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10th meeting of the IUCN SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group starts in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

The 10th meeting of the IUCN SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group (AsESG) being organised from 4th to 6th December 2019 at Shangri-la Hotel, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia was inaugurated today. The meeting is being organised in partnership with the Sabah Wildlife Department.

The group discussed on threats and challenges impacting the conservation of Asian elephants and the various guidelines and plans being drafted by the Group and Range countries for the conservation and welfare of elephants in wild and in captivity. The inaugural session was addressed by Dato. Abdul Kadir bin Abu Hashim, Director General of Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Peninsular Malaysia. While addressing the members, he expects that the decisions from this meeting are implemented on ground in Sabah. In Malaysia, we are serious about the poaching issue and want to mitigate this problem and increase the population of wildlife. Mr Vivek Menon, Chairperson Asian Elephant Specialist Group presented the report of the Group in last one year, its impact of the species and the threats impacting elephant conservation and management in Asia. Mr Menon informed that he hopes this meeting helps us come up with solutions to make the life of Asian elephants a little better. Mr Augustine Tuuga while addressing the meeting said that they are happy to be chosen as the joint host for this meeting. We hope that during this meeting, we can enhance the conservation action plan and get inputs from the participants towards the challenges we are facing.

The meeting is being attended by over 130 AsESG and Ex-officio members, partner organisations as well as elephant experts from across the globe and local conservationist.

Apart from the various guidelines and plans being produced by the Group, the meeting will also discuss the elephant conservation issues in Sabah and will be organising a dedicated session. The meeting has also provided a forum for the emerging professionals who are not part of AsESG to present their work and also be part of the workshop on various issues and also consult AsESG experts.


The Asian Elephant Specialist Group (AsESG) is a global network of specialists concerned with the study, monitoring, management, and conservation of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in its 13 range states