KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 (Bernama) – “I feel that Malaysia is really beginning to understand the importance of conserving its wildlife,” well-respected British primatologist, Dr Jane Goodall, told reporters after the launch of Project Monyet today.
“It needs more people to work on conserving and protecting the jungle. To link up the fragments of forest to recreate forests more like they were,” she said while mentioning it was her third visit to the country and that she “came here to learn not to teach”.
Malaysia is one of only two countries in Asia – and five countries globally -- that is home to members of five primate families.
From these five groups spring a whole host of primate species like the loris, tarsier, macaque, leaf monkey, gibbon, proboscis monkey and orangutan,
Project Monyet, an exhibition by photographer Peter Ong at Ruang by Think City in Kuala Lumpur which ends Nov 28, aims to inspire Malaysians to learn about Malaysia’s primate diversity and ensure their survival for future generations.
GOODALL-PROJECTMONYET 2 (LAST) KUALA LUMPUR
On what she believes is the greatest threat to wildlife conservation today, Goodall answered: “Humans are the biggest threat to endangered animals. However, the threat differs in different areas. Sometimes humans take the mothers away (and keep) the babies as pets.”
She said people can help with the primate conservation efforts by attending public talks given by non-governmental organisations like the Malaysian Primatological Society, Gibbon Rehabilitation Project, Langur Project Penang and Free Tree Society.
“It is important to take care of the habitat as well as the monkey. Almost all primates are highly endangered, but sadly nobody studies or learns about them. So, I hope an exhibition like this will encourage young people to find out more about monkeys,” she said.
Project Monyet, initiated by social enterprise Abundant Ventures and supported by Roots and Shoots Malaysia (a youth-lead action programme founded by Goodall), has been made possible by Yayasan Hasanah, Yayasan Sime Darby, Think City and Allianz.