Fourth Asia Ministerial Conference On Tiger Conservation (AMC4)

OFFICIATING SPEECH

THE HONOURABLE DATO’ SRI ISMAIL SABRI BIN YAAKOB PRIME MINISTER OF MALAYSIA

FOURTH ASIA MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON TIGER CONSERVATION (AMC4)

IMPIANA HOTEL KLCC

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.

Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh and a very good evening.

Honourable Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Bin Hassan
Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, and Chairperson of the Fourth Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation

His Excellency Mr. Lyonpo Yeshey Penjor
Minister of Agriculture and Forest Bhutan, and Chairman of Global Tiger Forum
Excellencies Ministers From Tiger Range Countries Distinguished delegates
Ladies and gentlemen,

1. Malaysia is proud to be the first Southeast Asian Tiger Range Country to host an Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation since the First Global Tiger Summit was conducted 12 years ago in Russia. It is indeed an honour to officiate the Fourth Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation (AMC4).

2. Malaysia recognises AMC4 as a major preparatory forum for the Second Global Tiger Summit, which will be held again in Russia. On behalf of the Government of Malaysia, I would like to express my gratitude to Excellencies Ministers and Distinguished Senior Officials from Tiger Range Countries for your support and participation, as well as acknowledge instrumental efforts of our co-host – the Global Tiger Forum – in making this event possible.

3. Year 2022, the ‘Year of the Tiger’, is expected to bring with it new energy – one that is brave, confident and display great levels of willpower. I hope this AMC4 meeting – which brings together Tiger Range Countries and partners – would harness this new energy in our pursuit to strengthen cooperation on tiger conservation.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen

4. Tigers have always been revered in many cultures across Asia as a symbol of bravery, power and valor. It is extremely unfortunate that the future of these majestic creatures are at stake due to man’s doing such as poaching, illegal wildlife trade, and land use changes, among others.

5. Population of tigers have plunged to less than 4,000 worldwide. This inadequate figure includes the ‘critically endangered’ Malayan Tiger – a symbol of Malaysia’s strength and resilience which adorns our National Coat of Arms or Jata Negara.

6. Based on the First National Tiger Survey conducted from 2016 to 2020, less than 150 Malayan Tigers are left in the wild.

Experts predict that the Malayan Tiger will vanish within 5 to 10 years if strategic actions are not put in place immediately.

7. Therefore, the Malayan Tiger has been afforded the highest level of protection in our legislation – ‘Totally Protected Species under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 and Appendix 1 under the International Trade in Endangered Species Act 2008.

8. Provisions in the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 were strengthened and passed by the Parliament in December 2021. Also, the Cabinet on 16 June 2021 had agreed on nine extraordinary actions for the conservation of the Malayan Tiger from 2021 to 2030.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

9. Other successful tiger conservation initiatives include the award winning Operasi Bersepadu Khazanah (OBK) as well as the Biodiversity Protection and Patrolling Programme (BP3). Under these two programmes, 167 wildlife criminals were arrested for smuggling goods worth RM36 million.

10. The Greening Malaysia Agenda through the 100 Million Tree Planting Campaign from 2021 to 2025, was successful as well. Approximately 26.21 million trees from 993 species were planted under this programme as of January 2022.

11. Meanwhile, Tiger Ranging States in Malaysia have collectively committed to conserve Malayan Tiger and its habitats during the National Tiger Conservation Task Force (MyTTF) meeting which I chaired recently.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

12. Tiger conservation is costly to execute. Adequate, substantial technical and financial resources are needed for effective implementation. Hence, it is crucial for resource mobilisation and sustainable financial mechanisms to be put in place.

13. Recognising the important role of State Governments, the Federal Government has introduced the Ecological Fiscal Transfer for Biodiversity Conservation (EFT) to incentivise State governments to protect and expand tiger habitats. I am delighted to announce that a total of RM130 million has been disbursed to State Governments through EFT since 2019.

14. On the international front, Malaysia takes its commitment to tiger conservation and biodiversity conservation seriously. We

are proud to be party to an extensive list of biodiversity related multilateral conventions including the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES).

15. Malaysia is also collaborating with various international agencies to combat illegal wildlife trade including the ASEAN Working Group on CITES and Wildlife Enforcement (AWG CITES & WE) and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL).

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen

16. The loss of tigers knows no geographical, cultural and political boundaries. In this time of need, let us, as the Tiger Range Countries and partners work together in the spirit of a “world family”, to save our tigers!

17. For this reason, Malaysia is proposing to adopt the Kuala Lumpur Joint Statement on Tiger Conservation. This 13-point Joint Statement would support implementation of actions within the South East Asia Tiger Recovery Action Plan (STRAP) based on agreed priorities to recover and boost tiger population in potential tiger habitats within South East Asia.

18. The adoption of the Kuala Lumpur Joint Statement, STRAP and Resource Mobilisation Strategy will provide Tiger Range Countries a means to set realistic actionable targets in their bid to achieve tiger recovery goals.

19. Meanwhile, the Financial Resource Mobilisation Assessment is to be further deliberated by member countries. It would include financing plans for tiger conservation which Southeast Asian countries may use when implementing tiger conservation efforts.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen

20. Before I end my speech, I would like to reiterate Malaysia’s firm pledge to protect tiger and its habitats that was made in the Saint Petersburg Declaration 2010. Malaysia will continue to strengthen its tiger conservation efforts and support various global initiatives, including those recommended through the AMC4. I applaud significant contributions of partners for the implementation of national tiger action plans and Global Tiger Recovery Programme (GTRP).

21. On that note, it gives me great pleasure to officiate the Fourth Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation and declare the adoption of the Kuala Lumpur Joint Statement on Tiger Conservation.

Wabillahitaufik walhidayah wassalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

Thank you and stay safe.

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