By Russell Ting
Forestry Department acting director Sapuan Anu has called for efforts to create awareness among the public to prevent incidents like the senseless killing of a female Oriental Pied hornbill at Piasau Camp in Miri.
Speaking to reporters shortly after launching the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Inter-Governmental Agencies Consultation and Capacity Building Seminar here, Sapuan said the department was focusing on ensuring that the public learn how important the birds were to the state, its people and the ecosystem.
“It is a shame that Faridah, the female Oriental Pied hornbill, was poached in its home Piasau Camp, Miri last September and its carcass later found in a rubbish dump at Piasau Industrial Estate, some 5km from the camp.”
“The public, especially youths, must come to realise how important these birds are. It is a crime to harm them in any way as they are a protected species. We will focus on creating awareness among the people, to educate them and to tell them to not harm the hornbills or they will have to answer for their crimes,” he added.
Sapuan explained that Sarawak had policies and legislations in place to provide protection and sustainable use of CITES as a reflection of the state’s seriousness in combating illegal wildlife trade.
“The effort to regulate wildlife in Sarawak requires the close cooperation among all the relevant government agencies to safeguard certain species from over-exploitation. More....