STUDY ON MARINE AND ECO RESOURCES IN MARUDU BAY NEARING COMPLETION - ONGKILI

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KOTA MARUDU, May 21 (Bernama) -- The integrated eco-resource management

study conducted on Marudu Bay by a team of university researchers has almost

been completed, said Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr

Maximus Ongkili.

Speaking when launching the Marudu Bay Carnival here today, he said the

research and development projects coordinated by the ministry’s National

Oceanography Directorate involved funding of RM1.2million.

"The study, involving Universiti Pertanian Malaysia, Universiti Sains

Malaysia and Universiti Malaysia Sabah, spells out sustainable development

programmes to preserve the marine and eco-resources in Marudu Bay, while

exploiting the resources to uplift the livelihood of the people there," he said.

Some of the findings of the studies, such as involving UPM''s study on

"Mangrove Ecosystem Study and Resource Management for Seafood and Sustainable

Ecotourism for Coastal Communities", had been documented, he added.

"As a result of the study, a workshop on eco-tourism management was

conducted for 32 participants from eight villages which have the potential to be

developed for eco-tourism.

-- MORE

ONGKILI-MARUDU BAY 2 (LAST) KOTA MARUDU

"The series of workshop exposed participants on the eco-diversity of Marudu

Bay, its potentials and on community-based eco-tourism. It garnered good

response from participants and we hope that it will result in them seriously

undertaking eco-tourism as a new business opportunity," he added.

Ongkili said that the UPM study also identified several business

opportunities in Marudu Bay including green tourism, homestays, aquaculture, sea

cucumber and cage fish rearing, oyster breeding, sea transportation, mangrove

boardwalks and bird observatories.

Efforts are being made to not only get the local community involved in the

ventures but also for investors to take up the business opportunities in Marudu

Bay, which would spur more economic activities for Kota Marudu, he added.

"Marudu Bay is rich in biodiversity, mangrove swamp and marine resources

and its valuable resources have been documented since more than 400 years ago,"

he said.

Marudu Bay covers Kudat, Pitas and Kota Marudu districts, up till Pulau

Banggi.

Ongkili also urged the people to protect the bay and adhere to sound

conservation practices to ensure sustainability of the marine resources since

Marudu Bay is home to over 60 species of almost-extinct birds, mammals and

reptiles.

The Marudu Bay Carnival held at Kpg Tanjung Batu was to celebrate the

eco-diversity of Marudu Bay and spread awareness on the importance of preserving

the nature. It has been an annual affair for Kota Marudu since 2006.

-- BERNAMA

NT JRL

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