Sustainable conservation efforts, indigenous people’s roles among topics at WWF-Malaysia conference


WWF-Malaysia’s chief executive officer Sophia Lim. - Filepic/The Star

KOTA KINABALU: The critical role of indigenous people and local communities (IPLC) for the conservation of biodiversity and identifying challenges for sustainable conservation efforts in Malaysia will be among the topics heard in a coming conservation conference.

Hosted by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Malaysia, this 50th anniversary conference is scheduled to be held at the Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Hotel here on Nov 2 and Nov 3.

WWF-Malaysia’s chief executive officer Sophia Lim said with the theme 'Conservation and Sustainable Development', the conference would gather experts who had engaged and partnered with WWF-Malaysia to share their experiences and expectations on biodiversity conservation.

"The conference will, among others, explore the critical role of indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLC) for the conservation of biodiversity and management of protected areas across multiple-use landscapes," she said in a statement.

She said it would also engage in robust discourse on the stumbling blocks and opportunities for conservation in Malaysia as a whole as well as delve into strategies towards advancing conservation technology.

"This platform also allows both parties to reaffirm their collective commitment towards achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals," Lim added.

She said they would take the time to reflect on the work they have done as an organisation in partnership with various stakeholders in Malaysia to understand their previous and current conservation efforts.

She said as an organisation, WWF-Malaysia’s vision was reversing the loss of nature and transforming Malaysia into a sustainable Nation by 2030.

"This conference will allow us the golden opportunity to reflect and then envision a future far beyond this," Lim said.

She said discussions and outcomes from this conference would subsequently be made available to the public to ensure that the conversation continued to gain momentum beyond the conference.

Held over two days, the conference would feature exhibitions by key WWF-Malaysia corporate partners and communities from across the country including Sabah Softwoods Berhad, Sawit Kinabalu Group, Unilever and Beiersdorf.

Communities from both Sabah and Sarawak would also be exhibiting at the event.

The public was invited to visit the exhibition booths and to view an array of stunning photographs from the field that had been curated for sale during the event.

Lim said being able to host the conference was a significant milestone for WWF-Malaysia.

"We would like to use this opportunity to acknowledge and highlight the support that our corporate donors have given us over the years and the public for their unwavering support towards works done by WWF-Malaysia," she said.

First set up in 1972, WWF-Malaysia has collaborated with government agencies, businesses, communities, NGOs and individual supporters to protect nature across the country, she said.

Lim said over the course of 50 years, the organisation had played a key role in establishing and improving the management effectiveness of 12 Protected Areas, thus conserving more than 1.3 million hectares of forests and seas from the threat of conversion.

"We have also planted more than 350,000 trees and touched the lives of over 1.8 million students," she added.

More information on the event can be found at: https://www.wwf.org.my/about_wwf/50_years_together_for_nature/

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