MPOC organized its biodiversity conservation webinar on 12 August 2020 in conjunction with the World Elephant Day, with the theme ‘Human and Wildlife Co-existence: Turning Conflict into Co-existence’. The webinar was conducted virtually through the Zoom Platform that brought together wildlife experts, NGOs and oil palm industry players to discuss the possibility of human-wildlife co-existence within oil palm plantation landscapes and conserving biodiversity.
310 registered participants logged in. The webinar started with an opening remark from MPOC and was followed by presentations from four panellists, namely from IUCN Oil Palm Taskforce, Wildlife Trust of India, Sabah Wildlife Department and FELDA. The focus of the webinar was on human-wildlife co-existence covering topics on:
- Making biodiversity conservation in oil palm landscapes better
- Biodiversity conservation: Turning conflict into coexistence – an Asian experience
- Human-Wildlife Coexistence – Can this be made possible?
- Human-Wildlife coexistence from oil palm industry’s perspective
Please find here the presentations from the workshop for downloads:
Some key points highlighted in the webinar are:
- Orangutans have been found to be able to adapt and survive in oil palm plantation landscapes in Sabah.
- Both political will and people are important to achieve co-existence with elephants.
- Bornean Elephant Action Plan for Sabah could drive the human-elephant co-existence but it requires strong political will. In addition, NGOs have to keep pushing harder for conservation efforts towards achieving wildlife co-existence.
- More collaboration is needed between oil palm industry, government agencies, NGOs and academia to achieve human-elephant co-existence.
During the Q&A session, 54 feedbacks were recorded, from both attendees and panellists. However, due to time constraints, the panellists were only able to respond to about 25% of the questions.
Overall, the 96 minutes webinar received overwhelming participation and response from audience around the world. An important take home message is that everyone agreed that conservation of biodiversity in Malaysia is important and the way forward is for human and wildlife to co-exist. This new paradigm, however, requires strong political and public will.