KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s largest concession holder Yayasan Sabah has promised to find out the cause of deaths of the 14 Borneo pygmy elephants to ensure no similar tragedy occurred in their area.
Director of the state-owned foundation Tan Sri Khalil Jamalul said that they were working with the relevant agencies to identify the cause and take corrective actions to ensure wildlife could co-exist in their area of operations.
“We are part of a task force comprising various government departments and agencies set up to investigate the incidents,” he said.
Khalil stressed that all logging contractors under the purview of Yayasan Sabah would come under laws such as the Forest Enactment, Wildlife Conservation Enactment, Sabah Biodiversity Enactment and the Environmental Protection Enactment.
He also noted that Syarikat Empayar Kejora Sdn Bhd was not its subsidiary but a logging contractor for their concession.
Besides government agencies, Khalil said that Yayasan Sabah had worked closely with international bodies such as the Royal Society of United Kingdom, WWF Malaysia, Ikea, Wetlands International and Kyoto University on forest management, environment conservation and rehabilitation, environmental education and community outreach programmes.
“The Yayasan group will continue to play a role in ensuring that the environment
remains available for future generations,” he said.
Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP), in a statement, said the elephant deaths had sent shockwaves across the globe and must be investigated thoroughly and the findings made public.
LEAP executive director Cynthia Ong said that their global partners were shocked and upset and wanted to know the outcome of the probe.
She also said LEAP was supportive of the inclusion of pygmy elephants to Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment, which would provide the mammals with “Totally Protected” status.