Save our Coral Reefs | WWF Malaysia

Save our Coral Reefs

Posted on 28 February 2008

Creating awareness about the importance of coral reefs and threats to their sustainability, and motivating people to help protect them is the fundamental purpose of International Year of the Reef 2008. In Malaysia, individuals, the government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are creating partnerships with the very intention to save our reefs.

Malaysia has extraordinary coral reefs. The reef cover in Malaysia is approximately 3,600km² (75% of which is situated off the coast of Sabah); roughly five times the size of Singapore. Coral reefs serve to provide livelihoods through fisheries and tourism, and protect coastlines from erosion, among others. Home to hundreds of species of reef-building corals and countless other species, Malaysia’s reefs are an incomparable kaleidoscope of marine biodiversity.

Malaysia’s reefs are under the same pressures faced by reefs globally. These pressures are caused by human activities such as unsustainable fishing practices and unplanned coastal development, the lack of adequate waste management systems, habitat destruction and climate change. This is reflected by the fact that for the first time, corals have ended up on the World Conservation Union’s (IUCN’s) Red List of Threatened Species – a list, as its name suggests, identifies species requiring immediate safeguard measures.

In realisation of this, WWF-Malaysia, as well as like-minded NGOs and governmental bodies, are pooling resources to save our coral reefs. Through trans-border collaborations under the Coral Triangle Initiative (covering the six nations of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste), and implementation of the Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion Action Plans - spearheaded by the governments of three nations (Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines) - these efforts are aimed at protecting our endangered ecosystem.

In line with International Year of the Reef 2008, Dr. Dionysius S.K. Sharma, CEO of WWF-Malaysia, urges everyone to learn more about our rich marine heritage. Individual behaviour and actions, whether at sea or on land, have an impact on the marine environment. Visit a marine park, conserve water, dispose of your trash properly, practice responsible diving and snorkelling, support reef-friendly businesses (or, if you are in the business, exercise positive codes of practice) and get involved in cleanup activities. All these, and much more, are ways in which we can all contribute towards ensuring the survival of our reefs.

OUR Reefs, OUR Heritage, OUR Responsibility

For further information, please contact:
Ms Marina Aman Sham, Communications Officer
Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion Programme, WWF-Malaysia
Tel: +6088 262 420 ext 27 / Fax: +6088 242 531 / Mobile: 012 833 1976 / E-mail: