Empowering coastal communities for marine biodiversity management at the Pulai River Estuary.
This project seeks to empower local coastal communities towards better sustainable marine biodiversity management. The project will work with two local communities in the Pulai River Estuary of Johore state, namely the Malay inshore fishermen at Tanjung Kupang, and Seletar indigenous people of Kampung Simpang Arang. The objectives and the activities of the project are comprised of four components. The first three components are targeted at building the capacity of the local communities in managing the marine biodiversity resources in a much more sustainable manner. In the first and second components, the local communities will participate in monitoring the conditions of significant seagrass and protecting endangered species found in the Pulai River Estuary. In the third component, the local communities will be directly involved in the planning of a marine reserve nearby Merambong, inline with the plans of the Johor state government. The fourth component is associated with a pilot eco-tourism initiative, including the establishment of a museum and a mangrove boardwalk, operated and managed by the Seletar indigenous peoples community. The eco-tourism venture is designed to generate alternative income and also to enhance the wise use of mangroves and other marine and terrestrial biodiversity, thereby improving the sustainable livelihoods of the local communities.
 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee: Malaysian Society of Marine Sciences
Country: Malaysia
Area Of Work: Biodiversity
Operational Phase: Phase 4
Grant Amount: US$ 50,000.00
Co-Financing Cash: US$ 56,563.00
Co-Financing in-Kind: US$ 20,313.00
Project Number: MAL/SGP/OP4/Y1/RAF/2008/09
Start Date: 10/2008
End Date: 6/2011
Status: Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Capacity - Building Component
1. The local communities would be given training at capacity building workshops on seagrass monitoring to prepare them to undertake long-term monitoring of the area and its surrounding environment, for the conservation of the seagrass bed as biodiversity nursery grounds in the Pulai River estuary. 2. The local fishermen are participating in a monitoring and protection of rare and endangered species program where they report sightings of any of these species on their possible locations or habits on a monitoring calendar.
Policy Impact
The project site harbours the largest continuous seagrass bed in Malaysia and is a critical nursery ground for numerous important species, including seahorses, dugongs, dolphins. The Johor state government is planning to designate the seagrass meadow and Merambong Island as a reserve.
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