Friday, March 11, 2016

Semporna Marine Spatial Plan shortlisted for award

SEMPORNA: The Semporna Marine Spatial Plan (SMSP) is a finalist in the category of International Award for Planning Excellence Award for the Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2016.

SMSP covers the entire territorial waters of Semporna district and is located at the important apex of the Coral Triangle, which is known to house the most marine biologically-diverse and ecologically-rich regions on earth.

However, competing activities brought on by human as well as nature (climate change) has placed unprecedented pressure on this marine environment where degradation of coral reef is growing, such as increase in water acidity, threats to human livelihood, and increase in tourists.

These factors impact the sensitive marine ecosystem. This project will assist the Semporna District Council to develop its strategic vision for growth and develop an Integrated Marine Spatial Plan, incorporating development goals, conservation targets and programmes to assimilate marginalised communities.

Organisations involved include the Sabah State Town and Regional Planning Department and WWF-Malaysia.

“The SMSP work began in June 2014 and scheduled for completion in July 2017.

This plan will be implemented by the District Council working together with the core stakeholders for the area,” said Dr Robecca Jumin, Head of Marine, WWF-Malaysia in a statement yesterday.

“We are immensely honoured to have been shortlisted for this award and look forward to continue working closely together with partners to bring this project to greater success.