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Management: Behind marine ecotourism success stories With a specific focus on marine parks in Malaysia Cheryl Rita Kaur Centre for Coastal and Marine.

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Presentation on theme: "Management: Behind marine ecotourism success stories With a specific focus on marine parks in Malaysia Cheryl Rita Kaur Centre for Coastal and Marine."— Presentation transcript:

1 Management: Behind marine ecotourism success stories With a specific focus on marine parks in Malaysia Cheryl Rita Kaur Centre for Coastal and Marine Environment 5th World Ecotourism Conference "Marine and Coastal Ecotourism: Oceans of Uncertainties, Waves of Opportunities“ Session on Marine Protected Areas for Ecotourism Cebu, Philippines, February 2014

2 Background MIMA is a policy research institute set up by the Malaysian Government to look into matters relating to Malaysia's interest at sea, and to serve as a national focal point for research in the maritime sector. The Institute complements efforts of the various government agencies involved in the maritime sector by mobilising expertise to assist and support them in national maritime policy planning/ implementation. Presentation entails an introduction to the establishment of marine parks in Malaysia and their role in promoting ecotourism, challenges faced, and immediate priorities and actions to improve management.

3 Understanding marine ecotourism
The term might mean differently to different people. At the heart of almost all definitions of marine ecotourism however, is the aim of appreciation and enjoyment of the natural marine environment along cultural features, and local communities empowerment. Simply put, ecotourism is tourism that is based on enabling people to experience the natural environment in a manner that is consistent with the principles of sustainable development.


5 Significance Tourism contributes significantly to the economy and foreign exchange earnings: 25 million tourists arrival in 2012, with total revenue of RM60 billion (average ~ 500,000 tourists annually to marine parks in Malaysia). An estimate of 4,006 km2 coral reef areas recorded in the Malaysian waters Tourism value for the Redang Island Marine Park, 2003 RM 10.1 million annually Potential economic value of well managed reefs (Status of Coral Reefs in Southeast Asia, 2008) RM 12.7 billion (Malaysia = RM635 million annually) Total Ecotourism Value for the Payar Island Marine Park, 2011 RM 174 million annually Source: Adapted from the Department of Marine Park Malaysia

6 Marine parks in Malaysia
Broad definitions: Marine protected area, marine park, marine reserve, etc. Defined as protected areas of the sea zoned two nautical miles from the shore at lowest low tide. Largely no take areas. Initially established for fisheries protection and management; with the understanding that the spatial closure would act as a refuge for fish communities, enhancing their densities and diversity – Spillover effect. Maintains also the aesthetic qualities of reefs for tourism. Supports tourism activities.

7 Long development history…
Year Steps / Actions 1983 Realising marine fisheries resources was decreasing and recognising the importance of coral reefs areas as critical habitat zone, the Fisheries (Prohibited Area) Regulations was enacted under the Fisheries Act 1963. Redang Island declared as a Fisheries Prohibited Area. 1985 Waters stretching 3 km from shore, surroundings 22 islands in Kedah, Terengganu, Pahang, and Johor declared as Fisheries Prohibited Area. Act revised. 1989 Marine Parks Malaysia Order 1989 established, resulting in the gazettement of Payar Island as a marine park. 1994 38 Islands in Kedah, Terengganu, Pahang, Johor, and Labuan declared as marine parks under the Fisheries Act 1985. Marine Parks Malaysia Order revised. 1998 Nyireh and Tenggol gazetted as marine park islands in Terengganu under the Marine Park Order 1994 (Amendment 1998), making a total of 40 marine park islands in Malaysia.

8 2004 Marine Park Section shifted from the Fisheries Department to a new management under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) to complement the overall vision of the Ministry. 2006 The memorandum on the formation of a Department responsible to manage and administer marine parks approved. 2007 Marine Park Section officially became Department of Marine Park Malaysia on 16 July. Yu Besar and Yu Kecil islands gazetted as marine park islands in Terengganu, making a total of 42 islands. Latest dev. Establishing closer collaborations with local communities and NGOs (bottom-up approach) e.g., alternative livelihood programmes, awareness programmes, research and monitoring activities. Formulation of specific policies and plans/ strategies for improved management of marine parks. Marine park fee amendment proposed. Identifying and establishing more protected areas. Updating relevant policies.

9 Marine parks in Malaysia
Source: Department of Marine Park Malaysia

10 Presently slightly more than 1% of marine protected areas.
Marine Parks Number of islands Area (ha) Kedah Terengganu Pahang Johor Labuan FT 4 13 9 3 18,813 58,669 67,661 76,565 15,815 Total 42 235,723 Sabah Parks Tunku Abdul Rahman Park Turtle Island Park Pulau Tiga Park Tun Sakaran Park Sipadan Island Park Tun Mustapha Park (proposed) 5 8 1 50 49,290 1,740 15,864 35,000 16,860 1,092,420 70 1,211,174 Sarawak Parks Talang-Satang National Park 19,414 GRAND TOTAL 115 1,465,861 Presently slightly more than 1% of marine protected areas.


12 Institutional framework
Department of Marine Park Malaysia MINISTRY OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment National Advisory Council for Marine Park and Marine Reserves Marine Park and Marine Reserves Trust Fund Community Consultative Committee Sabah Parks / Sarawak Forestry Corporation Policies and Legislations in place

13 Assessment of management effectiveness
“The degree to which management actions achieve stated goals and objectives of a protected area”. Components/ Indicators: Governance Biophysical Socio-economic Source: Pomeroy et al., 2004

14 Application of the Management Effectiveness Assessment Tool (MEAT)
Introduced under Goal 3 of the CTI programme, and is based on the Philippines experience on MPAs. Application of thresholds, scores, and management focus.

15 MPA management activities divided into key categories which help in improving effectiveness, and includes: Management plan Management body Legal instrument Community participation Financing Information, education and communication Enforcement Monitoring Site development

16 Source: Results presented by Garces (2013)

17 National/ Local efforts
Surveillance and enforcement (33% reduction in non-compliance in 2011) Habitat enhancement Education, awareness and capacity building Alternative livelihood programmes Interaction Forum with local fishermen in Tanjung Leman, Johor National Marine Education Camp Source: Department of Marine Park Malaysia

18 Challenges The Reefs at Risk report found 85% of Malaysian reefs to be under medium to high level of threats from mostly human activities. Some of the major threats faced in the management of the marine parks in Malaysia are: Mass tourism (green washing) Coastal development Marine and land-based pollution Over exploitation and destructive fishing practices Climate change


20 Application of the LAC framework for tourism management

21 Tioman Island Marine Park
Popular tourists destination due to its pristine natural environment. Its popularity brought about conventional development i.e., hotels and resorts, golf course, water sports facilities, airstrip, and marina development. The prevalence of tourists, tourism development and tourism activities have resulted in amounting pressure to the marine environment.

22 Tourists’ areas with development
Tourists’ areas without development Outer islands without development but used by tourists



25 Level of use based on the LAC framework
Recreation zone with limited use level ?

26 Recreation zone with greater use level ?

27 Pointers Combining scientific investigation with the social information towards sustainable tourism management – ecotourism activities. Resource condition play a significant role in influencing visitors’ experience.

28 Some options for management
Imposing seasonal or temporal limits on use. Regulating group size to allow for more control and maximize enjoyment. Zoning, e.g. closing area to visitors or reducing visits to ecologically important areas. Increasing entrance fees (support conservation activities) Introducing high-end tourism (quality vs. quantity) Educating visitors and increasing guide training

29 Conclusion Sound policy making requires sound science.
Collaborative research is important as the information needed has to come from many disciplines, not just marine biology or ecology: Serve as important tools in convincing policy-makers as to the need for more judicious development of marine park islands, and Support day-to-day running of marine parks and contribute towards the development of management plans, zonation through application of suitable tools for marine parks management such as the limits of acceptable change. Community participation/ engagement is crucial.

30 Thank you Salamat ___________________________

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