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Community-Centred World Wildlife Day Celebration in Nabawan

1 March 2023, Nabawan: In conjunction with World Wildlife Day, the Sabah Wildlife Department and WWF-Malaysia organised a state-level celebration in the district of Nabawan today. The celebration focused on a community workshop on tagal hutan with the aim of bringing communities together to share their practices as well as to highlight the roles communities as important partners in biodiversity conservation.

“This year’s World Wildlife Day theme is ‘Partnership for Wildlife Conservation’, which is apt for our event in Nabawan as the the best partners for conservation are indigenous peoples and local communities.

“In recent years, the international community has come together to recognise the value that communities bring to conservation. So it is now important that we empower our communities with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to be true stewards of nature,” said the Sabah Wildlife Department’s Director Augustine Tuuga.

The workshop, attended by over 250 individuals from communities in the Nabawan district, was launched by Nabawan State Assemblyman Datuk Abdul Ghani Mohamed Yassin and featured information sessions by the Sabah Wildlife Department, the Sabah Forestry Department, Sabah Parks, University Malaysia Sabah (UMS), and WWF-Malaysia.The workshop also showcased sharing sessions by communities that have a tagal hutan practice in place.

“The concept of tagal is not new in Sabah. It is well established for rivers and we have also seen it practiced for forests. The overall goal of a tagal system is to ensure that natural resources can be sustainably managed, in that, it can continue to be available to the community for generations to come.

“We hope that this workshop will be the first step in understanding the Nabawan community’s traditions and how that may relate to the practice of tagal. Subsequently, we also hope that this workshop will empower the community to take the knowledge that they’ve acquired here and then identify as a collective the aspects that they can practice to ultimately manage their resources in a sustainable manner that benefits both them and the environment,” said WWF-Malaysia Head of Conservation, Dr. Robecca Jumin.

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