PETALING JAYA: WWF-Malaysia Thursday (April 25) urged the government to consider setting up a National Tiger Task Force to address the ongoing issue of poaching and illegal wildlife trade.
In a statement, Conservation Director Dr Henry Chan said the move would be a success if implemented, citing statistics of a similar task force formed in Nepal.
"The establishment of the National Tiger Conservation Committee and Wildlife Crime Control Coordination Committee in Nepal made it possible for the country to almost double its tiger numbers, as well as achieve 365 days of zero poaching for rhinos, elephants and tigers between 2013 and 2014," he said.
Although he applauded the Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry and the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) on its recent successful arrests of Vietnamese poachers, Chan stressed the need for a boost in operations to curb poaching, adding that such threats remained as rampant as before.
"We echo the call and efforts of the minister in engaging with the Defence Ministry in the hopes of deploying 2,000 army personnel to protect our forests from foreign encroachment," he said.
He said the government or NGOs alone cannot protect the local wildlife, given the rapidly declining rate of the Malayan tiger unless all parties, including corporate stakeholders, local communities and the general public, come together to put an end to poaching.
Last week, it was reported that two Vietnamese nationals were found in possession of wildlife parts, including that of two Malayan tigers.
The haul was believed to be worth up to RM500,000 in the black market, according to National Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar.