What impact have you had on your clients and the tourism sector?
The conservation works that Reef Guardian implemented since 2004 show a few measurable outcomes to our partners and tourists:
1.The annual sea turtle nesting improved nearly 200% from 2004 to 2009. It show great afford of protecting the sea turtle by increase nesting attempt (reduce human disturbance). As tourists are contributing conservation fee for the monitoring work, they felt engaged and privilege to the achievement.
2.Dive tourists feel safer with the protection that provided. The intensive sea patrol that carried out since 2005 reduced dynamite fishing within and outside conservation area. For example, in 2005 dive tourist could record average of 4 explosives while diving, but in 2007 zero explosion was heard.
3.The recovery of coral reef habitat and fish population enhancing tourism business.
Partnership: To strengthen enforcement work, we partnered with federal and state government enforcement agencies such as Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency, Marine Police, Special Field Force to carry out regular sea patrol to reduce illegal fishing.
5 years conservation plan: We drafted 5 years conservation plan from 2010-2014 that stated conservation works that need to be implemented to achieve aim and objectives. It is a business plan that aim to leverage fund from partners.
Education: we produce newsletter, posters, flyers, provide briefing or presentation to tourists, students, government enforcement agencies to raise conservation awareness.
Leadership and capacity building: We provide training to staff to improve monitoring and enforcement work. Improve leadership skill.
1. Annual sea turtle nesting increased nearly 200% since 2004.
2. The illegal fishing within SIMCA reduced to almost zero fishing activities in daytime.
3. The number of tourist visited increased. Thus it generating more income for Reef Guardian
4.Getting partnership with international organizations and received funds worth US$120,000 to strengthen sea turtle monitoring work and enhance enforcement capacity.
What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.
For this project to be success in the next three year, we need to make sure we have a self-sustain financing mechanism plus a strong leadership to achieve aims and objectives.
Year 1: The cost of enforcement, however, is high, Reef Guardian aims to formalize its collaboration with the Sabah Wildlife Department, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and Marine Police through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to share the costs of enforcement. In year 1 we will need to strengthen the management capacity of Reef Guardian to improve the effectiveness of management such as a fundraiser to manage the fund raising activities.
Year 2: Conduct baseline survey of conservation awareness of environmental managers. This activity aims to increase the conservation awareness of environmental managers about land-based pollution that may threaten marine ecosystems and species. The immediate survey is to gather baseline information on the level of knowledge managers have about the impact land-based activities have on marine ecosystems. Results from this survey will serve as a benchmark for the education needs of stakeholders, and will be used to publish environmental education materials.
Year 3: We will concentrate on finding new avenues for sourcing funds from stakeholders, including the public, visitors to SIMCA, and NGOs. Fund-raising initiatives will include: review conservation fee (currently conservation fee is US$6.5/day per visitor); implement “Adopt-A –nest” program; implement “Adopt-A-Reef” program; and Sale of Reef Guradian merchandise. Furthermore in year 3, Reef Guardian will disseminate its conservation message through communication materials such as billboards and posters to inform stakeholders and the public about threats to marine species and habitats. Some education topics include threats to coral reef habitats from dynamite fishing, and threats to sea turtle populations from illegal harvesting of turtle eggs. The conservation awareness information will be targeted at public consumers.
What would prevent your project from being a success?
Three important components that will prevent project to be successes:
1.Lack of Leadership: Leadership is important to inspire worker, tourist, stakeholders, partners about conservation worked needed. Leader is to raise public concern on why conservation of sea turtle or other marine life needed. Giving education to general public about what conservation and marine protected area is about. Without leadership in the organization, the aims , objectives and meeting the timelines for projects will be hard to achieve. Leader with passion and determination in doing conservation work, understand the needs for public, stakeholder, community will lead to the success of the project.
2.Inadequate funding: Adequate funding is needed to keep the project running. Economy downturn and reduce tourist visiting to SIMCA will reduce overall Reef Guardian income.
3.Climate change that alter normal rain fall and increase river ran-off event that will impact to the shallow coral reef and it significant will affecting tourism activities thus revenue to run conservation works.