Sabah mulls seasonal hunting as way to protect environment

Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said the approach would allow animals in the wild to reproduce. — AFP pic
Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said the approach would allow animals in the wild to reproduce. — AFP pic

KOTA KINABALU, May 20 — The Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry is considering implementing seasonal hunting in the state as an environment preservation approach, while not sacrificing the hunting traditions of the local communities.

Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said the approach, which allowed animals in the wild to reproduce, was similar to concept of ‘tagal’ at most rivers in the state, which prohibited fishing for a certain period of time.

He said that the people, especially communities like the Murut in Sabah’s interior, needed to understand that some traditional recreations should not be done excessively, particularly for the purpose of commerce.

“In Nabawan, the Murut tribe has been hunting animal for generations and they claim that they need to hunt in order to make ends meet.

“Hunting, as a traditional recreation is allowed, but at the same time, it should not be done at the expense of practically putting an end to the lives of the wildlife that we have in Sabah,” he said when met by reporters after opening the Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) Environment Day at University College Sabah Foundation (UCSF) here today.

Masidi said conservation efforts in the state had been frustrating despite millions of ringgit being injected over the years due to the very difficult challenges often faced.

According to him, human acts proved to be the most challenging task for the government but efforts were underway to engage the local community through discussions with community leaders on the need to conserve the environment.

Meanwhile, YSD governing council member Caroline Christine Russell said in her speech that the YSD had been vigorous in its environmental conservation initiatives since 2009 with RM81 million spent to fund conservation projects in Sabah. — Bernama

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