PORT DICKSON: The government will join forces with other nations to put an end to the alarming trend of wildlife poaching and smuggling.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said, as one of the megadiverse countries in the world and also a home country to the Asian Elephant, Malaysia fully understands the value of this iconic species of African Elephants.
He said Malaysia strongly supported the efforts to combat the illegal wildlife trafficking, especially the trade in ivory.
“The world is facing the loss of more elephants, thus threatening the future of elephants across the continent.
“According to the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna dan Flora (CITES), over 20,000 elephants may have been poached across Africa in 2013,” he said when officiating the destruction of seized ivory ceremony at Bukit Pelandok, here, Thursday.
Also present were the ministry’s secretary-general, Datuk Seri Azizan Ahmad; deputy secretary-general (Environment), Datuk Sr Dr Azimuddin Bahari; Cenviro Sdn Bhd chief executive officer, Khalid Bahsoon and Wildlife and National Parks Department (Conservation), deputy director-general I Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim.
Wan Junaidi said Malaysia had actively participated in regional and international enforcement collaborations.
He said Malaysia, however, had succeessfully confiscated more than 4,000 pieces of ivory and various other wildlife species through coordinated efforts of international enforcement network and public information.
“Results from the forensic analysis revealed that the ivories are derived from Gabon, Democratic Republic of Conggo, Central African Republic, Ghana, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya and South Sudan.
“However, unlike other countries identified as transit points, Malaysia does not have a domestic market for ivory or the ivory carving industry,” he added.
At the event, about 9.55 tonnes of ivory worth USD 20 milion (RM80 million)was destroyed.
At a press conference later, he said that the ivory was seized by enforcement at the low cost carrier terminal (LCCT) of the KL International Airport (KLIA), Port Klang and Butterworth.