WWF-Malaysia and Universiti Malaysia Terengganu Sign Memorandum of Understanding
10 January 2018, Setiu: WWF-Malaysia and Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at Auditorium Mahyuddin, UMT this morning to formally pledge their commitment to long-term collaboration and increased research pertaining to conservation of biodiversity and sustainable management in Malaysia. While there is already an ongoing partnership notably involving research, awareness and capacity building for the conservation of the Setiu Wetlands as well as marine turtles and ecosystems, the signing of the MoU will further strengthen the partnership and pave the way for greater collaboration and mutually beneficial opportunities.
“We hope that this MoU will serve as a positive enabler of strong ties between WWF-Malaysia and UMT for the long run. Priority sites with high conservation values such as the Setiu Wetlands holds a wealth of diversity within it, and therefore, research and science-based data can provide a strong base in contributing towards greater protection of this rich biodiversity,” stressed Dato’ Dr Dionysius Sharma, Executive Director and CEO of WWF-Malaysia.
Prof. Dato’ Dr Nor Aieni binti Haji Mokhtar, Vice-Chancellor of UMT also added that such initiatives play a crucial role in providing sound scientific data to support community efforts as well. “A collaboration such as this will add great value to existing outreach, awareness and education programmes involving both the local communities and civil societies alike.”
Also present to witness the ceremony today was the Deputy State Secretary (Development) who is also the Director of the State Economic Planning Unit of Terengganu, Tuan Haji Rosman bin Roslan.
After the signing ceremony, WWF-Malaysia also launched the proceedings from the Setiu Wetlands Scientific Expedition Seminar 2016. The proceedings form a compilation of the papers containing findings from the expedition that were presented during the Scientific Expedition Seminar held in October 2016. Also documented in the proceedings are the synthesis from discussions of the panel session on current issues and challenges faced by stakeholders working within the Setiu Wetlands landscape. The publication of the proceedings marks a significant milestone in the joint efforts between WWF-Malaysia and UMT in safeguarding the Setiu Wetlands’ unique biodiversity and numerous ecosystem services for the continued benefits to the community and to the state of Terengganu.
Specifically in the context of the Setiu Wetlands, it is hoped that the basis of both the MoU and the scientific expedition proceedings will provide weight in encouraging the gazettement of Setiu Wetlands as a state park besides helping towards a more integrated and sustainable management of the wetlands.
Apart from Setiu Wetlands, there is a great prospect to build on and further enhance the existing collaboration between UMT and WWF-Malaysia on marine and threatened species conservation including turtle conservation under the strategic partnership of the MoU. This would be critical especially for Terengganu being the state with the highest population of turtles in Peninsular Malaysia, with average landing and turtle nests between 2,000 to 2,500 per year (since 10 years ago). Through the MoU as well, other areas of cooperation such as conservation and protection of fisheries resources and marine ecosystem involving the application of marine spatial planning may be intensified.
Participants of the morning’s events also viewed a video featuring the collaboration effort by WWF-Malaysia and UMT, as well as a Setiu community exhibition.
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For more information, please contact:
Communications Manager (Freshwater), Peninsular Malaysia Terrestrial Conservation Programme
Tel: +603 7450 3773 ext 6406