New fund to protect Malaysia’s mangrove forests launched at APCW 2023

Photo: (left to right) GMA Malaysia Co-Founder & Kitaran Tabah founding partner, Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah Sanusi; Associate Professor Dr Behara ‘Satyam’ Satyanarayana and Associate Professor Dr Iswandy Idris from Institute of Oceanography and Environment, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu. (Source: APCW 2023)

Johor Bahru – The Global Mangrove Alliance (GMA), in a step towards safeguarding Malaysia’s mangrove ecosystems, launched its Malaysia National Chapter and inaugurated the Mangrove Conservation Fund during the Asia-Pacific Climate Week (APCW) 2023, the APCW said in a statement.

The Mangrove Conservation Fund, the chapter’s inaugural initiative, will focus its initial efforts on financing mangrove conservation activities in Malaysia’s state of Johor. Collaborating with state and federal agencies, including the Johor Forestry Department, GMA will leverage the expertise of technical professionals from the Institute of Oceanography and Environment, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (INOS-UMT), and Universiti Putra Malaysia Consulting & Services (UPMCS) to identify and restore mangrove forests in need.

Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah Sanusi, the co-founder of GMA Malaysia National Chapter and Kitaran Tabah founding partner, said during the launch: “invaluable pioneering work in measuring carbon sequestration, recording mangrove biodiversity, and understanding the interconnected benefits for communities derived from protecting and preserving mangroves is happening now. These efforts will be able to go further with the establishment of GMA”.

Mangroves have gained increased recognition for their vital role in blue carbon ecosystems. Johor’s mangrove forests, covering approximately 20,000 hectares, hold a blue carbon value of US$900 per hectare. Blue carbon, stored in coastal ecosystems like mangroves, tidal marshes, and seagrass meadows, is crucial in mitigating climate change by absorbing and storing carbon dioxide.

The launch of the Mangrove Conservation Fund aims to expand small-acreage mangrove conservation by securing funding from corporations, investors, and financial institutions.

GMA, an international independent NGO dedicated to preserving, conserving, and rejuvenating mangroves worldwide, revealed that the Malaysia National Chapter comprises 20 founding members, including academicians, NGO activists, and global organisational members actively involved in Malaysia. The chapter’s objectives include fostering alliances with higher education institutions and engaging with like-minded government and corporate entities locally and internationally. (nsh)

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