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COMMENT | What 'orangutan diplomacy' means for conservation

COMMENT | Recently, Plantation and Commodities Minister Johari Abdul Ghani announced that Malaysia aims to introduce “orangutan diplomacy” to palm oil trading countries, as a show of concern towards biodiversity conservation.

Akin to China’s “panda diplomacy”, the move intends to prove to the world community that Malaysia is always committed to biodiversity conservation.

WWF-Malaysia believes that a more effective way for biodiversity and orangutan conservation is through improving forest management, prioritising in-situ orangutan conservation, supporting sustainable palm oil production, and increasing international funding for conservation efforts in developing countries.

The Bornean orangutan has been listed as critically endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) status since 2016. Being critically endangered means the species face a very high risk of extinction in the wild if population decline continues.

While the population of the Bornean orangutans have stabilised in Sabah and Sarawak in recent decades, there are still...

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