KUANTAN: Armed Forces veterans and Orang Asli will be putting on the mantle of wildlife rangers in an effort to combat encroachment and poaching in national parks and wildlife reserves.
Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah said the Biodiversity Protection and Patrolling Programme officially commenced on June 16 as a continuation of Operasi Bersepadu Khazanah.
This programme’s objective is to combat encroachment, illegal logging and hunting in hotspots of protected areas in the peninsula, including national parks, wildlife reserves, state parks, permanent forest reserves and Ramsar sites, he said.
“Beginning this year, the integrated enforcement operation will be further strengthened with the appointment of 100 Armed Forces veterans and 50 Orang Asli as contract wildlife rangers.
“In addition to receiving monthly service payments, they will get allowances and given facilities, ” he said at the appointment ceremony at Taman Negara Sungai Relau in Lipis.
Shamsul Anuar said the appointed rangers would be stationed at the Pahang National Park, Terengganu National Park, Kelantan National Park, Royal Belum in Perak, Endau Rompin National Park in Johor, Sungkai Wildlife Reserve in Perak, Sungai Dusun Wildlife Reserve in Selangor, Krau Wildlife Reserve in Pahang and the Pulau Pinang National Park.
“I have been informed that the selected Armed Forces veterans and Orang Asli have undergone basic training from June 20 to 29 at Taman Negara Sungai Relau Pahang.
“Among the training modules are basic risk management, wildlife policy and legislation, enforcement operations, border management, wildlife management, inventory and monitoring, Smart Patrolling, administrative reporting and wildlife crime, ” he highlighted.
Shamsul Anuar said he was confident the experience and expertise of the veterans and Orang Asli could improve enforcement effectiveness in tackling illegal activities.
He added that the appointment opened up job opportunities for army veterans and the Orang Asli community.