Thursday, October 15, 2015

Highlights from the Animals for Asia Borneo 2015 International Conference

The Main Event

This year’s conference, the first of its kind to be held in Malaysia and hosted by the SSPCA broke from norm by offering an unprecedented 6 themes:

1.   Animals in the Wild (Aquatic and Terrestrial)
2.   Managing Strays, Pets and Farmed Animals
3.   Animal Care (Veterinary care)
4.   Animal Care (Rescue and Rehabilitation)
5.   Animals in Captivity
6.   Animals in Trade

With two special sessions:

1.   The future of Borneo’s Animals
2.   Managing an NGO

Borneo Futures was one of the special sessions held on Oct 8 only for registered delegates. The sessions include talks, musical performances, body art painting and a comedy sketch by Jo Kukaltas’ alter ego Puan Badariah.

With the packed schedule spread over five days, some 600 participants and 60 speakers from across the globe attended, with all of them agreeing that ‘Partnerships Breed Success’ was indeed an apt description for #afaborneo2015.

Participants paid US$350 (RM800 for Malaysian residents) for the five-day package, while a single-day package was offered at US$100 (RM200 for Malaysian residents). A special student price of US$100 (RM350) for a four-day package was also offered.

Besides the featured speakers, other highlights during the keynote sessions were Minister of Local Government and Community Development Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh’s announcement that the SSPCA had been allotted a piece of land for their new animal village after four years of lobbying for it.  

Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg declared his support for the SSPCA for hosting the ‘Asia for Animals 2015 Conference’ by allocating funds for it.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem conveyed via Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari that the SSPCA goes to great lengths to promote better animal welfare management, and is also the only animal NGO in Malaysia to work with the local council.

He therefore urged corporate bodies like Shell to include animal welfare in their annual corporate social responsibility budgets. Are you reading this, Shell peeps?

Kudos to SSPCA President Dona Drury Wee, Organising chairperson Rebecca D’Cruz, SSPCA Hon Sec and Executive Director/Principal Consultant of Planet Borneo Group of companies (PLACE) Gracie Geikie, PLACE Communications Director Letitia Samuel, PLACE Coordinator Alex Oomen, their respective team members and volunteers for an awesome job in ensuring this massive 5 day multi-event operated smoothly daily.

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