Malaysia supports the 1NRE Enforcement Team Initiative where law enforcement agencies, including the army, are collaboratively enlisted to enforce the Act.
A similar initiative has also been undertaken in the Royal Belum State Park through the joint enforcement work by Perhilitan, the Forestry Department of peninsular Malaysia and the Royal Belum State Park Board.
This joint enforcement initiative formed part of the 80 programmes and action plans of the NTCAP. In this respect, WWF-Malaysia has contributed to the Joint Enforcement Trust Fund, and we would like to be able to assure our supporters and stakeholders that these funds are appropriately used for law enforcement in the Royal Belum State Park and Temengor Forest Reserve.
WWF-Malaysia also has an Anti Poaching Unit (APU) that supports wildlife law enforcement in Gerik, Perak, acting as the eyes and ears for the Joint Enforcement Initiative, but which lacks the empowerment and authority to help enforce the Act.
We hope that the Natural Resources and Environment Minister as well as Perhilitan will support this initiative by joining our APU’s activities so that poachers are effectively apprehended in accordance to the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010.
The Minister through Perhilitan could also study the ways to revitalise the Honorary Wildlife Wardens and Honorary Wildlife Ranger programmes respectively, like the ones practised in Sabah and Sarawak, so that our indigenous peoples, members of the public and NGOs can also assist in wildlife law enforcement.
The effort of beefing up the enforcement unit of Perhilitan is indeed a step in the right direction in addressing wildlife crimes.
DATUK DR DIONYSIUS SHARMA