SEMENYIH: The Federal Government will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Sabah government next week to plant more “elephant grass” in an effort to create more wildlife corridors.
Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok said part of the funds for the planting would come from the RM1 cess imposed on palm oil players for its environmental and conservation agenda.
The Federal Government, she added, was hoping to raise between RM18mil and RM19mil from the RM1 cess imposed on every metric tonne of palm oil.
“Elephant grass species are being planted to encourage elephants to utilise wildlife corridors and eventually will help to mitigate human-elephant conflict in Sabah and ultimately, allow co-existence between wildlife and plantations, ” she said.
Kok was speaking at the launch of the Project Phase 3 between Yayasan Sime Darby and Management and Ecology of Malaysian Elephants (MEME) here on Tuesday (Feb 18).
Kok said the recent elephant deaths, particularly in Sabah, had “made its way into international news.”
Rising human-elephant conflict incidences, she said, could be addressed by using research-backed resolutions such as the standard operating procedures that both MEME and Yayasan Sime Darby were developing.
“This is important as apart from ensuring that our palm oil industry is truly sustainable, we need to strike a balance between production in agriculture and the protection of wildlife, ” she said.
Sustainability, Kok added, was an essential issue for local palm oil players as beginning this year, the European Union’s Amsterdam Declaration would make it compulsory for palm oil-importing countries in the bloc to only source for sustainable supply.
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