Prepared by: Michael Ng, Assistant Manager, Science & Environment Division
MPOC recently organized a workshop on Human-Wildlife Conflict from 13-14 November 2019 at Borneo Royale Hotel, Tawau, Sabah. With the theme ‘Identifying and Addressing the Issues in Mitigating Human-Elephant Conflicts’, the 1.5 days workshop was organized in collaboration with FELDA and FGV Holdings Berhad to identify the constraints and challenges in mitigating human-elephant conflicts in and surrounding plantations in Tawau and Lahad Datu, which has recently come under the spotlight due to the deaths of Bornean pygmy elephants nearby these plantations.
Around 70 participants, comprising senior management, plantation managers and representatives from Sabah Wildlife Department and Sabah Forestry Department attended the workshop. Dato’ Amir Hamdan Hj Yusof, Director of Plantations, FELDA and Dr. Ruslan Abdullah, Director of Science and Environment Division, MPOC presented the welcome address, followed by five presentations from Sabah Wildlife Department, FELDA and FGV Holdings Berhad. During the second half of the workshop, participants were divided into breakout sessions, which were facilitated by Sabah Wildlife Department to discuss these topics:
- Human-wildlife conflict issues and constraints faced by FELDA and its surrounding plantations, and the way forward
- Compliance with No Kill Policy, MSPO Criterion and Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997
- Level of Wildlife Conservation Awareness among FELDA Employees, its Smallholders / Settlers and its Surrounding Plantations
- Potential Collaboration for Conservation Programmes by FELDA and its Surrounding Plantation Companies
The results of the discussions were shared during the second day of the workshop. Amongst the key findings were:
- There is a need for closer collaborations between plantation companies sharing a similar landscape with human-wildlife conflicts
- More awareness programmes are needed to educate the communities surrounding plantation landscapes to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts
- Better coordination is required to involve all the stakeholders involved – the plantations, the community and the government agencies in order to foster collaborations on wildlife conservation efforts in Tawau and Lahad Datu.
Towards the end of the workshop, a discussion on drafting a wildlife conservation pledge was made to encourage plantation companies to undertake a commitment in recognizing the importance of co-existence between the industry and the environment (wildlife), as well as pledging their support for wildlife conservation efforts in their plantation landscapes. Once the draft is finalized and accepted, plantation companies supporting the pledge will then announce their endorsements to the pledge.
Please find here the presentations from the workshop for downloads: