1MBEON - 1Malaysia Biodiversity Enforcement Operation Network

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Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA)

The International Marine Organization (IMO) defines a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) as an area of significance (for ecological, socio-economic or scientific reasons) that needs special protection because it may be vulnerable to damage by international maritime activities. Examples of existing PSSAs include the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait in Australia, the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary in the United States, and the Paracas National Reserve in Peru.

The coastline from Pulau Kukup to Tanjung Piai (PK-TP) has been nominated as a PSSA. This area has experienced significant coastal erosion due to the large number of commercial ships passing through the Straits of Malacca. The PK-TP area lies at one of the narrowest points of the straits and is essentially the entry point to the Port of Tanjung Pelepas and Singapore. The large ships that pass through the narrow straits generate strong waves that erode the coastline. There is also the risk of illegal discharge of garbage, oil and sewage from ships that anchor nearby while waiting to enter the ports.

The PK-TP nomination was mooted by several Malaysian government agencies, including the Marine Department Malaysia, Marine Institute of Malaysia (MIMA) and Johor National Parks Corporation. The proposal was first presented at the 68th Session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) in March 2015. Discussions continued at the MEPC 71st Session in 2017, with a view to final approval by 2018. These efforts continue with the involvement of other agencies including the Economic Planning Unit (EPU), National Hydrographic Research Institute of Malaysia, Fisheries Development Authority Malaysia (LKIM), as well as the Port of Tanjung Pelepas.

 

 

MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT (MOA) BETWEEN JOHOR NATIONAL PARKS CORPORATION (JNPC) & UNIVERSITI TUN HUSSEIN ONN MALAYSIA (UTHM)

The aim of the MOA, which was signed in 2012, is to enhance scientific research and public awareness programs, with emphasis on biodiversity, the environment, natural resources, ecotourism, social, education, geology, archeology and sustainable development and management in Johor National Parks, in particular at Endau Rompin Johor National Park.

The scope of this collaboration include:

  1. Development of the UTHM-JNPC Field Research Center
  2. Research & publications
  3. Training & expeditions
  4. Construction of a mini weather station
  5. Conservation efforts
  6. Social science and community research
  7. Nature education programmes
  8. Development of a hybrid micro-hydro system

As such, the park is now the principal site for practical training and field research for UTHM’s Bachelor of Science (Biodiversity and Conservation) programme. The undergraduate programme, which is run by UTHM’s Faculty of Applied Sciences and Technology, is aimed at developing expertise in conservation biology for the State of Johor in particular and Malaysia in general.

UTHM utilises the NERC as its field research station and laboratory. Final year undergraduate students as well as postgraduates (Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy) undertaking research projects in the park are based at the NERC for periods of time.

RESEARCH COLLABORATION AGREEMENT BETWEEN JOHOR NATIONAL PARKS CORPORATION (JNPC) & FOREST RESEARCH INSTITUTE MALAYSIA (FRIM)

Following this agreement, the FRIM Mangrove Forest Research Station has been set up at Pulau Kukup Johor National Park. The aim is facilitate international-standard research and development on mangroves at Pulau Kukup.

The contents of this agreement include:

  1. Installation of a field research office at Pulau Kukup
  2. Establishment of permanent research plots at Pulau Kukup
  3. In-situ and ex-situ conservation of mangroves at Pulau Kukup
  4. Initiation of a scientific expedition to Johor’s Ramsar Sites
  5. Installation of a mini weather station at Pulau Kukup
  6. Joint publication of scientific papers

Johor Wildlife Conservation Project (JWCP)

The Johor Wildlife Conservation Project (JWCP) is an initiative by the Government of Johor to protect wildlife in Johor, with a focus on Malayan tigers and Asian elephants in the Endau-Rompin landscape. This landscape consists of Endau Rompin Johor National Park and several Permanent Reserved Forests (PRFs) in east Johor. In 2010, the project site was expanded to include the Lingiu area as well as the contiguous forest in Pahang. This increased the project landscape to around 3,800 km2, making it more viable for tigers and elephants.

DYMM Sultan Ibrahim Ismail Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar is the patron of JWCP. The project was officially approved via a State Executive Council (EXCO) decision on 5th December 2007, with the official launch on 15th June 2009. The major partners of JWCP are the Johor National Parks Corporation (JNPC), Johor State Forestry Department (JSFD), Department of Wildlife and National Parks of Johor (DWNPJ), Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) Johor Contingent, Kulim (Malaysia) Berhad and Wildlife Conservation Society – Malaysia Program (WCS-Malaysia Program).

The project goals include increasing the number of tigers by 50 percent over a 10-year period. DYMM Sultan Ibrahim decreed a total ban on hunting in Johor, which helps this aim by protecting the tiger and its prey species. Camera trap surveys have been conducted to estimate the wildlife population and will continue to be used to measure the improvements. The main threats to wildlife in the area are deforestation and poaching. Anti-poaching patrols have been created through scientific and intelligence-driven methods, utilising Management Information System (MIST) as a recording and reporting tool. Anti-poaching patrols in neighbouring Pahang also serve to protect the northern borders of JWCP. Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC) mitigation is also part of the project, whereby innovative solutions are used to prevent elephants from raiding crops.