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DEFRA grant to work with Muslims in Indonesia to reduce illegal wildlife trade

April 22, 2019:

A member of WWF's elephant patrol in Sumatra

The UK Government's Environment Department (DEFRA) has awarded a grant of £255,000 to ARC and our Indonesian partners – WWF Indonesia, The Centre for Islamic Studies at Indonesia's Universitas Nasional and the Indonesian conservation NGO Yapeka.

The grant has been given through DEFRA's Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund. It is already helping us engage Muslim leaders and communities in reducing the illegal wildlife trade throughout Indonesia.

"The programme will not only directly help reduce the wildlife trade in Indonesia but will be an inspiration to Muslim countries – and other countries – around the world to work with their religious leaders to help protect the natural world in practical ways," said ARC's programme director Chantal Elkin.

"We've seen through many years how change happens best when communities get involved because they know it's the right thing to do and it's in line with their beliefs. We're thrilled to be supported by DEFRA."

Sumatran tiger cub. Sumatran tigers are killed for their skins and for use in Chinese medicine, even though TCM practitioners have declared that use of illegal animal parts is bad for the balance of the body as well as of the natural world.
The illegal wildlife trade is a criminal industry worth more than £17 billion each year threatening both wildlife and people. The money it raises is used to boost criminal activities including drugs and terrorism. So stopping it helps many communities all around the world in many ways, as well as helping the animals and the natural world directly.

Through the Challenge Fund around £18.5 million has already been allocated to 61 projects around the world.


WWF-INDONESIA: The mission of WWF Indonesia is to conserve biodiversity and reduce human impact. Illegal poaching, ownership and trading of endangered and protected wildlife has becomes serious threats to the existence of Indonesian endangered species. The wildlife trade itself is a complex network involving many stakeholders from hunters to exporters. WWF-Indonesia is dedicated to stopping it.

THE CENTRE FOR ISLAMIC STUDIES AT THE NATIONAL UNIVERSITY: The Centre for Islamic Studies at Indonesia's Universitas Nasional has been a critical force for promoting the initiatives by Muslim clerics in Indonesia to stop Forest fires and the illegal wildlife trade through fatwas prohibiting these actions and declaring them against Islam. Indonesia is a country rich in biodiversity. Educational institutions are vital in teaching students and the community as a whole, how and why we can and must work to protect it.

YAPEKA: Yapeka is a non-profit organization that specializes in Nature Conservation and Community Empowerment in Indonesia by introducing nature through outdoor activities in various forms. Its aim is to introduce biodiversity in Indonesia while building awareness of the importance of sustainability and the survival of biodiversity in it.

LINKS on Indonesian Muslim environment action

Wildlife burning is a sin, say Muslim clerics in Indonesia

BBC story Daily Mail story about forest fatwa Indonesian women act on sanitation and health

Indonesian clerics issue fatwa to protect endangered species

Full text of the wildlife fatwa in Bahasa Indonesian and English

Report from National Geographic magazine on wildlife fatwa How Islamic boarding schools helped make a National Park

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