KUCHING – Personnel from Forest Department Sarawak, Sarawak Forestry Corporation, Wildlife Conservation Society Malaysia Program (WCS Malaysia), Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB), Sarawak Research and Development Council (SRDC) and Borneo Adventure, were among the participants of the recent conceptual planning workshop held at Hilton Kuching on 25 September 2019.
The workshop was jointly organized by Forest Department Sarawak and WCS Malaysia, to review the Ulu Sungai Menyang Orangutan Strategic Action Plan (USMOSAP), which was first drafted in 2015. The workshop was also held as part of the ongoing “Community Development and Orang-utan Conservation Project at Ulu Sungai Menyang, Sri Aman: Win-Win Situation”. The session was led by WCS Regional Advisor, Dr Madhu Rao, and the breakout groups were facilitated by officers from Forest Department Sarawak.
Discussion in the workshop focused on three key elements of the policy, namely research, community engagement as well as enforcement and policy matters. Participants then had a brainstorming session to highlight key threats to orang-utan conservation in the Ulu Sungai Menyang landscape, while putting together solutions to overcome said challenges and setting deadlines for goals.
“It is heartening to know that there is much concern by many agencies for orang-utans and their habitats and that the state is looking into how best to protect both the animals and their surroundings,” remarked WCS Malaysia Director, Dr Melvin Gumal. “Given the raging fires and associated haze we had just recently experienced due to land clearance for large scale monocultures and agriculture which crept in to and destroyed orang-utan lands in a neighbouring country, it is wonderful that Sarawak intends to conserve the remaining orang-utan forests for the state.”
WCS Malaysia went on to congratulate Sarawak for taking progressive steps towards orang-utan conservation.
Results from the session will be updated in the USMOSAP before official publication.
Wildlife Conservation Society Malaysia Program is headquartered in Kuching, Sarawak, with offices in Kuala Lumpur, Kahang, Johor and Kuala Rompin in Peninsular Malaysia. Currently, WCS Malaysia works to preserve four priority species – orang-utans, sharks and rays, elephants and tigers. Go tohttps://malaysia.wcs.org/ for more information on WCS Malaysia and visit its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WCS.Malaysia/ for updates.