ADUN Calls For Marine Education Centre To Be Set Up in Semporna
Sabah State Assemblyman for Sulabayan, Dato’ Dr Haji Jaujan Sambakong, who made the call, said the marine education centre would be a teaching and resource centre for the local community as well as visiting researchers.
“It will be a resource bank where results of marine researches, studies, historical background and culture can be stored for use by the local community to learn and be educated. It will also be a research centre for marine scientists from Malaysia and overseas, as well as a tourist centre where visitors can learn more about the wealth of marine life in the region,” Dato’ Dr Haji Jaujan said.
The State Assemblyman was speaking at a berbuka puasa dinner here, which was hosted by WWF-Malaysia in appreciation of the support for the conservation work it was doing in the region.
Some 100 people attended the dinner. They comprised representatives from Semporna District Office, Sabah Parks, Sabah Wildlife Department, Sabah Fisheries Department, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Semporna District Education Office, Semporna District Mosque, Semporna District Library, Persatuan Wanita Pulau Omadal (WAPO), Green Semporna volunteers, Jawatankuasa Kemajuan dan Keselamatan Kampung (JKKK) and Head of Villages from island communities, and representatives from the tourism industry and schools.
WWF-Malaysia’s Conservation Director, Dr Sundari Ramakrishna, welcomed the proposal to set up a marine education centre in Semporna.
“This is a noble idea. WWF-Malaysia has been advocating community engagement and education for local communities and green tourism. The centre will go a long way in support of the marine conservation work that we are involved in here,” said Dr Sundari.
The dinner programme also included a presentation on WWF-Malaysia’s work in Semporna Priority Conservation Area by its Deputy Manager of Sulu Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion Programme, Monique Sumampouw, and an introductory talk on the work of Persatuan Wanita Pulau Omadal in marine conservation by its Head, Roziah bte Jalalip. Handicrafts made from Pandanus leaves found on Omadal island were also exhibited as alternatives for sustainable income for fishing communities in the region where poverty is a great threat to fight against.
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Alexa Antal, Communication Manager, WWF-Malaysia (Sabah Office)
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