October 26, 2023

Reef Check Malaysia Celebrates 16 Years with an Eventful Summer

Villagers of Kampung Genting and Kampung Paya, Tioman Island, celebrating the decision

Submitted by Reef Check Malaysia

Reef Check Malaysia (RCM) has had a very eventful past couple of months. In July & August, they successfully campaigned against the construction of a new airport on Tioman Island that would have destroyed the biodiversity of the island, caused air, noise and water pollution and disrupted the community’s livelihood. After a long campaign and with the support of various people and organizations and solidarity from the Reef Check Foundation itself, the Minister of Natural Resources and Climate Change of Malaysia decided against the new airport. It is indeed a big win for the environment and the community.

Our team in Semporna, Sabah, is training youths in Larapan, Mabul and Kulapuan to conduct coral rehabilitation activities in Kulapuan Island under the IKI Coral Restoration project, a project by RCM to empower the local community in marine conservation activities. These youths will be certified as divers, trained as EcoDivers and will receive training on how to do coral rehabilitation work. Youths are the future, and getting them involved when they are young is our best preparation for the future.

Our team in Mersing Islands, Johor, has organized and conducted EcoDiver training for the local community. This training activity is one of our ongoing efforts to encourage islanders and local communities to participate in the conservation efforts in the Mersing Islands.

EcoDiver training with youths from Larapan, Sabah
EcoDiver training with youths from Kulapuan, Sabah

In September, we coordinated a nationwide International Coastal Cleanup (ICC). Over 10,000 volunteers managed to remove over 26,000 kg of trash from the coastlines of Malaysia. This initiative is important not only to keep this trash away from the ocean, but also to strengthen awareness of the harm of marine pollution. We are thankful for everyone’s support and the sponsors of this year’s ICC, TechnipFMC and Zoom, for their generous donations that helped make this year’s ICC a success.

The coral rehabilitation work is still ongoing at all of our bases and coral monitoring in Tioman Island has shown that the coral fragments are growing well.

Finally, Reef Check Malaysia turned 16 on August 3! The past 16 years have been an adventure as we maneuver the ups and downs of protecting and saving coral reefs in Malaysia. We are thankful for the support of our funders, supporters and volunteers who have helped us and kept us going. We have expanded to having bases on Tioman Island, Mersing Islands, Mantanani Island, Semporna Island and Kota Kinabalu in Sabah and Redang Island. We are also now 22 staff strong.

Visit https://reefdpd.wpengine.com.my/ to find out how you can get involved.