Maliangin Sanctuary – A Model Site for Co-Managed Marine Protected Area | WWF Malaysia

Maliangin Sanctuary – A Model Site for Co-Managed Marine Protected Area

Posted on 22 May 2007
Kota Kinabalu, 22 May 2007
Maliangin is a small island about 1.5 square kilometres south of Banggi Island, which is 26 nautical miles northeast of Kudat. Maliangin has been selected as a model site for demonstrating how the proposed Tun Mustapha Park will operate.  

Tentatively named Maliangin Sanctuary, the model island has a good representation of marine and coastal habitats such as coral reefs, seagrass, rocky shores and sandy beaches that are turtle nesting sites. Maliangin Island is also a significant fishing ground for small-scale and commercial fisheries. Compared to other sites in Banggi, Maliangin still has more fish. However, Maliangin is not spared from threats such as fish bombing, cyanide fishing and other forms of destructive fishing practices.  
Recently, during the third Maliangin stakeholder consultation co-organised by Maliangin community leaders and WWF-Malaysia with the support of Sabah Parks, landowners and villagers residing on the island came together to express their agreement and support for the proposed Maliangin Sanctuary. Banggi Leader for People’s Development (PKR), Mr. Abdan bin Abdul Majid says, “The Sanctuary will show people that Marine Protected Areas would benefit not just fisherfolk living within its boundaries but also people in nearby villagers. Its establishment will increase understanding of how the proposed Tun Mustapha Park will work.”

The Sanctuary could replenish fishery stocks such as fish, shrimps, sea cucumber, abalone and giant clams. Sabah Parks, the future management authority for the Park, also fully endorses the establishment of the Sanctuary. Sabah Parks Assistant Director, Mr. Paul Basintal says, “Maliangin Sanctuary will also demonstrate how we can collaboratively manage coral reefs with the community. Lessons learned will be shared throughout the proposed Tun Mustapha Park.”  Overall, when the Park is properly managed and enforced, like the Sanctuary, it will sustain or even increase biodiversity as well as improve the livelihood of local communities.

Background on Maliangin Sanctuary
The Strategising Workshop for Demonstrating Benefits of Co-Managed Marine Protected Area in Tun Mustapha Park was held on 10 and 11 July 2006. The workshop was organised by WWF-Malaysia and participated by Sabah Parks, with inputs from Sabah Department of Fishery. Maliangin Sanctuary would be a joint effort between Sabah Parks, Department of Fishery, WWF-Malaysia, and the local communities. It is a model site for demonstrating how a completely protected area could provide direct benefits to local communities and fishery resources. The objectives of this Sanctuary are to:  
  • Demonstrate how fish reserve could help increase stock of fish, squid, crab and other fishery resources  
  • Demonstrate how co-management could be implemented
  • Increase or sustain the biodiversity of the site
  • Demonstrate socio-economic improvement of the local community
Through a series of facilitated discussions, the strategy as well as short-, intermediate- and long-term goals were determined. The mechanism of implementing the Sanctuary was also discussed. Three legislations were examined: Sabah Parks Enactment 1984, Fishery Act 1985 and Native Courts Enactment 1992. Co-management would be implemented and tested at the Sanctuary. Research gaps were also identified; however, it was agreed that synthesis of existing information should be a priority.

For further information:
Angela Lim, Senior Communications Officer, Borneo Programme (East Malaysia),
WWF-Malaysia (Sabah Office)
Tel: +6088 262 420 ext: 18 Email: