Wan Junaidi underlines Malaysia’s commitment to Cites


KUCHING: Malaysia will continue to support the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) in ensuring legal and sustainable international trade as well as combatting wildlife trafficking.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said Malaysia was concerned on the negative impacts of unregulated trade and illegal activities to the ecosystem especially the long term survival of endangered species.

“We are also serious in curbing illegal wildlife trafficking, especially trade in African elephant ivory, as to ensure the world’s valuable resources are sustainably protected and conserved. Thus, we will ensure continuous efforts in implementing our National Ivory Action Plan (NIAP) which is to assist in combatting the illegal trade in ivory. In relation to that, Malaysia has conducted a special event to destroy confiscated ivory stockpiles on 14 April, 2016.

“We hope this will convey a very powerful message that Malaysia does not condone wildlife crimes and we want to make sure that smuggled ivory will never enter the market and consequently not commercially viable,” he said at the Cites 17th Meeting of the Conference of Parties held on Friday in Johannesburg.

Wan Junaidi noted that Malaysia has established good collaboration and networking between Cites authorities and enforcement agencies. The start-up of such networks was formed domestically with Malaysia Wildlife Enforcement Network (My-WEN) and has been expanded regionally and internationally. Through information sharing of these networks, speedy exchange of real time information on suspect consignment was conducted which resulted in highly successful raids in illegal trades, he said.

He pointed out that Malaysia has always been in the forefront in its agenda on the conservation of its biodiversity and therefore fully supports those who carry out sustainable practices in the global trade of wild fauna and flora.

Currently, Malaysia conducts the trading of crocodiles from Cites registered crocodile farms and international trade of crocodiles from the wild is not permitted.

“For Cites CoP17, Malaysia has submitted a proposal to allow international trade of crocodiles from the wild. The goal of this proposal is to enable a strictly controlled population, while retaining viable wild populations. For that reason, we hope that Malaysia’s proposal to down-listing our saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) from Appendix I to Appendix II, will be fully supported,” he said.

Wan Junaidi assured that Malaysia would endeavour to better manage her natural resources and address the underlying causes leading to unsustainable practices of wildlife trade; as well as continuously support effort towards greater coherent and mutually supportive roles between Cites and other Conventions for sustainable international trade as well as combating wildlife trafficking.