Healthy and functioning freshwater ecosystems are directly linked to water security and human wellbeing. A principal threat affecting the health of freshwater ecosystems is water pollution caused by land based sources / pollutants and human activities. Recognising this fact, WWF-Malaysia strives to promote and support improved management of freshwater ecosystems within key river basins in Sabah’s terrestrial landscape and to create awareness of the civil society and facilitate them in mobilising actions that support protection of freshwater ecosystems.
The project will be focusing on two modules which includes:
Module 1: Effective management of the Sg. Sugut river basin
At approximately 178km long, the Sugut is the largest river in northeast Sabah, flowing from its high altitude origins in the Kinabalu range through an extensive alluvial plain before arriving at the Sulu sea. Some of the key threats include changes in land use within its catchment area involving large scale conversion of natural forest, insufficient consideration and measures on ensuring compatibility of land use types and water pollution affecting the quality of the river
The project will look at addressing threats and impacts on the river ecosystem within the Sugut basin by engaging with stakeholders to implement collaborative mitigation measures.
Module 2: Civil society outreach on freshwater resource and ecosystem conservation
All of us have the responsibility to protect and conserve our rivers because our lives depend on the rivers. While the relevant policies and management measures by the authorities are in place, there is more to be done to effectively address the problems facing our rivers. The role and participation of civil society are vital in ensuring success of any initiatives for improving management of our rivers and the river basin. Module 2 strives to undertake civil society outreach in Sabah (targeted at strategic groups and locations) in order to raise their awareness, knowledge and capacity concerning river conservation that will motivate them to take actions that contribute to reducing impacts and supporting better management of our rivers and river basins.