Malaysia, as one of the twelve mega biodiversity country in the world, places a lot of emphasis on conservation and sustainable utilization of her rich natural heritage. One important area of biodiversity conservation is the establishment of marine protected areas. Marine protected areas in Malaysia consists of four different types of marine protected areas; marine park, fisheries prohibited area, wildlife reserve and turtle sanctuary.
Malaysia’s Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) cover only a small fraction of the country’s Maritime Waters at an estimated area of 1.4%. Therefore, efforts are carry out to promote the establishment of more MPAs in line with the country’s obligation to Aichi Biodiversity Target under the Convention on Biological Diversity whereby, by 2020, Parties to the Convention has 10% of its coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, and integrated into the wider landscapes and seascapes.
The different types of marine managed areas are due to the different objectives, namely biodiversity (which include fisheries), fisheries, turtle, and habitat management. All marine managed areas are governed by four management authorities under the federal or state government. There are five management authorities that manage the marine areas in Malaysia. The first two agencies are; Department of Fisheries under Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry (MoA) and Department of Marine Park Malaysia under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment are responsible for management of marine areas in Peninsular Malaysia. The other managing agencies are Sarawak Forestry Department, Sabah Parks and Sabah Wildlife Department who are responsible for the management of marine protected areas in the state of Sarawak and in the state of Sabah, respectively.
Last Updated: 29 March 2016