Sarawak Forestry Dept inks MoU with Copenhagen Zoo

Hamden Mohammad

KUCHING, June 26: Sarawak Forestry Department (SFD) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Copenhagen Zoo, Denmark, for collaboration in the conservation and management of wildlife and protected areas.

Founded in 1859, Copenhagen Zoo is one of Europe’s oldest zoos and is Denmark’s largest. It boasts the most extensive in situ and ex situ conservation initiatives across the world, including in Brazil, South Africa, China, Greenland and South East Asia.

Active in Malaysia since 1998, Copenhagen Zoo’s MoU with Sarawak is seen as a natural evolution of this engagement.

“Considering that the Sarawak state government and Copenhagen Zoo have a common interest in the promotion of biodiversity conservation, management and protection, both parties signed the MOU with the aim of conserving, protecting and managing Sarawak’s biodiversity and protected areas,” said SFD acting director Hamden Mohammad in a statement today after the signing ceremony in a hotel here.

He added that drawing on SFD’s extensive local network, existing conservation projects and initiatives and combined them with Copenhagen Zoo’s extensive international network and experience in working with research and management of biodiversity in a variety of habitats, the MoU thus aimed to engage in capacity building and the transfer of relevant know-how and technology.

A joint committee will be established, and it will be responsible for identifying, planning and overseeing the implementation of research and conservation activities.

“Copenhagen Zoo will provide expert services, technical assistance, funding support and transfer of technical knowledge, where appropriate, to assist SFD in their initiatives to develop, implement and evaluate projects for the conservation and protection of wildlife and protected areas in Sarawak.

“This includes capacity building and is not limited to the fields of wildlife research, conservation planning, population modelling, ex situ management and wildlife forensics,” he said.

The MoU will run for 10 years, with annual progress reviews and the option to expand the scope to include collaboration in relevant themes as seen fit by the parties. — DayakDaily