Local environmental organisation, EcoKnights, is deeply saddened and angry over the recent deaths of 10 pygmy elephants in Sabah.
"This is a good example of a human-wildlife conflict where dangerous chemicals used indiscriminately have directly impacted wildlife. If pygmy elephants, which are bigger than man, can be poisoned that way, imagine the other smaller species that roam in the vicinity? They could also have been exposed," said EcoKnights president, Yasmin Rasyid.
EcoKnights urges better guidelines for plantations or farms of any magnitude that are closely located to a forest reserve to ensure that should there be any chemical usage in their land, the state government should be notified of the list of chemicals.
"The nearest agriculture or logging areas should declare their usage of chemicals to the state government and should have a safety measure or guideline to ensure that their area is cordoned off accordingly to prevent any more sudden deaths of wildlife," added Yasmin.
"Don't underestimate the threat that toxic chemicals pose to birds and wildlife. Every human activity, be it agriculture or logging, poses risks to wildlife and the environment. Each wildlife species loss is akin to losing our natural heritage.
"We will be gambling with the wildlife of Sabah if we don't address the issue of land development around forest reserves. And most importantly show the seriousness of this incident by making sure the source of this tragedy is brought to justice"
ECOKNIGHTS is a local non-profit environmental organisation that focuses on environmental education and outreach programmes for youths and communities. Their official website is www.ecoknights. org.my.