KOTA KINABALU: Mantanani Island, a well-known site for recreational diving off Kota Belud, and its surrounding areas have been identified as Sabah’s next potential marine park.
Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said the state government aims to turn 10 per cent of Sabah’s waters into protected marine areas.
He said the government has identified several potential areas to achieve that goal.
“The United Nations has invited us to gazette at least 10 per cent of our ocean and we have gazetted 7.6 per cent, with the current size of protected marine parks in Sabah at two million hectares.
“I’ve asked my assistant minister (Datuk Pang Yuk Ming) to form a committee to look into the possibility of increasing the size of these marine parks so that we can comply with the 10 per cent requirement.
“We have ample amounts of areas that we can eventually turn into parks and we have identified several. This reflects the good conservation policies that the state government has started and continued to implement.
“We are actually looking at Mantanani and we are seriously considering turning (Mantanani) into a protected marine park,” he told reporters after launching the Maritime Environmental Security Workshop 2017 here, today.
Masidi, however, said this would take some time as the plan depends on the government’s engagement with local residents, district office, and other relevant quarters.
He said the ministry is in the midst of preparing the necessary technical requirements before bringing the proposal to the state government’s attention.
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