Local event management agency D’Sunlit has partnered with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to run a campaign to raise funds for wildlife conservation projects.

D’Sunlit, which organises Brunei’s popular bi-annual consumer and trade fair, has distributed 1,600 ceramic elephant-shaped coin banks to 18 schools across the country, as part of the “Colour the Endangered” campaign. 

Students are tasked with painting the figurines — given free reign to let loose with their creativity — which they will then return to D’Sunlit to be sold during the 20th Consumer Fair from January 24-28 at the International Convention Centre. 

A total of 2,000 ceramic elephant coin banks will go on sale at the 20th Consumer Fair next year. Proceeds from the sales will go to WWF. Photo: Rasidah Hj Abu Bakar/The Scoop

Ting Seng Ngie, project manager for the campaign, said she hoped that the campaign would give much-needed emphasis on the importance of wildlife preservation in Brunei.

D’Sunlit’s partnership with WWF came about after reaching out to the NGO to create a fresh new campaign. 

“We didn’t want it to be just another campaign. We want people to be curious about endangered species and wildlife preservation,” said Seng Ngie.

Figurines will be sold for $6 each, with all proceeds going towards WWF conservation projects for endangered species. 

An additional 400 unpainted elephant figurines will be available at the Consumer Fair for members of the public to purchase, if they want to try their hand at painting their own elephants.

A sculpture of the Borneo elephant on display at UBD. The sculptures are moved to a new location every three weeks. Photo: Rasidah Hj Abu Bakar/The Scoop

The company’s drive to raise social awareness on wildlife conservation began back in October with the “Missing Chattel” campaign, which involved rotating five animal sculptures across Brunei over the course of 16 weeks.

Done with no publicity and promotion, every three weeks the five sculptures — comprising a Borneo elephant, clouded leopard, hornbill, slow loris and green turtle — were moved to new locations such as shopping malls and universities to arouse curiosity from passersby. 

Project manager for the “Missing Endangered” campaign, Ting Seng Ngie. Photo: Rasidah Hj Abu Bakar/The Scoop

All the animals are among the 34 endangered species listed by the Brunei government’s Wildlife Department and protected by law.

Seng Nie said one of the most pressing wildlife conservation issues involves the Borneo elephant, whose survival is threatened due to habitat loss and use in tourist activities.

“This year, WWF is also focusing on Borneo elephants, so it kind of clicked [with our campaign],” she said.