SAFEGUARDING OUR NATION’S REEFS
Healthy coral reefs are among the most biologically diverse ecosystems on earth. However, the world’s coral reefs are in crisis today due to over-fishing, illegal fishing, and pollution. Reef Check Malaysia (RCM), a member of Reef Check global network, addresses this issue by collecting information on the health of coral reefs and using it to raise awareness on coral reefs while advocating coral reef conservation. RCM’s main activities include coral reef surveys, school education, community engagement and coral reef rehabilitation.
The year 2013 saw RCM increasing the number of coral reef surveys that it carries out annually, together with its partner organisations, to 196 sites. The number of divers who were certified to conduct Reef Check surveys, too, increased to 89. In 2013, RCM managed to take its message on coral reefs to the public in a large way via the “Rockin’ 4 the Reefs” event. RCM arranged a series of events over a week in April that taught the public about coral reefs and the need to conserve them. The event kicked off with a day of music and public performances, followed by a week of reef education activities at schools, universities, companies and other social settings. By the end of the week, some 5,000 people in person had been touched.
RCM’s activities will be focused on four themes: EcoAction (Reef Check surveys to assess reef health); Outreach (educating the importance of coral reefs); Advocacy (raising awareness for coral reef conservation); and Management (helping communities manage their coral reefs).