KOTA KINABALU: A turtle conservation group has secured a year-long sponsorship to construct new turtle hatchery and for community beach cleaning at the Libaran island.
Friends Of Sea Turtles Education and Research (FOSTER) president Alexander Yee was referring to funds from a USA based company AquaGoat Finance.
“FOSTER has been operating a sea turtle protection program on the island for the past nine years through a Memorandum Of Understanding signed with Sabah Wildlife Department on 27th August 2018.
“What sets this sponsorship apart is that the amount of RM10, 000.00 (RM4, 000 for the turtle hatchery and RM6, 000 for the adoption of cleaning of 500m of beach for a year) will be paid using AquaGoat tokens, a next generation ecological DeFi (decentralized finance) token,” he said in a statement.
AquaGoat token is a yield-generating social crypto currency which recognises the harmful effects of manmade processes on the oceans and aims to reduce, mitigate and reverse these effects.
The team of AquaGoat Finance therefore sets aside a portion of every transaction fees to an AquaGoat “Ocean Blue Fund” which the team uses to fund ocean cleaning and marine conservation initiatives.
“I have self-funded the sea turtle conservation work on Libaran Island for over 6 years before the receipts from tourism activities made the work self-sustainable.
“However, the Covid pandemic which resulted in the closure of international boarders of Malaysia has resulted in zero visitor-ship to island since February 2010.
“I was not prepared to stop the work on Libaran Island so I started to source for funds from abroad,” Yee said.
As Malaysia extends its Movement Control Order (MCO) by two more weeks, Yee has indicated that the construction of the sea turtle hatchery on Libaran can only start in July.
He will also be launching the 7th edition of the community beach cleaning on Libaran Island in July.