Report Evaluates Malaysia’s Commitment to Protect its Marine ResourcesCatch of the Week
Malaysia has made a firm commitment to the sustainable management and conservation of its coastal and marine resources, helping formulate and implement the Sulu–Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion Initiative and the Coral Triangle Initiative.
The recently published report on State of the Coral Triangle: Malaysia noted that rapid economic growth, uncontrolled tourism development, unregulated fishing, and unsustainable use of marine resources have depleted the country’s fish stocks. Malaysia has lost nearly 36% of its mangrove forests, and increased the number of endangered species. Despite impressive national economic gains, Malaysia’s fishers remain poor.
Malaysia’s coral reefs cover an estimated 3,600 km², most of which are found in Sabah and Sarawak, and on the eastern coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Coral diversity is highest in Eastern Malaysia, which is home to about 550 species. However, the country’s coral reefs face a number of environmental threats. Agricultural development in Peninsular Malaysia contributes to sedimentation and nutrient runoff rates higher than would otherwise be the case.
In East Malaysia, destructive fishing practices such as cyanide fishing are prevalent, particularly in Sabah. In Sarawak, the major threat coral reefs face is river sedimentation. Overall, the major factors driving suboptimal coral reef conservation are gaps in institutional capacity relating to management and enforcement, as well as resource-use conflicts.
The report assesses Malaysia’s coastal ecosystems and summarizes the country’s plans in rehabilitating marine protected areas; protecting threatened and endangered species; adapting to the negative impacts of climate change; and responding to the need for financially sustainable, community-based initiatives.
The publication of several Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) knowledge products is part of the support given by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
These knowledge products include a State of the Coral Triangle (SCT) report for each member country, as well as a regional SCT report that promotes regional and international understanding of current ecological, political, and socioeconomic issues in the Coral Triangle.
These SCT reports describe the current condition of coastal ecosystems—particularly their exploited resources—in each of the six countries of the Coral Triangle, as well as in the entire Coral Triangle region. They likewise document these countries’ biophysical and socioeconomic characteristics, the environmental vulnerabilities of their coastal and marine ecosystems, and the aspects of governance currently in place for addressing these vulnerabilities.
DOWNLOAD: State of the Coral Triangle: Malaysia