In October 2014, the Department of Marine Park Malaysia (DMPM) asked Reef Check Malaysia (RCM) to develop an approach to identifying and mitigating local impacts to coral reefs, in accordance with Target 10 of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Target 10 states that: “By 2015, the multiple anthropogenic pressures on coral reefs, and other vulnerable ecosystems impacted by climate change or ocean acidification are minimized, so as to maintain their integrity and functioning.”
The target recognises that “Urgently reducing anthropogenic pressures on those ecosystems affected by climate change or ocean acidification will give them greater opportunities to adapt”. Where multiple drivers are combining to weaken ecosystems, aggressive action to reduce those pressures most amenable to rapid intervention should be prioritised. Many of these drivers can be addressed more easily than climate change or ocean acidification.
In other words, reducing local impacts will contribute to ensuring that coral reefs are as healthy as possible to withstand future global impacts. As a signatory to the Convention on Biodiversity, Malaysia has an obligation to develop strategies to achieve Target 10.
Working together with DMPM we have identified 15 local impacts to coral reefs. Each of these impacts is explained in individual Action Plans which discuss severity, mitigation measures and agencies responsible to carry out those measures. This programme will be carried out in four phases and we are currently moving into Phase 4. We have distributed the Action Plans to the relevant agencies and will be following up as well as providing support to them in the implementation of those plans.