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Conservation Timeline

© Aaron Gekoski / WWF-US

1972

HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, presented the official WWF Charter to Tan Sri Khir Johari, who was the first president of WWF-Malaysia.

HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, presented the official WWF Charter to Tan Sri Khir Johari, who was the first president of WWF-Malaysia. WWF-Malaysia worked with Sabah Parks on a survey of Pulau Gaya, which was the organisation’s first ever conservation project.

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> Pulau Gaya 1973
> Pulau Gaya 1974

1976

Danum Valley. © Mazidi Ghani / WWF-Malaysia

WWF-Malaysia supported the Sabah State Government in surveying and recommending protection for Danum Valley.

1977

The mobile education unit. © WWF-Malaysia

The Bata-sponsored WWF-Malaysia mobile education unit began visiting schools to share the message of conservation. By 2004, more than one million Malaysian schoolchildren had learned about the importance of environmental protection through the unit.

1978

WWF-Malaysia assisted the State Government of Terengganu in surveying and recommending protection for Pulau Redang Marine Park.

1979

WWF-Malaysia assisted the Sabah Forest Department in a two year faunal survey to develop the State's wildlife management. Sungai Samumsam Wildlife Sanctuary was gazetted. © Oswald Goniur / WWF-Malaysia

WWF-Malaysia assisted the Sabah Forest Department in a two year faunal survey to develop the State's wildlife management. Sungai Samumsam Wildlife Sanctuary was gazetted.

1981

Surveying the proposed Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary. © WWF-Malaysia

WWF-Malaysia joined forces with the Sarawak Forest Department to survey the proposed Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary, which led to its gazettement.

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> 1980 Annual Review
1981 Annual Review

1982

At the request of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, WWF-Malaysia began to draw up conservation strategies for the States of Malaysia to help guide development planning.

1987

Royal Belum Forest. © Lau Ching Fong / WWF-Malaysia

WWF’s global name was changed to World Wide Fund for Nature to emphasise the importance of sustainable management of natural resources to conserve species and habitats.

1988

© WWF-Malaysia

WWF-Malaysia and the Sabah Foundation organised a scientific expedition to survey the unexplored Maliau Basin in central Sabah, which has been recognised as one of nature’s crown jewels today.

1992

DYMM Paduka Seri Sultan Perak Darul Ridzuan Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Al-Maghfur-Lah became WWF-Malaysia’s Royal Patron in his personal capacity.

Download 1992 Annual Review
> 1992 Annual Review

1993

WWF-Malaysia completed the National Conservation Strategy which was commissioned by the Prime Minister’s Department.

Download 1993 Annual Review
1993 Annual Review

1995

WWF-Malaysia completed the National Ecotourism Plan commissioned by the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism.

1996

The Fraser’s Hill Nature Education Centre was set up by WWF-Malaysia to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the highlands of Malaysia.

1998

Perlis State Park, Press conference, 17 November 1997 by Dato Seri Shahidan Kassim TH Teoh.​ © WWF-Malaysia

Menteri Besar of Perlis YAB Dato’ Seri Shahidan Kassim declared an area for a state park based on years of work initiated and led by WWF-Malaysia.

1999

Partners for Wetlands programme was launched at Lower Kinabatangan, Sabah.​ © WWF-Malaysia

Partners for Wetlands programme was launched at Lower Kinabatangan, Sabah. The Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary was gazetted, after years of conservation efforts by WWF-Malaysia.

2000

WWF established the ASIAN Rhino and Elephant Action Strategy to enhance initiatives to conserve unique species. © Engelbert Dausip / WWF-Malaysia

WWF launched the Sulu Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion to conserve the Coral Triangle seas between Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia. WWF established the ASIAN Rhino and Elephant Action Strategy to enhance initiatives to conserve unique species.

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> Socioeconomic Assessment

2003

A conservation alliance between non-governmental organisations, including WWF-Malaysia, MYCAT and other government agencies was formed with the common goal of tiger conservation.

Download 2003 Annual Review
> 2003 Annual Review

2004

Ma’Daerah was gazetted as a turtle sanctuary by the Terengganu government state, after years of WWF-Malaysia’s conservation efforts there. WWF-Malaysia led the formation of a local community group called Fraser’s Hill Environmentally Sustainable Heritage, to conserve the hill’s natural environment.

2005

Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary and Tun Sakaran Marine Park were gazetted, following conservation efforts by WWF-Malaysia. A new species of Tarantula spider was discovered by the staff of WWF-Malaysia. WWF-Malaysia and WWF-Indonesia launched the Heart of Borneo Initiative, a programme to conserve 240,000km of Borneo's rainforests.

Download 2005 Annual Report
> 2005 Annual Report

2006

Wetlands. © WWF-Malaysia

WWF-Malaysia played a significant role in establishing the Kota Kinabalu City Bird Sanctuary. However, it has now been taken over by an independent NGO called Sabah Wetlands Conservation Society.

Download 2006 Annual Review
> 2006 Annual Review

2007

Three countries joined hands to protect the Heart of Borneo. © WWF-Malaysia

The Heart of Borneo was formally declared as a three-country collaborative programme by Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia. This was a significant step towards protecting the ecological and cultural richness of the rainforests of Borneo. The initiative created resources and networks that facilitated the sustainability, transparency and accountable management of the area. WWF-Malaysia initiated camera-trapping in Belum-Temengor to determine the conservation status of tigers and prey in this priority site. Prior to this, the status of tigers in this area was unknown.

Download 2007 Annual Report
> 2007 Annual Report

2008

MoU signing with USM. © Mazidi Ghani / WWF-Malaysia

WWF–Malaysia and Ma'Daerah Turtle Sanctuary Centre held the first Turtle Rescue Workshop to educate fishermen about methods of resuscitating and releasing turtles that may have been accidentally caught in fishing gear. WWF-Malaysia and the Sabah State Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the rehabilitation of 2,400 hectares of degraded forest within North Ulu Segama.

Download 2008 Annual Report
> 2008 Annual Report

2009

WWF-Malaysia and our partners set up the Wildlife Protection Unit to reduce poaching activities within the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex. © WWF-Malaysia

North Ulu Segama is home to orang-utans. Their numbers were found to be declining due to poor forest structure and isolation. WWF-Malaysia provided input towards the preparation of the Sustainable Forest Management Plan to assist Sabah Forestry Department and Sabah Foundation as part of efforts to halt the decline of orang-utan  populations.

WWF-Malaysia and our partners set up the Wildlife Protection Unit to reduce poaching activities within the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex.

Download 2009 Annual Review
> 2009 Annual Review

2010

The local womens’ group in Kampung Mangkok, Setiu that WWF-Malaysia helped established in 2007, was registered and formalised as a society known as PEWANIS. © WWF-Malaysia

WWF-Malaysia, along with WWF-Indonesia and the Alliance of the Indigenous People of the Highlands in the Heart of Borneo collaborated to conserve the highlands and ecosystems for the benefit of the communities living here through sustainable agriculture, fair trade and ecotourism. 

The Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 was passed in Parliament after six years of active advocacy and lobbying by WWF-Malaysia and partners.

The local womens’ group in Kampung Mangkok, Setiu that WWF-Malaysia helped established in 2007, was registered and formalised as a society known as PEWANIS. This signified a key milestone in WWF-Malaysia’s engagement to empower the local women as guardians and conservation champions of the wetlands.

Download 2010 Annual Review
> 2010 Annual Review

2011

WWF kicked off the Global Forest and Trade Network initiative to eliminate illegal logging. © Simon Rawles / WWF-Malaysia

WWF kicked off the Global Forest and Trade Network initiative to eliminate illegal logging and transform the global marketplace into a force for saving the world’s valuable and threatened forests.

Download 2011 Annual Review
> 2011 Annual Review

2012

WWF-Malaysia conducted seagrass, seawater and reef monitoring activities. © Mazidi Ghani / WWF-Malaysia

WWF-Malaysia conducted seagrass, seawater and reef monitoring activities with the Department of Fisheries Sabah, Sabah Parks, dive operators and representatives from the local community in Mabul Island, Semporna. The Ma’Daerah Heritage Community Association, a community-based group founded by WWF-Malaysia, developed a Daily Lesson Plan to communicate turtle conservation issues in Bahasa Malaysia.

Download 2012 Annual Review
> 2012 Annual Review

2013

World Turtle Day. © Eric Madeja / SPCA

On World Sea Turtle Day, WWF-Malaysia collaborated with the Terengganu and Sabah State governments to educate the public about turtles and their importance to marine ecosystems.

The Royal Intelligence Corps of Kem Terendak’s third Division Headquarters became the first military group to support WWF-Malaysia’s turtle protection efforts at Kem Terendak, Melaka.

The State Government of Terengganu announced its commitment to gazette a state park in Setiu Wetlands following continuous advocacy and lobbying by WWF-Malaysia and it’s partners. As a recognised stakeholder, WWF-Malaysia is currently involved in consultation and planning towards the gazettement via committees formed by the State Government.

WWF-Malaysia’s tiger and prey research, and advocacy contributed towards the gazettement of the Amanjaya Forest Reserve, a critical ecological corridor in the Belum-Temengor forest complex which is a priority site for tigers.

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> 2013 Annual Review

2014

WWF-Malaysia’s first Sustainable Seafood Festival in June 2014 successfully recruited four hotels to offer sustainable seafood menus comprising Marine Stewardship Council-certified products and Aquaculture Stewardship Council-certified products.

WWF-Malaysia’s ‘Environment and You’ project emphasised the integration of Environmental Education in the education system. Various Environmental Education teaching and learning materials were developed and currently shared in the Virtual Learning Environment of 1BestariNet, accessible to more than 10,000 schools.

WWF-Malaysia successfully advocated for the reclassification of lower Sugut Forest Reserve (8,680 hectares) from production to protection forest reserve. Although relatively small, the Forest Reserve contains rare and endangered forest types and has a small population of orang-utans that has survived for the past 30 years despite huge forest loss in the surrounding areas.

Download 2014 Annual Review
> 2014 Annual Review

2015

WWF presented its prestigious Leaders for a Living Planet Award to the state government of Sabah in recognition of their efforts in creating the largest marine park in Malaysia, Tun Mustapha Park. © Mazidi Ghani / WWF-Malaysia

WWF presented its prestigious Leaders for a Living Planet Award to the state government of Sabah in recognition of their efforts in creating the largest marine park in Malaysia, Tun Mustapha Park. WWF-Malaysia played a key part in the decade-long journey towards gazettement.

WWF-Malaysia engaged Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya and Majlis Bandaraya Shah Alam to take steps in minimising the adverse effects of climate change.

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> 2015 Annual Review

2016

Tun Mustapha Park gazettement. © WWF-Malaysia

WWF-Malaysia's survey efforts contributed to the upgrading of protection status of an area measuring 30,989 hectares (part of Kuamut and Gunung Rara Forest Reserves) from Class II to Class I, after Sabah Terrestrial Conservation Programme’s surveys revealed an abundance of orang-utans in the area.

WWF signed an MoU with Sabah Forestry Department to build capacity for their anti-poaching team called PROTECT. This team was set up in response to the evidence of poaching activities gathered by WWF’s patrolling activities and submitted to Sabah Forestry Department, to highlight the threat of poaching. PROTECT is a turning point as enforcement against poaching has traditionally not been given a high priority by the department but left to the Sabah Wildlife Department.

WWF-Malaysia organised the Setiu Wetlands scientific expedition involving 49 researchers from seven organisations covering 16 research topics. The expedition obtained pertinent data to strengthen scientific knowledge that facilitated further justification and guidance towards the gazettement and management of the proposed Setiu State Park.

The state government of Sabah officially established the largest marine park in Malaysia, Tun Mustapha Park on 19 May 2016. WWF-Malaysia played a key role in the more than a decade-long journey towards gazettement.

Download 2016 Annual Review
> 2016 Annual Review

2017

Earth Hour 2017 celebrations in Malaysia. © WWF-Malaysia

On 25 March 2017, WWF-Malaysia collaborated with three cities – Majlis Bandaraya Melaka Bersejarah, Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya and Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang – to organise the Earth Hour Night Walk, aimed at motivating public action to live more sustainably and raising funds for conservation efforts. In addition, all three cities were National Finalists of WWF’s Earth Hour City Challenge 2016, which celebrates cities that are taking commendable steps forward in creating a greener, cleaner and more sustainable city to live in, while inspiring other cities to do the same.

Download 2017 Annual Review
> 2017 Annual Review

2018

© Shariff Mohamad / WWF-Malaysia

WWF-Malaysia played host to a two-day conservation summit held at the Royal Belum Rainforest Resort, Perak. The aim of this summit was to address conservation issues revolving around three key landscapes and issues – the Central Forest Spine/Tigers, the Coral Triangle and the Heart of Borneo.

On the second day during the roundtable session, the former Chief Minister of Perak, YAB Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir read out The Royal Belum Declaration, a conservation resolution that affirms the state’s commitment towards tiger conservation in the presence of the guests of honour, DYMM Paduka Seri Sultan Perak Darul Ridzuan Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, Royal Patron of WWF-Malaysia, and HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and President of WWF-UK.

Download 2018 Annual Review
> 2018 Annual Review

2019

Audience with KDYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Raja Permaisuri Agong after the Pre-Conference of rulers at Istana Negara, Kuala Lumpur. 
© PMTC / WWF-Malaysia

On 26 February 2019, WWF-Malaysia had the privilege to highlight the critical plight of the Malayan tiger to the Council of Rulers comprising the nine rulers of the Malay states, and the governors or Yang di-Pertua Negeri of the other four states through the Pre-Conference of Rulers meeting. WWF-Malaysia was represented by Sophia Lim (Executive Director/CEO), Dr. Henry Chan (Conservation Director), Dr. Mark Rayan (Tiger Lead) and Brenndon Lee (WWF-Malaysia’s trustee). We were truly delighted that our Patron - DYMM Paduka Seri Sultan Perak Darul Ridzuan Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah - was present and aided us in articulating some of the issues better during the discussion session. We also had the privilege to meet KDYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah in the hallway after our session. Though our conversation was casual in nature, we did reiterate to Her Majesty on the need to save tigers and other wildlife. Several pertinent queries were raised, one in particular which relates to why tigers can’t simply be bred in captivity and released into the wild. Our response was centred on explaining the complexities of replicating natural conditions for tigers in a captive facility. In addition, such efforts are costly and may not be the best usage of restricted funds for tiger conservation. Overall, we were able to convey the urgent need to protect tigers from poachers and the need to set up a National Tiger Committee to prioritise tiger conservation within the country. 

Download 2019 Annual Review
> 2019 Annual Review