KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 2): Biodiversity conservation was the ultimate winner of the inaugural Hornbill Award last Sunday.
This is because the winning group, Bringing Back Our Rare Animals (BORA), has offered to share half the prize money of RM105,000 with the five other finalists.
The online award, an initiative of Climate Governance Malaysia (CGM) to support non-governmental organisations (NGOs), was held live before a global audience at Climate Week New York.
In a blog post on the final event, CGM said focal areas of the projects range from the highlands of the Main Range to coastal habitats fringing the southernmost end of mainland Asia, and the coral reefs of the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, to the forests of Tawau and Tabin as well as fishing ports along the eastern coast of Sabah on the island of Borneo.
“We at CGM are so very touched by BORA’s generous gesture after winning the award, in recognising that ‘all six finalists had equally great projects, great ideas and, most importantly, the passionate and dedicated people to carry them forward’,” the blog post said.
In that spirit, it said, BORA offered to share out the prize money by offering RM10,000 to each of the other finalists towards their respective projects.
CGM is a network of non-executive board directors who seek to play their stewardship role in business by helping to steer companies through an effective climate transition strategy.
Aside from the grant for the winning entry, said CGM, the main idea for the award was to provide the finalists with a platform to showcase their work to a wider audience.
BORA (formerly known as the Borneo Rhino Alliance) is a Sabah-based NGO whose mission is to champion new paradigms for saving endangered terrestrial wild animal species.
Represented at the finals by executive director Dr John Payne and project leader Dr Zainal Zahari Zainuddin, BORA presented its pilot initiative to develop elephant pasture on degraded land within the fringes of Sabah’s Tabin Wildlife Reserve.
The targeted habitat improvement project to resolve an age-old problem of human–elephant conflict is just one BORA’s focal areas in its effort to change the way that decision makers think and act in relation to dealing with endangered species, CGM said.
The other projects that made it the finals were:
A community-based scheme to protect the helmeted hornbills in Tawau, Sabah by 1StopBorneo Wildlife;
Community-led habitat management of the Pendas and Pulai estuaries in Gelang Patah, Johor by Kelab Alami Tanjung Kupang;
Conservation of marine megafauna, located in Sabah by the Marine Research Foundation;
Mapping the marine ecosystem corridors on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia by Reef Check Malaysia; and
A biodiversity and educational site in Cameron Highlands, Pahang by Regional Environmental Awareness Cameron Highlands.
CGM’s corporate partners in the Hornbill Award in sponsorship roles include Areca Capital, Astro, Better Malaysia Foundation, CIMB Foundation, Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB), Yayasan Hasanah and Yayasan Sime Darby, CGM said in a statement. The initiative is also supported by audit and consulting firm PwC, and leading content and media houses Eco-Business and IslamicMarkets.com.