Friday, December 24, 2010

World Wide Fund For Nature WWF

WWF-Malaysia is a national conservation trust that currently runs more than 75 projects covering a diverse range of environmental protection and nature conservation work in Malaysia.
Since 1972, WWF-Malaysia has worked on important conservation projects, from saving endangered species such as tigers and turtles, to protecting our highland forests, rivers and seas. WWF-Malaysia is able to leverage upon conservation expertise worldwide as part of WWF, the global conservation organisation.

Who They Are
Established as a national conservation trust on 13 January 1972, WWF-Malaysia began as a humble two person-organisation. Today, we have more than 100 people working for us – from Kedah to Sabah. Also known as Tabung Alam Malaysia, we are governed by a Board of Trustees. Learn more about us, our history and people.

What They Do
WWF-Malaysia’s early work focused on scientific research of wildlife and important natural habitats. This later expanded to the management of protected areas. Today, our work covers the broader issues of the natural environment, incorporating such aspects as policy work, environmental education, public awareness and campaigns.
Issues we work on:

The tropical rainforests, seas and freshwater ecosystems of Malaysia support a rich and diverse array of both flora and fauna. In fact, Malaysia is recognised as one of 12 mega-diversity countries with many of its species occurring in unusually high densities (for example, there are estimated to be around 1,500 species of terrestrial vertebrates alone). Many of these species are, however, threatened (for example, 14% of Malaysia’s mammals are listed by The World Conservation Union (IUCN) as endangered).

Though WWF-Malaysia does not work exclusively on species-focused projects, these do represent a major component of our work. With such projects taking place throughout Malaysia (from the Northern forests of Peninsular Malaysia to the coastal waters of the South China Sea and over to the valleys of Sabah) we work towards the protection and management of six different species; the tiger, Borneon Pygmy elephant, Sumatran rhinoceros and orang-utan in the forests and both the hawksbill and the green turtles in the seas and on the beaches.

Within the WWF network, all of these species are considered to be “flagships” – that is, as ambassadors for conservation in Malaysia. The common factor that connects them all is that by conserving them, we are also conserving rich habitats and addressing major threats that impact on a variety of associated species. For example, a key requirement for tigers is that its forest home contains enough deer and wild pig as food; conservation of the tiger, then, means protecting deer populations which, in turn, help shape the forests by browsing on vegetation.

Generally speaking, the main threats that these animals face stem from either the loss of their habitat or the removal of individuals from the wild. Poaching, for instance, is an important issue for many of our flagship species: Malaysia’s population of Sumatran rhino, for example, has been almost completely wiped out mainly because of the monetary value of its horn. In fact, illegal trade in wildlife is on the rise in this region of the world. Malaysia, in particular, is a source for much of the international demand, as well as a conduit or trade hub. WWF-Malaysia works together with 
TRAFFIC-SEA and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks to try and combat a secret army of poachers working in Malaysia.

The following pages will give you a better idea of how WWF-Malaysia works with its partners, including local communities, towards reversing the impacts of these threats and bringing Malaysia’s wildlife back from the brink of extinction.
·         Tiger
·         Rhino
·         Elephant
·         Turtles
·         Orang-utan

Forests cover 30% of the Earth's surface and contain much of the biological diversity found on land – they harbour over two-thirds of known terrestrial species, many of which are threatened. As you read this, an estimated 13 hectares of the world's forest are lost. In the next 30 seconds, another 13 hectares will disappear. Within a minute, mankind succeeds in undoing 1,000 years of natural evolution. Read on to understand a little more about our Malaysian rainforests, and how YOU can help us change for the better.

Forests play a crucial role in ensuring our continued existence. They provide critical environmental services - regulating water flow into our streams/ rivers and moderating climatic change. We also depend on forests to supply us with many essential items such as timber for all kinds of uses, non-timber forest products such as rattan and bamboo, wild fruits such as the petai (Parkia spp.), durian (Durio spp.) and medicinal plants. Many of the animals found in forests are of great importance to us. Bats, for example, help to pollinate fruit plants and keep the number of insect pests down; without bats we will have to spend more money on insecticides, most of which are harmful to the environment.

Tropical rainforests have long been recognised as one of the most productive type of forests in the world. There are only three areas in the world where tropical rainforests are found – tropical South America, Central Africa and Southeast Asia. The rainforests of Southeast Asia are believed to be the oldest and among the most biologically diverse in the world.

Malaysia's land surface was once almost entirely covered with forest. Today, forests still cover about 59.5% of the total land area. However, deforestation is a major concern as the country is still rapidly developing. In the 20 years from 1983 to 2003, there was a reduction of about 4.9 million hectare of forest cover in Malaysia. This is about 4 times the size of Singapore - an average of 250,000 hectare of forest being lost annually! Apart from deforestation, the remaining forests face threats from unsustainable logging, illegal removal of forest products and encroachment.

WWF-Malaysia’s Forest for Life Programme aims to increase the coverage of forest 
protected areas, improve the management of production forests for the supply of sustainable timber, andrestore degraded areas especially where there is need to maintain critical forest linkages.
Freshwater is perhaps the most crucial resource for humans and all other living creatures on earth. Our life revolves around water, and sufficient clean water is essential for our healthy living as well as the health of the environment.
Malaysia receives abundant rainfall averaging 3,000mm annually that contributes to an estimated annual water resource of some 900 billion cubic metres.

About 97% of our raw water supply for agricultural, domestic and industrial needs are derived from surface water sources primarily rivers. Malaysia has 189 river basins - 89 in Peninsular Malaysia, 78 in Sabah and 22 in Sarawak. All the rivers originate and flow from the highlands.

The highland forests and wetlands (including forested wetlands and water bodies such as river systems) constitute key freshwater ecosystems in the country that deliver a multitude of benefits, from providing natural resources, gene pools, and habitats for flora and fauna, to enabling water purification and flood control.

These freshwater ecosystems are facing numerous threats and challenges. Recognising this, WWF-Malaysia promotes the conservation, integrated management and sustainable use of freshwater ecosystems. To achieve this, WWF-Malaysia advocates for integrated policies and approaches, field projects, improving information database, and information dissemination to increase awareness. These are encapsulated within WWF- Malaysia’s Freshwater Programme comprising the following three areas:
1.   Conserving river basins – maintenance and restoration of freshwater habitats and ecological processes within key river basins using approaches such Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM);
2.   Sustainable water use – focuses on sustainable water use policies and practices that contribute to freshwater habitat conservation using approaches such as Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM); and
3.   Conserving freshwater habitats – focuses on improved protection and management of priority freshwater habitats. 

Malaysia is blessed with an extremely rich marine environment. Our warm tropical seas are home to some of the richest coral reefs, mangrove forests, seagrass beds and other important habitats in the world. The Straits of Malacca, South China Sea, Sulu Sea, and Sulawesi Sea form the boundary between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. This convergence puts Malaysian waters in the centre of the Coral Triangle – the world’s richest marine waters. These warm tropical waters are also home to one of the world’s largest populations of endangered green sea turtles and other endangered marine species such as hawksbill turtles, dugongs, whale sharks, and humphead wrasse.

These ultra rich habitats form only a small percentage of Malaysia’s vast marine area. In fact, Malaysia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) - the area of the sea 200 nautical miles from shore, over which Malaysia has special rights on the use of marine resources - is larger than its land area (approximately 330 000km
2 land area vs. 450 000kmEEZ). This vast sea area is rich with fishery resources and habitats which play an important role in food production. Fish comprise 60 - 70% of Malaysian protein intake. Fish are an important sustainable resource but are threatened by overfishing and habitat destruction.

WWF-Malaysia has a long history of marine conservation work in the country. One of our very first projects helped to establish the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Since then we have worked with marine parks in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah and on fisheries issues in Sabah and Langkawi. We help protect endangered sea turtles in Melaka, Terengganu, and Sabah. As part of the Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion programme, we are collaborating with partners in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines to ensure the sustainability of the apex of the Coral Triangle.
One of the most important elements in environmental conservation is perhaps also one of the most overlooked one of all: Education.
People have the power to either protect or destroy the environment, depending on how they choose to live their lives…a choice dictated by their level of awareness on their natural world, their knowledge on the impact they have on it and most importantly, their ability to actually do something about it.

The task of conserving the environment through education begins in the formative stages of our lives, which ultimately determines our attitude and behaviour towards the environment and how these are eventually passed on to succeeding generations.

WWF-Malaysia employs a strategy of collaborative partnerships, consultations, and participation with government agencies, universities, other environmental NGOs, and specific community groups to be agents of conservation.
WWF-Malaysia has been involved in policy and advocacy work for over 20 years. We have adopted various approaches and effective partnerships to promote policies, plans, programmes, and legislation that integrate environmental concerns for sustainable development. This includes engaging with various government ministries and departments at the federal, state, and local levels.


Be part of the solution
Every decision you make, as an individual or as a family, has a direct impact on the health of our planet.

The way we all live our lives – the products we buy, the food we eat, the transport we use – determine what kind of world we leave for our children, and our children’s children.
There are numerous ways that you can make a difference:

Join WWF

Find out how you can volunteer your time and work towards saving a living planet!

Shop and Save

Put a smile on a loved one's face and help to protect nature by purchasing WWF merchandise. Proceeds are channelled to our environmental protection work.

Spread the Green Message

Celebrate occasions and keep in touch while spreading the conservation message by sending a free WWF e-card

At work

Your own company or organisation could work in partnership with WWF-Malaysia – what’s good for business is good for the Earth. Contact our Corporate Relations team at +603 7803 3772 ext 6301 - 6305 or email us.

At home

How you live your life impacts our planet. Make a positive difference to your own local environment. See how many of these simple things you can do to be more Earth-friendly in your own life.

It’s up to you. Please, for your own sake and for the sake of generations to come, be part of the solution – let’s leave our children a living planet!

Save the Day Campaign

Save the Day Campaign aims to raise funds through the sale of pins as a symbol of support and pledge to protect the endangered species of Malaysia.

Do your bit to 
Save the Day

For more information, you can visit our WWF Malaysia .

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