WWF-Malaysia urges PM to support Federal Laws for turtles in Memorandum | WWF Malaysia

WWF-Malaysia urges PM to support Federal Laws for turtles in Memorandum



Posted on 14 April 2010   |  
WWF-Malaysia CEO/Executive Director Dato' Dr Dionysius Sharma explaining the contents of the Turtle Memorandum to Dato' Paduka Haji Ghazali bin Ibrahim, the PM's Special Officer in Charge of Parliamentary Affairs.
© WWF-Malaysia/Rahana Husin
15 April 2010, Selangor – WWF-Malaysia calls for better legal protection through Federal laws for Malaysia’s endangered turtles in a Memorandum to the Prime Minister handed over on 7 April 2010. The memorandum was presented by WWF-Malaysia’s CEO/ Executive Director, Dato’ Dr Dionysius Sharma to the PM’s Special Officer in Charge of Parliamentary Affairs at Perdana Putra, Putrajaya.

Essentially, the memorandum seeks to draw the Prime Minister’s attention to the plight of this national heritage. Continued trade and consumption of turtle eggs, habitat destruction and degradation, turtle poaching and mortality through accidental by-catch in fishing activities are direly impacting the species.

“The precarious situation facing turtles in Malaysia is compounded by the fact that the State laws governing turtles currently are very weak and ineffective. These laws have failed to provide any meaningful protection,” said Dato’ Dr Sharma.

The ‘Turtle Memorandum’ calls on the Federal Government to now enact comprehensive and holistic Federal laws that govern turtles.

“However, this call, from a legal standpoint poses difficulties as the jurisdiction over turtles belongs to the State according to the Federal Constitution. For the Federal government to enact such comprehensive laws, the Federal Constitution will need to be amended,” according to WWF-Malaysia’s Policy Coordinator, Ms Preetha Sankar.

She added that it is absolutely imperative that if turtles are to have a chance at survival, Federal intervention, mandate, resolve and resources must be expressed and facilitated through such Federal laws.

WWF-Malaysia has through the memorandum called on the Prime Minister to give this issue attention at the cabinet level and initiate various consultations and policy dialogues with relevant Ministries, State Excos, the Attorney General’s Chambers, scientists and NGOs alike.

This memorandum also contains opinions by renowned turtle scientists and legal experts. WWF-Malaysia intends to make this memorandum public very soon.

 “We need to bring the battle to save our turtles to Parliament. We hope that our Prime Minister will initiate pivotal changes that will set the course right for these iconic species. It is still not too late,” added Dato’ Dr Sharma.

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About WWF-Malaysia:
WWF-Malaysia (World Wide Fund for Nature-Malaysia), the national conservation trust, currently runs more than 75 projects covering a diverse range of environmental protection work. Since 1972, WWF-Malaysia has worked on important conservation projects, from saving endangered species such as tigers and turtles, to protecting our highland forests, rivers and seas. We also undertake environmental education and advocacy work to achieve conservation goals. By conserving our natural resources, WWF-Malaysia is helping to protect our livelihoods, food and water supply, thus securing our good quality of life and our children’s bright future. We thank our supporters whose donations are our lifeblood. If you would like to donate to WWF-Malaysia or learn more about our projects, please call: +603-78033772 or visit our website at: wwf.org.my.


For media queries:
Subashni Bahsu, Media & Public Affairs Senior Executive, Tel: +603-78033772 ext 6306, Email: SBahsu@wwf.org.my


For more information, please contact:
Jennifer Neoh Tan, Communications Officer, Peninsular Malaysia Seas Programme
Tel: +603 7803 3772 ext 6433, Email: jneoh@wwf.org.my

WWF-Malaysia CEO/Executive Director Dato' Dr Dionysius Sharma explaining the contents of the Turtle Memorandum to Dato' Paduka Haji Ghazali bin Ibrahim, the PM's Special Officer in Charge of Parliamentary Affairs.
© WWF-Malaysia/Rahana Husin Enlarge

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