Panda News 2021:
October to December
WWF-Malaysia Released Its Third Faith-Based Animation Series on Christmas Day
In the effort to combine religion with environmental education in our country, we released thirteen short animation series inspired by the teachings and values of Christianity on its official YouTube channel here.
When We're Friends (WWF) with Nature animation series explores the adventures of Moses, his friends, and communities in understanding the works of nature and their role to protect it. The characters discuss pressing environmental issues such as landslides, endangered species, global warming, human-wildlife conflict, and many more.
We hope this effort contributes to the scarcity of resource materials that connect religion and the environment. The animation series can also be a teaching and learning aid in the classroom or Sunday school. Students will be able to address environmental issues based on their understanding from the religious viewpoint. Click here to view the Islam and Buddhism series.
Eco Champions Awards 2022: Nominations Open
The Eco Champion Awards came about in 2017 to celebrate inspiring Malaysians for their outstanding commitment to conserving the natural environment. They are recognised for the significant success in sustainability that impacted their communities and beyond.
This year, in conjunction with WWF-Malaysia’s 50th anniversary, six eco champions will receive a grant of up to RM 5,000 and participate in exclusive upskilling programmes to push their conservation projects to greater heights.
Young people are capable of anything they put their minds to when supported. So no matter how small or large their contribution to our environment, they should be rewarded and celebrated!
Youth can do it!
Two community groups in Sabah have successfully been established as legal business entities - LA’NU and Po’On. LA’NU is an enterprise group of women from Banggi Island and Taritipan, Kota Marudu; focusing on producing natural skincare products. Since their inception in November 2019, LA’NU has generated profit from the sale of their products, where 10% was contributed towards their conservation funds.
Po’On consists of members from the Taritipan Youth Club (ANBATAR), who aim to diversify their source of income through mangrove-based products such as stingless bee honey and insect repellents. In June 2020, the enterprise documented their first income from the selling of raw stingless bee honey. In addition, Po’On has also launched a YouTube channel to raise awareness on the environment, promote community-based products, and generate revenue from YouTube.
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© Joannie Jomitol / WWF-Malaysia
Sustainable Seafood Production - Progress & Challenges
The pandemic has clearly impacted almost everything globally and it is currently ongoing, affecting the seafood production in Malaysia profoundly. To understand more about the impact, the WWF-Malaysia fisheries and aquaculture team conducted a survey post-MCO for the fishing and aquaculture industry. Initial results from the survey showed more than 73% of fishers and 78% of aquaculture operators lost incomes and revenue due to the disruption in the seafood supply chain, drop in demand, and the dwindling tourism industry as the result of COVID-19.
Several MCOs throughout 2020 have restricted the team’s movement and on-ground activities. Implementing activities such as on-site monitoring of Aquaculture Improvement Projects (AIPs), community engagements, training and seminars for communities have been challenging. Adapting to the challenges, the team have resorted to using online platforms for stakeholder engagements and utilising local partners for community engagements.
© Chor Wei Kang / WWF-Malaysia
Regional Fisheries and Shark Programme:
Global Shark Forum
Global Shark Forum was an internal forum organised by Sharks: Restoring the Balance, WWF and TRAFFIC’s joint global shark and ray conservation programme and selected WWF offices, including the WWF-Malaysia Marine Programme. The successful event was held over seven days, the forum included 45 sessions jointly attended by over 150 WWF and TRAFFIC colleagues representing 40 countries and territories from five continents.
This internal event helped us strengthen our strategic plans for the years ahead even though we were not able to meet in person due to the ongoing pandemic. To help us scale up our efforts more effectively, the global programme will also see additional members of WWF and TRAFFIC’s shark conservation community take up international leadership roles. As part of this arrangement, the Footprint Manager of WWF-Malaysia will now lead WWF and TRAFFIC’s global shark fin consumption work.
© Eric Madeja / WWF-Malaysia
Team Kedah Cakna 28-day Virtual Challenge
After 28 days, the Kedah Cakna Virtual Team Challenge (TKC) reached the finishing line after it was officially closed by Tunku Temenggong Kedah, Tan Sri Tunku Puteri Intan Safinaz on 30 October 2021.
Sponsored by CIMB Islamic, TKC aimed to bring participants together to learn about Ulu Muda Forest and its importance, as well as promoting green lifestyle practices. A total of 24 people, the majority of whom are Kedah natives, completed various tasks with enthusiasm, creativity and team work throughout the nearly month-long programme, including in the Virtual Explorace held at the end of the challenge.
Team Panthera Tigris, Honey Shoots, and KAYU scored the highest group scores and took home the top three prizes. Three special award categories – Inspirational, Dynamic and Hope – were given to three other teams of the virtual challenge. Read more about the mechanics, challenges and successes of the event here.
Engaging Youth in Environmental Sustainability (EYES)
on Setiu Wetlands
A total of 382 participants joined the Engaging Youth in Environmental Sustainability (EYES) on Setiu Wetlands programme, which aimed to promote the youth’s awareness on the uniqueness of wetland ecosystems as well as the importance of safeguarding and conserving them, particularly Setiu Wetlands.
Supported by CIMB Islamic Bank, three sub-events were held from 20 October until 2 November, namely the Eksplorasi Setiu Wetlands: Permata Alam Semula Jadi webinar, the Virtual Terengganu Setiu Wetlands Camp (V-TSWetC) and the Wetlands Science Discovery event.
While the webinar featured an educational sharing, as well as WWF-Malaysia's freshwater conservation efforts, the V-TSWetC sub-programme held talks, Tik Tok video competitions, explorace challenges and video screenings to educate participants on the significance as well as the wonders of wetland ecosystems.
Consultation Session With Rajang-Belawai-Paloh Communities
On 4 November 2021, Sarawak Conservation Programme (SCP) team conducted a consultation session with the communities from Rajang-Belawai-Paloh. This consultation was a continuation of the Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) process with the objectives:
To gauge local communities’ understanding and address their questions raised regarding the mangrove and dolphin conservation project;
To introduce and gauge communities’ interest in setting up a community participatory platform, and
To identify suitable mangrove areas for mangrove replanting.
Representatives from Kampung Belawai, Kampung Stalon, Kampung Jerijeh and Kampung Semalau attended the session and supported the setting up of a community participatory platform. Four villages were absent because bad weather made it risky for communities to travel via boat to the consultation venue.
The next meeting will be held in January 2022 to discuss the details of the committee structure, functions and roles of the committee, as well as, the drafting of the terms of reference.
A consultation session with the village representatives.
© Hafida Bolhen / WWF-Malaysia
High Conservation Value (HCV) Training for
Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (SALCRA)
Physical training was held from 6 to 10 December 2021 to build up the capability of participants from Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (SALCRA), on using the HCV approach to better manage and conserve areas being developed for palm oils.
The four-day classroom session was held at SALCRA Headquarters in Kota Samarahan, and a day of outdoor session at Jagoi Estate in Bau. All trainers and facilitators were members of the SCP team. The topics of the training covered:
the background, concepts, good practices and reporting of HCVs;
methodologies and principles of conducting a good HCV assessment;
wildlife study ie. GPS and map usage, wildlife identification, wildlife study method, camera-trap installation and survey; as well as
basic knowledge of the GIS.
Several breakout group activities were done throughout the classroom sessions. Participants were actively engaged with each other in their groups to complete the tasks given. Similarly, the outdoor training also required participants to complete their tasks in a group, observing and identifying the actual HCV sites in the field and practising assessment methods that have been shared during the classroom sessions.
The facilitator was explaining on the GPS usage.
© Ezen Chan / WWF-Malaysia
The participants were discussing their tasks with the help of the facilitator from the SCP.
© Jim Wisco / WWF-Malaysia
Conservation messages in the form of
oral literature and photographs
SCP has published not one, but three books to end 2021 with a bang!
Whispers from the Past: Tales of Legend and Lore from Middle Borneo is a collection of stories from the indigenous peoples in Sri Aman and Kapit divisions, Sarawak and Kapuas Hulu, Kalimantan. Visit here to download the book.
© Zora Chan / WWF-Malaysia
Or take a glimpse of the everyday life of some indigenous communities living in the Heart of Borneo, in the coffee table book, Colours of Borneo: Panda CLICK! With Communities in Kapuas Hulu, West Kalimantan and Kapit, Sarawak. Visit here to download the book.
© Zora Chan / WWF-Malaysia
For the third book, The Value of Nature - Balancing Conservation, Development, and People in the Heart of Borneo, keep an eye on the website for a copy. The book provides insights on what the foundations of a green economy are, and the framework and working considerations for growth and replication across Sarawak and Borneo.