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‘The Central Forest Spine’ in Malaysia is a five million hectares of wildlife sanctuary that harbours an incredible array of plant and animal species including the endangered Malayan tiger, and is also the source of essential water for over 28 million people including the inhabitants of Singapore. In efforts to finance a government devised National Conservation Trust Fund , UNDP looked to local sources of funding through involving Malaysian citizens in conservation efforts to ensure long term sustainability, and create national ownership.
UNDP Malaysia decided to create specially designed vehicle license plates for which people pay an extra amount that goes to wildlife conservation. Even if only 1% of Malaysia’s 20 million vehicles bear the tiger plate, it could generate 6 million USD at 30 USD per number plate per year. As it is being currently tested in Malaysia, if successful, this scheme can be extended to vehicles in Singapore which also depends on the ‘spine’ for its water. This will furthermore, test out an innovative bilateral initiative which other countries in Asia and beyond could follow.
National Conservation Trust Fund
Timeline: Vanity plates for tiger conservation