KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 (Bernama) — The orang utans, especially those in Sabah, risk losing their homes and eventually, their being.
World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) Malaysia executive director/chief executive officer Datuk Dr Dionysius Sharma attributed this to deforestation and development near their habitat, undertaken over the years.
“There are over 11,000 orang utans in the forest of Sabah and the number is sadly decreasing. It is important, to stop any kind of development near their ‘home’ because it will reduce their space for living,” he said at a press conference after the ‘New Hope for Orang-Utan School Programme’ prize presentation ceremony here Friday.
Also present were BOH Plantation Sdn Bhd chief executive Caroline Russell and TV9 Brand Management Group head Feisal Malik.
Dr Dionysius said, it was important to preserve and conserve the ‘Man of the Forest’ population as it was an icon of the country and captured hearts across the globe.
On the ‘New Hope for Orang-Utan School Programme’ co-organised by WWF-Malaysia, BOH Plantation and TV9, he said it was an important programme to create awareness on the plight of the orang utans.
Sixty schools participated in the programme which ended on Oct 4, this year, whereby students had to spearhead a campaign with on-ground activities to promote awareness of orang utan conservation to their fellow peers and the wider community.
Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan King George V, Negeri Sembilan won the first prize, bagging RM8,000.
Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Lembah Bidung, Setiu, Terengganu took the second prize of RM5,000 while Sekolah Menengah Dang Anum, Melaka won RM2,000 as second runner-up.