Over the last few years, great strides have been made in setting up coral reef conservation programmes in Malaysia, including the establishment of numerous Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). However, despite all the work that has been done to date, coral reef management in Malaysia needs better information and support if it is to be more effective. Reef Check Malaysia focuses on four core programmes that supplement one another to promote coral reef conservation and management in Malaysia.
Under our EcoAction programme, we have developed training programmes for Reef Check trainers and Reef Check divers, to help conduct Reef Check surveys around Malaysia. All the data collected over a number of years reflects the changing status of coral reefs and what steps can be taken to conserve them.
RCM also continually contributes towards Science, especially through its reef rehabilitation programmes, in partnership with coral reef ecologist, Kee Alfian. We have also conducted reef resilience surveys, the results of which are fed back to management bodies to employ strategies to minimise the impacts of bleaching events. RCM has also developed a Coral Bleaching Response plan that ensures effective communications and coordination of management efforts to protect coral reefs during future bleaching events.
Stakeholder Engagement plays a vital role to raise awareness of the importance of coral reefs and encourage wider participation in conservation efforts. All stakeholders have valuable knowledge and experience, and in some cases have a vested interest in protecting the resources on which their livelihoods depend. We believe that without community involvement in the Management of marine areas, they will not be successful. One of our end goals is to involve the local community in the management and conservation of the islands resources.