First Turtle and Terrapin Mini Gallery in Setiu to Serve as Information Centre and Ecotourism Attraction
The mini gallery is an initiative by Penarik Inn with the support and technical assistance from WWF-Malaysia. Established as an information centre to provide fascinating information about sea turtles and painted terrapin to visitors, the mini gallery aims to enhance public awareness on the importance of conserving the natural treasures in Setiu that are on the brink of extinction.
Furthermore, the launch aimed to promote the mini gallery as another low-impact ecotourism product and attraction in Setiu Wetlands.
Executive Director/CEO of WWF-Malaysia, Dato’ Dr. Dionysius Sharma, said that for conservation efforts undertaken by organisations like WWF-Malaysia to achieve a more far-reaching impact, local communities should be exposed to sufficient knowledge and awareness.
"Community involvement is the key to success in championing the survival of sea turtles and painted terrapin. After devoting nearly six months of hard work starting in August 2012, our aspiration to create an information centre on sea turtles and painted terrapin in the Setiu District has finally materialised and the mini gallery is now open to the public,” said Dato' Dr. Dionysius.
He added that all designs and preparation of the Mini Gallery were developed in collaboration with four Art and Design students of Universiti Teknologi Mara Malaysia (Melaka Campus). Interestingly, almost 90 percent of the materials used for this mini gallery were from disposed recycled items.
The mini gallery also provides an opportunity to develop the tourism industry in the Setiu Wetlands which has become a stopover for visitors going to nearby islands such as Perhentian, Redang, and Lang Tengah.
Setiu Wetlands not only supports Malaysia’s largest breeding population of painted terrapin (Batagur borneoensis). It is also amongst the few remaining mainland landing and nesting sites in Peninsular Malaysia for the green turtle (Chelonia mydas). The painted terrapin is a critically endangered species and green turtle, an endangered species under the IUCN’s 2011 Red List.
Penarik Inn Beach Chalet, where the mini gallery is located, is a chalet at Penarik village and has been operating since 1992. In 2010, Penarik Inn agreed to cooperate with the Department of Fisheries and WWF-Malaysia to allow the construction of a turtle and painted terrapin hatchery near their premises on Penarik beach in their move to support the protection and conservation of the two species.
In addition, the launch was also carried out to pay tribute to the organisations, agencies and individuals who have provided tremendous assistance, support and cooperation to WWF-Malaysia in carrying out environmental conservation projects in the district.
WWF-Malaysia has been conducting sea turtles and painted terrapin conservation work in Setiu since 1995. Among the activities carried out are scientific research, beach monitoring, egg protection and incubation, construction of a hatchery as well as awareness campaigns held together with the locals.
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WWF-Malaysia (World Wide Fund for Nature-Malaysia), the national conservation trust, currently runs more than 90 projects covering a diverse range of environmental protection work. Since 1972, WWF-Malaysia has worked on important conservation projects, from saving endangered species such as tigers and turtles, to protecting our highland forests, rivers and seas. We also undertake environmental education and advocacy work to achieve conservation goals. By conserving our natural resources, WWF-Malaysia is helping to protect our livelihoods, food and water supply, thus securing our good quality of life and our children’s bright future. We thank our supporters and members of the Media, whose contributions and support enable our conservation work. If you would like to donate to WWF-Malaysia or learn more about our projects, please call: +603-78033772 or visit: wwf.org.my or www.facebook.com/wwfmy
WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature by:
• Conserving the world’s biological diversity
• Ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable
• Promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful production
For further information on WWF-Malaysia, please contact:
Yeoh Lin Lin, Head of Communications, WWF-Malaysia
Tel: +603-78033772 ext 6400, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For queries on the event and the Peninsular Malaysia Seas Programme:
Nadiah Rosli, Peninsular Malaysia Seas Communications Officer,
Tel: +603-78033772 ext 6433, E-mail: email@example.com