Kudat-Banggi Priority Conservation Area | WWF Malaysia

Kudat-Banggi Priority Conservation Area

Humphead wrasse are the largest bony coral reef fish and endangered because they are highly desired in live seafood restaurants.
© WWF-Malaysia/Zarinah Waheed

Kudat-Banggi Priority Conservation Area


The Kudat-Banggi Priority Conservation Areas (PCA) is one of the PCAs identified under the Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion (SSME) Programme in 2001 (Map 1). It is one of three PCAs identified within the Malaysian side of SSME. Kudat-Banggi PCA was recognized to be globally significant and outstanding in the Indo-Pacific region for its rich mix of coral reef, mangrove and seagrass habitats and the existence of rare and endangered species such as dugong, sea otter, Irrawady dolphins, migratory species such as humpback whales and sea turtles, as well as having the only known large fishing ground and source of the majority of prawn landings in Sabah (Conservation Plan for the Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion, 2003).

The Kudat-Banggi PCA further received recognition from the Government of Sabah when the Sabah State Cabinet approved the intention by the Sabah Parks Board to gazette the area as a park (Daily Express, 2003). Initially called the North Borneo Marine Managed Area, the area was subsequently renamed as the proposed Tun Mustapha Park, in recognition of the late Tun Mustapha, a local hero and one of the leaders from Sabah involved in the formation of the federation of Malaysia in 1963. 

The proposed Tun Mustapha Park is proposed to be a multiple use park (Category VI, IUCN ). The proposed Tun Mustapha Park is proposed to achieve three objectives (Jumin et al. 2008):
  • To conserve marine biodiversity in mangrove forests, coral reefs, and coastal waters,
  • Enable sustainable development of traditional and commercial fisheries, and aquaculture (cage-culture and seaweed culture), and
  • Alleviate poverty of coastal villagers in the area.
These objectives recognize the high biodiversity and rich resources of the area that should contribute to the well-being of communities dependent on these resources.