Taman Negara is the venue for the 1st National Protected Area Managers’ Conference, 10 – 13 June 2014

Jun 10, 2014

Photo: UNDP Malaysia

This week, more than 100 protected area managers, conservation practitioners, policy makers and experts will converge on Taman Negara National Park for the inaugural National Protected Area Managers’ Conference. The conference, to be held at Mutiara Resort, Taman Negara will bring together managers and custodians of parks, reserves, and conservation areas across Malaysia for the first time. The main objective of the conference is to establish a platform for mutual learning and exchange and an effective peer network for information sharing, collaboration and innovation.
  
The conference is one of the many initiatives supported by the "Enhancing Effectiveness and Financial Sustainability of Protected Areas in Malaysia Project" or “PA Financing Project” for short which is implemented by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks.  The project is supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and will conclude in 2019.

“The idea for holding a gathering of PA Managers was first mooted by protected area managers themselves at a Stakeholders’ Workshop held in 2013. Many expressed the need for greater interaction and experience sharing among conservation practitioners in Malaysia,” explains Dr. Sivananthan Elagupillay, the Project Director.

Conservation practitioners from Malaysian state and federal government agencies, non-governmental agencies, and local community organizations collectively possess a diverse array of specialized knowledge and skills which they apply to biodiversity protection and natural resource management. However, thus far there have been limited opportunities for these groups to interact. The conference is designed to address this gap.

“In seeking to strengthen protected area management in Malaysia, it is also important that we provide the dedicated force of men and women involved in managing protected areas opportunities to engage with new information and enhance their professional capabilities”, Dr. Sivananthan added.

At the conference, conservation practitioners will have access to distinguished national and international conservation specialists with extensive experience in protected area Management, collaborative research, training and capacity building, and mainstreaming biodiversity. Among them are speakers from the Smithsonian Biodiversity Conservation Institute (SBCI), the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Southeast Asian office and E.C.O Ecology Institute of Austria.

Participants will also be able to engage with peers and organizations that are leading innovative projects to address critical challenges such as encroachment and habitat fragmentation and developing new approaches to engage with local stakeholders and private landholders, among others.

The honourable Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Y.B. Datuk Seri G. Palanivel, will officially open the conference. Also attending is the United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam, Michelle Gyles-McDonnough, who will deliver the first Keynote Address.

Taman Negara, Malaysia oldest National Park which encompasses 4,343 square kilometres of magnificent rainforest straddling the states of Kelantan Pahang and Terengganu, is a particularly auspicious venue for the conference – this year marks the 75th Anniversary of the establishment of the Park.

To commemorate the Park’s Jubilee year, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks is working to promote a greater appreciation of the many ways in which Taman Negara safeguards Malaysia’s irreplaceable biodiversity heritage and protects essential ecosystem services. A video campaign encouraging Malaysians and international visitors alike to “Reconnect with nature at Taman Negara” was launched at the start of the conference.

 

Contact information

For more information on the PA Financing Project and the conference, kindly contact:
 
Ms. Justine Vaz
Communications Officer
PA Financing Project
Phone: +603 90866937, +6012 3215025
Email: justine@wildlife.gov.my

Ms. Gan Pek Chuan
Programme Manager
United Nations Development Programme
Phone: +603 20915179
Email: pek.chuan.gan@undp.org