The Global Mangrove Alliance (GMA) today launched its Malaysia National Chapter and announced the establishment of a Mangrove Conservation Fund for Malaysia as its first initiative during the Asia-Pacific Climate Week (APCW) 2023.
Organised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and hosted the government in Johor, APCW 2023 was held from Nov 13 and ended today.
GMA is an international independent NGO dedicated to the preservation, conservation and rejuvenation of mangroves worldwide.
In a statement today (Nov 17), it said GMA’s new chapter has 20 founding members composed of academicians, NGO activists as well as worldwide organisational members active in Malaysia.
It aims to continue building alliances, particularly with institutions of higher learning in the country, besides building bridges with like-minded government and corporate entities locally and abroad.
GMA will collaborate with state and federal agencies to identify mangrove forests in need of restoration.
This include Johor Forestry Department, and draw upon the expertise of technical experts from Institute of Oceanography and Environment, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (INOS-UMT) and Universiti Putra Malaysia Consulting and Services (UPMCS).
GMA Malaysia National Chapter co-founder and Kitaran Tabah founding partner Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah Sanusi highlighted mangrove conservation work carried out by INOSUMT, represented by Associate Professor Dr Behara ‘Satyam’ Satyanarayana and Associate
Professor Dr Iswandy Idris.
Speaking at the launch, Akhramsyah said pioneering work including measuring the carbon sequestration, recording the diversity of mangrove life and the interconnected benefits for communities to protect and preserve mangroves has been ongoing.
“These efforts will be able to go further with the establishment of Malaysian chapter of GMA,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Mangrove Conservation Fund will kick start its mission by financing mangrove conservation activities in Johor.
“The fund is expected to raise the awareness on the importance, challenges, and future hope for mangrove conservation in Malaysia,” he added.
Mangroves have gained increasing recognition in recent years due to their crucial role in blue carbon ecosystems. The size of Johor’s mangrove forests spans about 20,000 hectares, and the value of blue carbon is US$900 per hectare.
Blue carbon is carbon stored in coastal ecosystems like mangroves, tidal marshes, and seagrass meadows that plays a crucial role in
combating climate change by absorbing and storing carbon dioxide.