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WWF Malaysia in Kudat-Banggi Priority Conservation Area

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25 – 30 June

N6 52.810 E116 50.728 – Kudat Harbour

N7 12.540 E117 18.716 – Pulau Banggi

The efficient WWF Malaysia machinery was immediately felt when I started getting a series of text messages regarding transport, hotel accommodations and our overall visit to Kudat from Betty of the WWF KK office. Then Sofia Johari, the CEPA or Community Education, Protection, and Awareness Officer of Kudat-Banggi PCA left me a message that she was going to coordinate our Kudat trip, and boy, did she. Upon our arrival, she gave us a professionally prepared PowerPoint presentation which in an hour gave us an idea of what the Kudat area was like and what WWF projects there were.

Picking up some information about Kudat PCA from the WWF Malaysia website, our new images somewhat weaves a photo montage of what this area is all about:

Kudat is a new park at the northernmost tip of Borneo.The Kudat-Banggi Priority Conservation Areafeatures the rich and productive waters off thenorthernmost tip of the island of Borneo.

An old black mangrove tree at sundown in Sepirak.An old black mangrove tree at sundown in Supirak Split level of a beautiful black mangrove with its submerged aerial roots in low tideSplit level of a beautiful black mangrove with its submerged aerial roots at low tide in Supirak Another type of mangrove in Pulau BanggiAnother type of mangrove in Pulau Banggi A pretty awesome rock outcrop with spectacular reefs near marine protected area of Pulau Maliangan BesarA pretty awesome rock outcrop with spectacular reefs near the marine protected area of Pulau Maliangin Besar. And it is a crocodile infested area too!

It was declared globally significant for its rich mix of habitats (coral reefs, seagrasses, mangroves,and open sea), endangered species such as dugong and sea turtles, and its fisheries. Kudat-Banggi forms the southern half of the Balabac Straits separating Borneo from Palawan, Philippines and joins the Sulu Sea to the South China Sea. The straits are an important passage for oceanic fish, whale sharks and sea turtles.

Live Reef Fish Trade growing farm in Tampakan Live Reef Fish Trade growing farm in Tampakan Onboard one of the many trawlers in Kudat BayOnboard one of the many trawlers in Kudat Bay Sofia Johari - WWF shutterbug at work onboard the back deck of a trawlerSofia Johari – WWF shutterbug at work onboard the back deck of a trawler Seaweed farming in Pulau Banggi with awesome weather happening on the islandSeaweed farming in Pulau Banggi with awesome weather happening on the island Sunset shot of a "bagang" FAD or fish attracting devise to catch anchovies at night using kerosine lampsSunset shot of a “bagang” FAD or fish attracting devise to catch anchovies at night using kerosine lamps

The Sabah State Government proposed the area for gazettement as the Tun Mustapha Park under the jurisdiction of Sabah Parks. When gazetted, it will be the largest marine protected area in Malaysia and one of the largest in Southeast Asia at over 1 million hectares. WWF-Malaysia is assisting the state government to create the Tun Mustapha Park as a multiple-use marine area.

Fascinating faces and cultures living in the Coral TriangleFascinating faces and cultures living in the Coral Triangle Intricate head veils or ta of the Suluk women of Pulau BanggiIntricate head veils or cador of the Suluk women of Sibogo A Suluk father caring for his newborn in Kampung Sibogo, Pulau BanggiA Suluk father caring for his newborn in Kampung Sibogo, Pulau Banggi

WWF-Malaysia concentrates on building support for the park amongst stakeholders. The estimated80,000 people of various ethnic origins living in and around the proposed park earn their livelihoods from the areas’ resources. WWF-Malaysia believes that these people must benefit from the park and vice versa. The park should enhance livelihoods and access to resources while stakeholders, inhabitants and visitors should cooperate with relevant agencies in park management.”

Heartbreaking sight of a decomposing turtle with a trawler in the background. This turtle is possibly a by-catch from one of these fishing vesselsHeartbreaking sight of a decomposing turtle with a trawler in the background. This turtle could possibly have been by-catch thrown away by one of these fishing vessels Sofia Johari and a WWF volunteer explain a new Trawler TED Turtle Exclusion Devise to volunteers of the Banggi Environmental Centre in Karakit  Sofia Johari and a WWF volunteer explain a new Trawler TED Turtle Exclusion Devise to volunteers of the Banggi Environmental Centre in Karakit WWF volunteer Hermand in his livelihood weaving project site Maliangin Besar WWF volunteer Hermand in his livelihood weaving project site Maliangin Besar Irwan Mustapa, WWF marine biologist uses a CoralWatch Color Health Chart to check the state of the reef around TigabuIrwan Mustapa, WWF marine biologist uses a CoralWatch Color Health Chart to check the state of the reef around Tigabu Robecca Jumin Project Leader of the WWF Kudat PCA brought us to a Chinese restaurant in KK with abundant live fish in tanks Robecca Jumin Team Leader of the WWF Kudat PCA brought us to a Chinese restaurant in KK with abundant live fish in tanks

As serendipity would have it we met new/old friends, WWF interns Peixuan and Nattelee or otherwise renamed Kudatus Gigglelatus or the Giggles. These girls laughed so much it was refreshing to feel young again plugging in to their youthful energies. The laughter level couldn’t get any higher with Alya around as well.

Peixuan, Sofia & Nattelee in KudatPeixuan, Sofia and Nattelee in Kudat Complete Expedition Team with new friends from WWF MalaysiaComplete Expedition Team with new friends from WWF Malaysia

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Comments


  • Peixuan a.k.a the Giggles

    dear Stella, Alya and Yogi,

    oh the Giggles are immortalized! thank you very much! i like the picture of both of us and our mama-san! hahaha…i kept looking at the pictures in Semporna and Kudat when i was in Sukau, i miss you guys so much!

    we’re going to Sepilok tomorrow to meet the Orang Utans! yeah! take care there and i’ll keep following this blog. *Hugs and kisses*

  • Sofia

    OMG! I can actually still feel the giggling even in this blog!

    Have a great journey Yogi, Stella and Alya!

    xoxo

  • Betty

    Dear Stella & Yogi,

    Wonderful photos & write-up!!
    I’m a fan too 🙂

  • azry

    Salam 1malaysia..
    sememangnya kehadiran WWF mewarnai pulau banggi yang sekian lama terpencil.
    harap segala perancangan yang di jalankan dapat memberi manfaat kepada semua pihak termasuk warga tempatan.

  • amirul

    banggi is great island.
    lebih-lebih lagi pulau tigabu

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