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WILDLIFE DAMAGE TO CROPS: GOVT DRAFTING GUIDELINE ON COMPENSATION TO FARMERS

The government is drafting a new guideline to compensate farmers whose crops were damaged by wild animals, Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said.Nik Nazmi said the ministry had held discussions with the Mi…

The government is drafting a new guideline to compensate farmers whose crops were damaged by wild animals, Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said.

Nik Nazmi said the ministry had held discussions with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, the Ministry of Plantations and Commodities and the Finance Ministry to formulate the policy and implementation mechanism.

"If there are deaths or injuries caused by wild animals, those will be compensated. The issue now is on damage to the plants, which have angered the farmers causing them to act on the wild animals," he said, adding that the matter would be looked into comprehensively.

Speaking to reporters after attending the ministry’s monthly assembly and a biodiversity dialogue here today, Nik Nazmi said they also discussed on agricultural activities in areas near wildlife habitats or forest reserves that could lead to human-wildlife conflicts.

“A comprehensive discussion is important because we do not want the non-affected parties to be compensated, for example, those who engage in agricultural activities near forest reserves," he said.

In 2004, the government approved the setting up of a Wild Animal Attack Aid Fund to cushion the cost of treating victims of wildlife attacks or their dependents with a minimum of RM200 and a maximum of RM20,000 in case of death.

Earlier, during the biodiversity dialogue, Nik Nazmi expressed concern should no proactive action is taken by the government in addressing human-wildlife conflicts.

"This kind of conflict will not only cause injuries but could also lead to loss of lives," he said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency