It’s World Wildlife Day on 3 March 2018!
Tourists have been identified as one of the contributors to the influx of wildlife crime. Aside from visiting Sabah’s many tourist destinations, newspaper reports have highlighted that some tourists have also consumed and bought protected wildlife meat such as pangolins, wild boar, pythons, soft-shelled turtles and marine turtles.
Following the exponential growth of the tourism industry, more tourists are expected to visit Sabah with reference to a record of 3.67 million domestic and international tourist arrivals in 2017. These numbers are set to rise with the increase of direct flights coming into the state from China in the immediate future.
Recognising the importance of tourism to the state and its people as well as in light of its fight to reduce wildlife crime, WWF-Malaysia’s Airport Roadshow hopes to raise awareness among tourists on protected wildlife species as well as the laws and regulations put in place to conserve them in the wild.
According to Dato’ Dr Dionysius Sharma, Executive Director and CEO of WWF-Malaysia, “With the theme Save Our Wildlife: Don’t Buy, Don’t Eat, we hope that the roadshow will be able to encourage tourists to avoid consuming exotic meats and purchasing souvenirs made of wildlife as well as to report any suspected illegal wildlife activity during their stay in Sabah.”
An exhibition booth will be set up at Kota Kinabalu International Airport’s arrival hall from 2 to 4 March 2018 with collaboration from Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, Sabah’s Immigration Department and assistance from University College Sabah Foundation (UCSF)’s volunteers to kick-start the roadshow. Throughout the 3-day exhibition, brochures and information stickers will be handed out to arriving tourists.
Three new mascots: a pangolin, sun bear and marine turtle, which are the key focused species during the roadshow, will also join the Panda mascot at the exhibition. The new mascots were sewn by UCSF students using recycled materials. In addition, WWF-Malaysia will also release a video in collaboration with KK12FM radio station and Aunty Patrin; focusing on wildlife offenses, which will be uploaded on KK12FM and WWF-Malaysia’s Facebook page on 2 March. Members of the public are encouraged to watch the video at KK12FM and WWF-Malaysia’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/kk12FM and www.facebook.com/wwfmy
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For more information, please contact:
Elaine Clara Mah
Tel: +6088 262 420 Ext. 121