Friday, September 19, 2014

WWF engages with Kudat islanders to sustain Tun Mustapha Park

World Wildlife Fund for Nature – Malaysia (WWF-Malaysia) is promoting the implementation of conservation with the Kudat community in support of the government’s initiative to gazette the proposed Tun Mustapha Park (TMP).

TMP holds a high biodiversity and rich natural resources that provides livelihood and food sources for more than 80,000 people within and beyond the Coral Triangle boundary.

The programme targets to build capacity and empower local communities and stakeholders to conduct patrol and collaborative enforcement, promote environmental stewardship, and develop conservation enterprise linked to resource management.

With funding from the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP), the project will focus on key pilot sites to demonstrate the benefits of Marine Protected Areas (MPA), ultimately build support for TMP and the capacity of the communities to co-manage their resources.

“The funds from the GEF SGP will be in support of three key sites under WWF-Malaysia’s project in Tigabu Island in Kudat, Kampung Batu Siri on Balambangan Island, and Kampung Taritipan in Kota Marudu,” said WWF-Malaysia executive director cum chief executive officer Dato’ Dr Dionysius Sharma in a press statement issued in Kota Kinabalu yesterday.

“The three demo sites and existing areas such as Maliangin Island and Berungus can potentially form a network for information sharing among community groups in TMP; which in turn can be a model for community co-management in TMP,” Sharma added.

Meanwhile, WWF-Malaysia organised an Inception Workshop to share objectives, expected outcomes, strategic approaches, and develop detailed activities and a work plan for the GEF SGP funded conservation programme recently.

This full-day workshop was held in Kudat for representatives from WWF-Malaysia, government agencies such as Sabah Parks, Department of Fisheries (DOF), and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), community based organisations and NGOs, and community members of the identified demonstration sites from Tigabu, Taritipan, and Batu Siri.