Wildlife Division faces staff shortage
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE Wildlife Division does not have enough officers and experts, said the minister of primary resources and tourism.
Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Hj Ali Hj Apong said there are only 13 people working at the Wildlife Division, and many of them require training to enhance their skills due to their lack of expertise.
Responding to a Legislative Council (LegCo) member YB Hj Ramli Hj Lahit’s question, he said the division’s limited number of employees does not deter the Wildlife Division from performing its roles and duties effectively as other activities such as patrolling are conducted from time to time.
During the 12th LegCo session yesterday, YB Hj Ramli asked if the Wildlife Division has enough trained officers who are able to carry out their duties in line with the Wildlife Protection Act of 1978 (revised 1984) and the Wild Fauna and Flora Order 2007.
YB Hj Ramli, who is the Tutong representative to LegCo, also enquired whether measures have been taken to improve wildlife conservation in Brunei.
He went on to question whether more wildlife species had been included in the Wildlife Protection Act or will be listed in the legislation.
The minister said 34 animals are protected under the law, including slow loris, storm’s stork, dugong, great argus pheasant and sea turtles.
“A number of of local wild animals such as bears, pangolins, civets, deers and different types of birds are not listed under the Act yet,” he said.
He said there are plans to add more animals in the Act, with amendments currently being made with the Attorney General’s Chambers.
The minister added that animals that will be included in the said Act include species listed in the International Union for Conservation, Red List of Threatened Species and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna.
YB Dato Hj Ali did not provide a time frame on the completion of the amended Act during the LegCo sitting.
According to a 2013 news report, the Wildlife Division had said the amended Wildlife Protection Act would be ready by early 2014.
The Brunei Times