Sustained Partnership for Mangrove Restoration in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: The 20th Project Steering Committee (PSC) Meeting between the Sabah Forestry Department (SFD) and the International Society for Mangrove Ecosystems (ISME) took place here today, marking another milestone in their collaboration on mangrove rehabilitation in Sabah.


Chaired by the Chief Conservator of Forests, Datuk Frederick Kugan, the meeting was attended by a delegation from ISME, led by its Executive Director, Prof. Shigeyuki Baba, who is based in Okinawa, Japan.

These PSC meetings are held biannually to monitor and provide updates on the progress of the project. The SFD has been actively managing the mangrove forests in line with conservation and sustainable use principles.

ISME, a renowned non-profit and non-governmental scientific society, specialises in mangrove rehabilitation and promotes research and training on mangrove ecosystems.

The collaboration between SFD and ISME began in November 2010, when they signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Mangrove Rehabilitation Phase I (2011–2014). This partnership continued into Phase II (2014–2019) and is currently in Phase III (2019–2024).

Under the guidance of Dr. Joseph Tangah and his mangrove team at SFD, more than 490 hectares of degraded mangroves have been successfully rehabilitated with the assistance of ISME. The project has received funding from Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. Ltd.

The collaboration has proven beneficial for both parties, resulting in international and national recognition, improved mangrove management and conservation, and the identification of suitable strategies for mangrove rehabilitation. As the project enters Phase IV, the partnership between SFD and ISME will continue to thrive.

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