Maybank today announced that it will continue its collaboration with the Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (MYCAT) to further raise public awareness and support for tiger conservation efforts. This collaboration will also enhance the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s (NRE) efforts in the implementing the National Tiger Conservation Action Plan (NTCAP) and the global community’s efforts in implementing the Global Tiger Recovery Programme (GTRP) that was adopted at the Tiger Summit at Russia in 2010.
Under the new collaboration, the Maybank Foundation is providing MYCAT with an additional grant of RM200,000 to continue its social outreach and awareness programmes for another year through the programmes of MYCAT and its partner organisations, namely the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, WWF-Malaysia and Wildlife Conservation Society-Malaysia Programme.
In 2010, Maybank entered into a landmark agreement with MYCAT, providing a RM1 million grant over two years to fund a dedicated scientific research and social outreach programme as part of the efforts to save the Malayan tiger.
The objective of the initial grant was to support MYCAT’s efforts to help maintain and enhance the wildlife corridor for tigers and other animal populations at the critical linkage between the two main tiger landscapes in Malaysia – Taman Negara and the Main Range. This would in turn secure the tiger population as well as the connectivity of the tiger landscape to ensure a target population of 1,000 wild tigers by 2020.
Maybank President & CEO Dato’ Sri Abdul Wahid Omar said that the initial partnership directly with MYCAT will also complement the Department of Wildlife and National Parks’ (DWNP/PERHILITAN) ongoing efforts that has yielded positive results which include the construction of green infrastructure, better protection for wildlife in the area and heightened awareness among the local communities including children.
“This is just the start and we believe that much more can be done to save the Malayan tiger, whose population has decreased alarmingly over the years,” said Dato’ Sri Abdul Wahid.
“Apart from recognising the importance this majestic animal holds in the overall biodiversity of our country, we feel especially committed to ensure the survival of the tiger as it is part of our corporate logo.”
“Our grant for this second phase will support MYCAT’s continuing outreach efforts among communities living close to the three priority tiger conservation areas in the country where there may be demand for exotic animal parts. These three areas are Belum-Temengor Complex, Taman Negara and Endau-Rompin Complex,” added Dato’ Sri Wahid.
“Maybank employees have also joined MYCAT volunteers in helping to create awareness among school children as well as at night markets about the threats that tigers face from poaching.”
The identified rural hotspots where Tiger Roadshows will be held are Gerik, villages in Belum and Temengor, Gua Musang, villages near Taman Negara Pahang at Sungai Yu, Kuala Lipis, as well as selected villages in southern Pahang and Johor.
Meanwhile MYCAT General Manager, Dr. Kae Kawanishi said that MYCAT is grateful for the continued support from Maybank. “The grant from Maybank over the last two years has created new opportunities for tiger conservation at this important wildlife corridor. A significant outcome is the ongoing construction by the government of a 1km-long viaduct which is an adapted flyover and two shorter viaducts measuring up to 285m at critical wildlife crossing sites along main rivers in the area. The 1 km flyover when completed will be the longest one in Malaysia built for the benefit of tigers and other wild animals. This will not only benefit wildlife, but will also allow ecological processes to continue under the highway and relieve the local communities from conflicts with wildlife at the bottle-neck area,” said Dr. Kae.
“With this green infrastructure currently being constructed, we are now intensifying our citizen conservation projects in the area to engage members of the public to support the government’s wildlife protection efforts. We are continuing the outreach programmes to educate the public on conservation efforts and the role they can play in reducing the consumption and poaching of wildlife. Only through a strong partnership among the government, NGOs, public and the corporate sector, committed to the goal of the National Tiger Conservation Action Plan, will Malaysia get to keep her tiger and what it symbolises.” concluded Dr. Kae.
Apart from this collaboration with MYCAT, the Maybank Foundation will also be working with WWF-Indonesia to develop a conservation programme for the Sumatran tiger. The effort will take off with support from Maybank’s subsidiary, Bank Internasional Indonesia(BII), which will see various initiatives among the local community surrounding the tiger habitat area in Tesso Nilo Conservation area in Sumatera.