The population of the Malayan tiger, pictured in our logo, is dwindling. From 3,000 in the 1950s, the number of tigers in Malaysia is estimated to have declined to between 250 and 340. We are working with WWF-Malaysia, and relevant governmental and regulatory agencies to do our part in supporting the conservation of tigers. The conservation efforts include protection and monitoring of tigers as well as engagement with communities. In 2015, we planned for a long-term programme in the area of tiger conservation in the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex with our existing partners. It is expected to start in 2016.
Strengthening Tiger Conservation Effort in the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex
The Malayan tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni) can only be found in Peninsular Malaysia and was recognised in 2004 as the 9th sub-species. In the 1950s, there was an estimated of 3,000 tigers, but as of today, only about 300 Malayan tigers are believed to have remained. This number has not been confirmed for certain.
This number is reported to be decreasing by the day as many of the habitats are disturbed and recently, the increase number of tiger poaching activities. Hence, Maybank took an initial step to conserve these tigers and their habitat. In order to begin the conservation, Maybank has collaborated with one of the NGOs that is concerned with our planet’s flora and fauna, the World Wide Fund for Nature-Malaysia (WWF-Malaysia). ). This programme is one of the long-term collaboration between Maybank Foundation and WWF-Malaysia to save the population of tiger in Malaysia.
Maybank Foundation and WWF-Malaysia have partnered together to conserve tigers in the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex , a priority site for tiger under National Tiger Conservation Action Plan. WWF-Malaysia will also lobby for conservation measures such as better protection access in the forest, enhancement of ecological linkages, and better logging practices. Being one of its kind, this is the only NGO-led tiger conservation programme in the site with the highest tiger density in Malaysia. WWF-Malaysia also engages with the local indigenous communities in the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex to raise their awareness and explore sustainable livelihoods for their long-term benefits.
In order to strengthen the tiger conservation efforts, Maybank Foundation and WWF-Malaysia have developed our own strategies that will further assist in the conservation of tigers.
One of the strategies is we gradually increase patrolling efforts from 1,500 km to 3,000 km per year. Through these planned efforts, we can save more tigers that are being protected in the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex.
Thus, it creates public awareness on tiger conservation and to inform the public about Maybank’s initiative as a responsible corporate entity to conserve the tiger population. The other strategy was to reduce poaching threats and report any wildlife crimes to Department of Wildlife and National Parks (PERHILITAN) as previously, there were many crime cases reported such as foreigner campsites, illegal hunting, and the increasing number of tiger poaching activities. In the future, we hope to create more campaigns that would encourage the public to raise much awareness about the dwindling number of wild tigers in Asia as an important part of the programme.
Besides that, we planned to obtain the baseline level of conservation awareness among the Orang Asli communities and engage with their communities to form a core group of sustainable livelihood participation. One of the methods of collecting these data is by conducting workshops for the villagers, in regards of their gender, to establish community-based groups for Orang Asli in Belum-Temengor. Furthermore, the local communities agreed to run surveys in order to gain access to the level of awareness on tiger poaching and also participate in an anti-poaching system. In order to strengthen Maybank’s engagement with the communities, several of the villagers were interviewed to understand more about their level of awareness.
Below are the expected outcomes of the planned strategies:
- The establishment of systematic and effective protection measures through the usage of SMART patrolling to reduce poaching activities by at least 50%.
- Capacity building on SMART and other anti-poaching initiatives to enable enforcement agencies to carry out more efficient patrolling.
- The tiger population in Temengor experienced a 50% increase, and the number of tigers in Belum are maintained.
- The level of conservation awareness among the local communities have increased by 50%.
- Introduction of a potential sustainable livelihood model to empower local communities to help in conserving the surrounding forests.
Last but not least, the programme will be extended to the larger part of the Northern Banjaran Titiwangsa to ensure the long-term viability of tigers within that area, which is one of the largest contiguous forest complex in Peninsular Malaysia. We hope to achieve this by collaborating with the PERHILITAN, Perak State Parks Corporation, and the Economic Planning Unit of Perak.
For more information on this programme, download the Maybank Sustainability Reports here.