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The sun bear may be the smallest bear species found around the world, but they are not short of protectors, thanks to the Sahabat Beruang Madu (Friends of the Sun Bear) communities now set up in five regions around Malaysia. Part of the Sun Bear Conservation Programme funded by Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV), and partnered by the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia (PERHILITAN) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), the Sahabat network has been set up to foster a community sympathetic to issues surrounding conservation of the sun bear and Malaysia‘s other threatened wildlife species. This Program was held on December 12-13th, 2017, with the main objective being to raise public awareness about conservation, for sun bears in particular and other wildlife species in general. MNS collaborates with BSBCC and is tasked with furthering awareness and education within the community in Felda Sahabat Estate, which is one of biggest estates in Malaysia.
This community program also invited Sabah Wildlife Department, who delivered a presentation about protected wildlife species in Sabah and how to handle critical situations when facing wild animals (Human Wildlife Conflict). Another presenter was from Sabah Forestry Department, discussing the importance of forests and why we need to protect and preserve them. Knowledge from information offered in this program will heighten awareness when staff is back within their plantations and forests, and will afford them the advantage of preventing human-wildlife conflicts before they can occur. During this program, a lot of activities were held such as talks, video show, sun bear mascot activity and exhibition booths. Huge thanks to Felda Sahabat management (Sahabat Beruang Madu Wilayah Sahabat) and MNS (Malaysian Nature Society) for inviting us to this program. Hopefully this programme will continue every year. Many thanks for continuous support! Humans are protectors of these defenseless animals, and we hope Friends of the Sun Bear will act as the first line of defense when it comes to wildlife conservation.