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WWF-Malaysia teams with Basis Bay to save Borneo pygmy elephants

AvantiKumar | Oct. 10, 2013
Malaysian IT solutions firm Basis Bay's CEO Dato' Praba Thiagarajah hopes many more Malaysian private organisations will step up their conservation efforts.

WWF-Malaysia, Basis Bay modified 

Photo - (From left) Dato' Dr Dionysius S.K. Sharma, Executive Director/CEO, WWF-Malaysia; and Dato' Praba Thiagarajah, Chief Executive Officer, Basis Bay.


Malaysian sustainable outsourcing systems provider Basis Bay has allied with WWF-Malaysia to help save the endangered Borneo pygmy elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis) as part of its ongoing mission toward creating a Sustainable Malaysia.

Basis Bay chief executive officer Dato' Praba Thiagarajah said the company is helping WWF-Malaysia's elephant conservation work by supporting the satellite-based tracking of the elephants. The data obtained of the animals' movements will support better planning of land use to reduce future human/elephant conflict.

"We hope that our commitment in this conservation effort will set an example to many other private organisations to step up and contribute to the well-being of our environment," said Thiagarajah. "At Basis Bay, we believe in the importance of a balance between the triple bottom line of people, planet, profit and this latest joint initiative with WWF-Malaysia exemplifies our commitment towards 'Sustainability of the Planet'."

"The timing of this collaboration is indeed very appropriate," said WWF-Malaysia executive director and chief executive officer, Dato' Dr. Dionysius Sharma. "Collectively, we see some very challenging times ahead of us due to the escalating environmental problems. What we are seeing at the present time- and in the not too distant future- require our understanding and immediate attention."

Dr Sharma said due to a number of threats including unsustainable logging, infrastructure development, illegal hunting and forest fires, the Borneo pygmy elephant was now a seriously endangered species; numbering only from 1,200 - 3,600 individual animals.

"Until WWF-Malaysia began working in Borneo, no one had ever studied the pygmy elephants," he said. "In 2005, WWF-Malaysia successfully attached satellite collars to five pygmy elephants from different herds in the Malaysian state of Sabah."

"The collaring was part of the first scientific research ever conducted on this little-understood population," he said. "Currently, WWF-Malaysia has revived its satellite-tracking work in the central upland forest landscape in Sabah for the purpose of spatial planning for conservation and reduction of conflict between elephants and humans."


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