LEAP has long been concerned about the loss of Sabah’s biodiversity and has supported initiatives to conserve threatened and endangered species such as the Critically Endangered Sunda Pangolin.
In 2014 LEAP helped initiate the Pangolin Conservation Working Group comprising NGOs and relevant government departments. In September 2017 Sunda Pangolins were upgraded to Totally Protected species under Schedule 1 of the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment. LEAP has also supported the work of local pangolin researcher Elisa Panjang through input into design and distribution of pangolin conservation awareness materials and sharing of news articles in the press. And to help promote World Pangolin Day on 15th February 2020, LEAP worked with Elisa to highlight the plight of pangolins during its ‘Ketamu’ event, a market showcasing local sustainable products and initiatives. Elisa and Sabah Wildlife Department carried out educational activities for students and engaged with the public through a stall with pangolin information and awareness materials.
However, while awareness may be increasing about the plight of the pangolin, this is matched by an increased demand for pangolin meat and scales, both domestically and internationally.
LEAP hopes to continue working with relevant stakeholders, including local communities, to secure a future for this threatened mammal and its habitats.