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Media: The Edge


Section: ESG

KUALA LUMPUR (March 4): Poaching, deforestation and lack of public awareness are threatening the survival of Sabah’s wildlife. But the conservation group 1StopBorneo Wildlife is turning problems into solutions by engaging directly with the actors in these fields, with dramatic results.


In recognition of its work in biodiversity conservation, 1StopBorneo Wildlife has been awarded the prestigious Hornbill Award 2023, which carries a grand prize of RM100,000.


“The conservation group stands out because it has been planting trees that provide food to fauna in the conservation area,” said Datuk Henry Barlow, a council member of Climate Governance Malaysia (CGM), which organises the award.


Explaining the basis for the jury’s choice, Barlow said that 70% of the marks were given for the impact of the winning group’s efforts on the ground.


“We also looked at the organisation’s effectiveness in making our selection,” he said.


1StopBorneo Wildlife was chosen for its project which focuses on enhancing the Tawau Hills Park and surrounding areas and the Deramakot Forest Reserve Centre, “embodying a dedication to the protection and enhancement of Sabah and Sarawak’s natural ecosystems,” CGM said in a statement.


To combat poaching, for example, 1StopBorneo Wildlife gives employment to locals, turning poachers into reforestation officers and guides. Similarly, it addresses the fragmentation of wildlife habitats due to deforestation by convincing landowners to plant fruit trees that provide a food source for wildlife. And finally, to fight ignorance about Sabah’s natural heritage, 1StopBorneo Wildlife works at turning young people into rescuers of pangolins and pythons.


In addition, a special award of RM40,000 was presented to Johor-based environmental education club Kelab Alami Mukim Tanjung Kupang.


“The committee was deeply impressed by their educational and conservation endeavours addressing marine and terrestrial environmental issues, particularly in the vicinity of Forest City, Johor,” CGM said.


Commending the winners, Barlow said: “Their initiatives exemplify a commitment to sustainability, climate resilience, and community engagement, essential for achieving our shared environmental goals.”


The Hornbill Award not only acknowledges outstanding conservation efforts but also underscores the importance of partnerships between government, private sector, and civil society in addressing climate change and biodiversity loss, CGM said.