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Dr Wong Ee Phin

Dr Wong Ee Phin has been involved in Malaysia’s wildlife conservation field for almost two decades. As the Principal Investigator of Management & Ecology of Malaysian Elephants (MEME), she is currently working with plantations and partners on the ground to manage human-elephant conflict via a landscape approach and to promote coexistence with wild elephants. MEME is a research project focusing on science-based research to support evidence-based decisions on managing and conserving wild elephants in Peninsular Malaysia.

Ee Phin works in areas of biodiversity conservation, wildlife behaviour, and engages closely with stakeholders affected by Human-Elephant Conflict. She enjoys exploring new techniques for non-invasive monitoring of wild elephant populations and the usage of technology for elephant research. Another area of research interest in MEME is to study the impact of linear transportation infrastructures on elephant movement within Peninsular Malaysia. Ee Phin believes that working together with traditional and non-traditional conservation stakeholders is key to saving wild elephants in Malaysia.

She has a background rooted in science – a Bachelor of Science, a Master of Applied Science in Wildlife Biology and Management, and a PhD on non-invasive monitoring of stress among Asian elephants. She is the Deputy Chair of the IUCN SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group and an active member of the IUCN Asian Elephant Transport Working Group and the IUCN Human-Wildlife Conflict and Coexistence Specialist Group.

Impact for me covers both positive outcomes for the people and the environment. I want to support my stakeholders in a tangible and meaningful way, and at the same time help conserve wild elephants – that is the goal that I am aiming for. It is not easy to balance both as there are often clashes in interest. That is why it is important for us to work past the differences and find common goals to align our approaches. It is possible to create a win-win situation for the parties involved. At the end of the day, we all want a safe and beautiful future for our loved ones, not a dying world full of disasters. That is why we need to put aside working in a silo, and work together.

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