‘Malaysia celebrates World Ranger Day with an exclusive screening of ‘Wira Rimba’
The event held at the Golden Screen Cinemas in 1-Utama was launched by the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Tan Sri Dato Seri Panglima Joseph Kurup and WWF-Malaysia CEO, Dato’ Dr. Dionysius Sharma. Also present at the event were 15 local park rangers who had been bestowed tokens of appreciation at the function.
NRE works with different stake holders in promoting biodiversity conservation. One key stakeholder is the Environmental NGOs such as WWF-Malaysia. Over the years WWF-Malaysia has worked with partners in conserving Malaysia’s biodiversity and much of our efforts have focused on establishing new protected areas and improving the management of existing ones. In more recent years, WWF-Malaysia have actively participated in efforts in gazetting and improving the management of the Perlis State Park, the Gunung Stong State Park and the Royal Belum State Park, to name a few.
The documentary produced by WWF-Malaysia with the support of NRE, had been inspired by another documentary called “The Thin Green Line” which was produced by an Australian park ranger, Sean Willmore in 2007 who had travelled through 23 countries in just a year in order to make the documentary. “The Thin Green Line” has since been screened in 35 countries all around the world.
‘Wira Rimba’ or ‘Forest Warriors’ aims to give viewers a rare insight into the lives of the rangers – the resourceful and brave men and women who protect our forest parks and the rich resources found within. Due to limited time and budget, however, the documentary was filmed in only four of our numerous protected areas and had only focuses on park rangers who protect our Malaysian forests.
The documentary featured interviews with local rangers from 5 parks (Taman Negara Pahang, Royal Belum State Park, Taman Negara Gunung Ledang, Bukit Panchor and Maliau Basin Sabah); showcasing the courageous work they do and the challenges that they face in the line of duty.
“The role of park rangers is one that is often forgotten as they are usually working in remote areas far from the eyes of the general public. However, their contribution is no less that that of other protectors of our country’s security and assets, such as the army, the police and the fire fighters. The natural resources that our park rangers protect are priceless and are important for the well-being of our people and nation. Without park rangers, who are at the front lines, we are at a high risk of losing our forest resources. Therefore, it is appropriate that park rangers should get the same kind of recognition; respect and support in order for them perform their role effectively,” said the Deputy Minister.
Dato’ Dr. Dionysius said the documentary is yet another example of the successful collaboration between WWF-Malaysia and NRE.
“In our efforts to conserve Malaysia’s rich biodiversity, we have been working closely with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment or NRE. Among the successful collaborations between WWF and NRE was the assessment of the management effectiveness of national and state parks in Malaysia in 2006 and the on-going development of a master list of all the protected areas in Malaysia,” he continued.
World Ranger Day is an event conceived and advanced by the International Ranger Federation (IRF), a consortium of national and state ranger associations from countries around the world. And since its inauguration on the 31st of July 2007 it has become a yearly affair celebrated all across the world.
The special day acknowledges the work of rangers as the key protectors of parks and conservation. It is also a day to remember the many rangers who have been injured or killed in the line of duty while protecting national parks and other protected areas.
A preview of the documentary 'Wira Rimba' can be found at http://youtu.be/6uyge5TErSI