WWF and Honda join forces to save Sumatran rhinos
27 Jan 2006 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – WWF, together with the Honda motor corporation, has launched a rescue project in Malaysia to protect the endangered Sumatran rhino.
“The Sumatran rhino is probably the most endangered of all the rhino species,” said Dr Mikaail Kavanagh, Executive Director of WWF-Malaysia.
According to WWF, Sumatran rhino numbers have declined by half in the past decade as a result of poaching. It is believed that fewer than 300 Sumatran rhinos exist in the world, with the last significant populations found only in Malaysia and Indonesia.
“The rhino project will focus mainly on increasing efforts to protect the Sumatran rhino’s habitat and reduce poaching through close cooperation with local communities and organizations,” added Kavanagh. “We will also focus our attention on research efforts to gain a further understanding of the ecological and biological needs of the rhino.”
Scientific information gained from the research will contribute to a rhino action plan for Sumatra rhino conservation.
“The focus of the rhino rescue project is not only to save the endangered Sumatran rhino, but to raise awareness among the local population, especially schoolchildren,” said Yasuhide Mizuno, Honda Malaysia’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.
“Honda is committed to environmental conservation and is increasing our environmental activities in an effort to be valued and recognized by society.”
Honda Malaysia has pledged to contribute about US$1 million to the Rhino Rescue project. The funds will enable WWF to work closely with local partners, including the Malaysian Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Perak State Park Corporation, the Sabah Wildlife Department, and the Sabah Foundation to further strengthen Sumatran rhino conservation efforts.
• Honda Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. is a partnership between Honda Motor Co., Ltd. of Japan (which owns 51per cent of the company) and two Malaysian companies, DRB-HICOM Berhad and Oriental Holdings Berhad. Since its inception, Honda Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. has been committed to achieving the “Highest Customer Satisfaction in Malaysia” in its business practices.
• WWF-Malaysia currently runs more than 50 projects in Malaysia, covering a diverse range of environmental protection – from saving endangered species such as tigers and turtles, to protecting highland forests, rivers and seas.
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