LINKING MANGROVE CONSERVATION TO LIVELIHOOD IMPROVEMENT OF LOCAL COMMUNITY IN SOUTH EAST JOHOR
The project site has a unique ecosystem which is home to more than 500 people. Previous studies reported that more than 80% of the residents in the project area are fishermen whose sole income is fishing. Local community livelihood is threatened by development in adjacent areas with the conversion of mangroves for agricultural such as oil palm plantations and aquaculture. The loss of mangroves has taken its toll on the fishing community who reported a noticeable reduction in their daily catch. Wetlands International has urged the South East Johore Development Authority (KEJORA) to look into the need of striking the balance between development and environment conservation as they have a mission to strengthen human capital and establish economy prosperity for the region has proposed a long term sustainable plan to develop this site as an ecotourism site and to conserve the habitat. Recent surveys have shown the presence of fireflies in Sungai Lebam and its tributaries. Another unique feature of the project site is the seagrass meadow along the front coast where previously dugongs have been spotted by many fisherfolk. The presence of these two marvelous species makes project site a potential site for ecotourism activities. This project is very important to provide an alternative to local communities through ecotourism to bring improvement into their lives without having to destroy the natural environment. It also enables us to empower local communities to make a stand for their environment and their children’s future.
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