‘Tamu’ To Highlight Plight Of Pangolins And To Raise Awareness

ELISA PANJANG

KOTA KINABALU: This coming weekend Kota Kinabalu will see the holding of a ‘tamu’ (local market) with a difference.

“KeTAMU is a market with a twist. It was originally launched in 2019 to create a space for eco-social equality, Sabahan enterprise, fair trade, sustainable production and consumption and celebration of innovation and beauty.

“There will be food, art, music and crafts” said Cynthia Ong, Director of LEAP who are organising the event.

“There will be vendors from all over Sabah, from as far as the Kinabatangan estuary, Pitas and Semporna. Everybody is invited to come and support,” she added.

This second event themed ‘KeTAMU 4 Pangolins’ is being held this February 15th and 16th in conjunction with the Sabah Wildlife Department.

Others involved are the Sabah Art Gallery, Sabah Cultural Board, Sabah Tourism Board, Sabah Parks and Danau Girang Field Centre.

It aims to celebrate World Pangolin Day which falls on Saturday and to highlight the plight of pangolins and raise awareness of this shy, little known mammal.

Sabah’s very own pangolin researcher and ambassador Elisa Panjang explained that World Pangolin Day is celebrated internationally every year to draw attention to these wonderful yet vulnerable creatures.

“There will be interactive chats about pangolins, storytelling and games for children at the KeTAMU, as well as presentations on pangolin conservation.

Events such as KeTAMU hope to raise awareness about Totally Protected Sunda pangolins which are becoming rarer due to illegal hunting. – Photo Credit: Elisa Panjang

“The KeTAMU provides a great opportunity to reach a large audience including school children, tourists and the general public”.

“This timid, slow moving animal has no defense against humans. Pangolins are Totally Protected species under the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997 and it is illegal to hunt, kill or sell them.

Ending the trade in wildlife including the consumption of wildlife meat can also potentially help to resolve the transmission of diseases from wildlife to humans, currently a major global issue” said Elisa.

“This year we want to highlight a very precious yet highly endangered part of our heritage – the Sunda pangolin. Raising awareness is part of ongoing efforts by various stakeholders to hopefully secure the future of these amazing animals” stressed Ong.

“Pangolins need all the help they can get”.

The event will take place at Laman Seni, next to Wisma Budaya, from 9 am – 9 pm on Saturday and 9 am – 5 pm on Sunday. All are welcome!