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Joint Media Release - National Forum on Marine Resource Management Advances Marine Conservation in Malaysia

© WWF-Malaysia
4 June 2024, Putrajaya: The Department of Fisheries Malaysia (DoFM), in collaboration with WWF-Malaysia and the Malaysian Society of Marine Sciences (MSMS), hosted the National Forum on Community-Based Marine Resource Management, held in Putrajaya. This landmark event marked a significant step forward in advancing marine conservation efforts in Malaysia, aligned with global biodiversity targets set forth under the Kunming Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework 2030 (GBF2030) and the National Policy on Biological Diversity 2022-2030 (NPBD2030).
The forum underscored the pivotal role of community-based organisations (CBOs) in realising Malaysia's conservation objectives. More than five representatives from indigenous coastal communities and NGOs showcased potential sites for Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures (OECMs) across Malaysia, highlighting grassroots support that is essential for expanding Malaysia’s marine conserved areas

“We believe in protecting our coastal waters for the future. Recognising OECM is crucial, it helps conserve our marine environments for food security, safeguard our biodiversity,and give local communities a voice in conserving our areas”, said Kamaruddin bin Abdul Karim from Kampung Berungus Sabah.

Government agencies and NGOs delivered informative sessions on bolstering area-based conservation in coastal and marine ecosystems for sustainable fisheries management and biodiversity conservation. A presentation on the OECM framework by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability of Malaysia (NRES) followed. Subsequently, a panel discussion explored OECMs as potential catalysts for sustainable fisheries and marine conservation in Malaysia, pinpointing areas for improvement within the country's marine ecosystems.

“Building on this momentum, we are committed to working with various stakeholders in integrating and applying OECMs concept into our fisheries management. Through collaboration and knowledge exchange, DOF aims to strengthen national food security and mitigate challenges posed by climate change” - said Dato’ Adnan bin Hussain, Director General Department of Fisheries Malaysia.
A notable achievement in the forum was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between WWF-Malaysia and MSMS. This MoU solidifies these organisations’ commitment to jointly undertake the “Malaysia’s Important Marine and Coastal Areas (MyIMCA) 2.0” project. Encompassing marine biodiversity and conservation initiatives, the project includes mapping key biodiversity areas, policy advocacy for the establishment of protected areas, OECM, and enhancing park management. The signing of the MoU was witnessed by Tn Hj Wan Muhammad Aznan bin Abdullah, the Deputy Director General of the Department of Fisheries Malaysia.
"Since its inception in the year of 1975, MSMS has been committed to contributing to both national and international conservation commitments. We have partnered with WWF-Malaysia to develop MyIMCA to promote the conservation of Malaysian marine ecosystems, in keeping with our shared vision of a sustainable future." - said Affendi Yang Amri, President of MSMS
“This collaborative effort highlights the power of collective action in marine conservation. WWF-Malaysia reaffirms our commitment to supporting Malaysia in conserving 30% of seas and coasts by 2030,” affirmed Sophia Lim, Executive Director/CEO of WWF-Malaysia.
Key stakeholders from government agencies, NGOs, and CBOs expressed optimism about achieving ambitious global marine conservation targets. Informed by insights from the forum, they are poised to advance Malaysia's NPBD2030 targets and contribute to the objectives of the GBF2030.
- Ends -
© Department of Fisheries Malaysia

About the Department of Fisheries Malaysia
The Department of Fisheries Malaysia has a rich history that dates back to the British colonial era. Established in 1894 as the Colonial Fisheries Unit, it initially operated under the Lower Secretary’s Office for Southern States. Over the years, it evolved through significant phases, including post-World War II reconstruction and Malaysia’s independence. Further developments were driven by the New Economic Policy (NEP), leading to the modern, efficient institution it is today.
The Department's primary roles are to manage Malaysia’s fishery resources efficiently and sustainably. This management is based on robust technical and scientific knowledge coupled with professional governance. As a key player in one of Malaysia’s major economic sectors, the Department of Fisheries is tasked with promoting private sector participation, attracting investors, and fostering international cooperation
Key responsibilities of the Department include increasing the national food supply, boosting income for targeted groups, and enhancing the country’s export capabilities. The Department is also dedicated to strengthening the implementation of the National Agrofood Policy, ensuring a sufficient local fish supply, expanding export markets for fish products, and conserving, managing, and utilizing resources sustainably.
Further information please visit DOF Official website: www.dof.gov.my

About WWF-Malaysia
Established in 1972, WWF-Malaysia is part of WWF, the international conservation organisation. Working to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and wildlife, WWF-Malaysia’s efforts to conserve nature focus on six major goals - forests, oceans, wildlife, food, climate and energy, as well as freshwater – and three key drivers of environmental problems – markets, finance and governance. Our mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.

Find our latest news here: https://www.wwf.org.my/media_and_information/media_centre_and_updates/

About Malaysian Society of Marine Sciences
The Malaysian Society of Marine Sciences (MSMS) was established in 1975 to promote and advance the knowledge of all aspects of the marine sciences, with particular reference to Malaysia and the neighbouring region. We do this mainly by developing a network of members across Malaysia whose expertise in marine science enables us to anticipate and propose strategic actions to protect the marine environment. Additionally, we organise education and public awareness programs on the marine environment and promote capacity building through training.

Find out more about us here : https://www.facebook.com/groups/MSMS1975

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