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Inception Workshop on Sabah Mangrove Action Plan

25 August 2022, Kota Kinabalu: An inception workshop for the Sabah Mangrove Action Plan was organised by the Sabah Forestry Department with support from WWF-Malaysia, on the 25th August 2022 at the Sabah International Convention Centre, Kota Kinabalu. The workshop was officiated by Sabah’s Chief Conservator of Forests, Datuk Frederick Kugan and attended by 51 participants from various sectors including government agencies, local district offices, private corporations, academicians, NGOs and local communities.

The workshop was to socialize the intention to develop a 10-year Sabah Mangrove Action Plan to its relevant stakeholders, as well as to serve as a platform to create an integrated management of Sabah’s mangrove among the various stakeholders and to strengthen the participation of local communities.

At present, the mangrove forest areas are generally located under two constitutional policies, namely, the protection of timber resources under the jurisdiction of the Sabah Forestry Department (SFD) and mangrove forest areas outside the forest reserve which are under the jurisdiction of the Land Ordinance 1930, by the Lands & Surveys Department. However, mangrove production from outside the Forest Reserve area is subjected to the Forest Enactment 1968 due to its status as one of the forest products under said Enactment.

Mangroves provide essential habitat for many species. They stabilize shorelines, prevent erosions and protect the land from waves and storms. This also directly benefits communities who live near mangroves. So, it is only prudent that we afford proper management and protection to our mangrove areas.

“A holistic approach to the protection and management of mangroves will ensure better management of these areas as a whole. This is why a Sabah Mangrove Action Plan is necessary and the first step to this action plan is the inception workshop that we will organize today,” said Datuk Frederick Kugan, in his opening remarks.

Through this and future workshops, stakeholders have the opportunity to engage in robust conversation to address issues on mangrove utilisation and management. This workshop will be followed by more consultation workshops and will culminate into an action plan for the consideration and approval of the State Cabinet. 

“The conservation of mangroves is important for both forests and seas. Mangroves provide an ideal breeding ground for many aquatic species. Mangrove forests also provide habitat for many species of insect and bird. They hold soil in place and act as a buffer zone that protects the land from wind and wave damages. For local communities, mangrove forests provide resources in terms of food, medicine and wood.

“Today’s workshop is a key milestone for us in moving toward the protection of the mangrove in Sabah,” said WWF-Malaysia’s Head of Conservation Sabah, Dr. Robecca Jumin.

Participants at the Sabah Mangrove Action Plan Workshop. Photo (c)Sheelasheena Damian/ WWF-Malaysia

Sabah Chief Conservator of Forest Datuk Frederick Kugan officiated the Sabah Mangrove Action Plan Workshop Photo (c) Sheelasheena Damian/ WWF-Malaysia

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