Building Marine Conservation Leaders in Semporna Islands in the district of

SEMPORNA: Semporna is regarded by most as the world class marine paradise.

It offers the experience of a lifetime to divers, snorkelers, or to those who simply paddling a kayak over the wonders down below. This, all thanks to the diversity of life under the water – the coral reef ecosystem.

Unfortunately for many of the islands, threats such as unsustainable fishing practice has reduced the number of available coral reef.

Moreover, unsustainable tourism also contributed to the expansion of development as well as overcrowding the sensitive areas of coral reef which in turns has degraded the quality of the coral reef habitat.

Addressing these, Reef Check Malaysia, a non-governmental organisation, supported by CIMB Foundation, has conducted a series of trainings that focuses on coral reef restoration and preservation around Semporna waters.

The series of trainings began with certifying islanders from Larapan and Mabul with diving certification – open water and advanced open water. 

Thirty local islanders, 15 from Larapan Island and 15 from Mabul Island have successfully undergone the 3 days training course for open water and 2 days training course for advanced open water. 

This diving certification was the first step to enable the youth to participate to a long-term mission for coral reef protection. Throughout the year 2023, they will be trained to monitor coral reef health by becoming part of EcoDiver.

Additionally, they will be able to restore coral reef and to reduce impacts from boat anchor – a prominent cause of coral reef damage – and many more.

The main objective of the whole trainings was not only to equip youth with skills relevant to coral reef conservation but also to produce leaders from the community who can spearhead to the protection of coral reefs and the neighboring habitats and lives within.

Also, these future leaders will lead to a more sustainable lifestyle in their home island. Ultimately, these group of youth from the age of 16 years old to early 30s can soon represent their community as decision makers who know what is best for the future generation of the island.


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