Conservation of turtles given a boost

PETALING JAYA: Turtle conservation in Malaysia will enter a new era from Dec 1 when the country enforces its inter-governmental agreement on the Conservation and Manage-ment of Marine Turtles and their Habitats within the Indian Ocean and South-East Asia (IOSEA) region.
Malaysia is the 33rd state to join the agreement, following a recent signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) involving the Fisheries Department and WWF-Malaysia.
It entails 24 programmes and 105 specific activities focused on reducing threats, conserving critical habitat, exchanging scientific data and increasing public awareness and participation.
A WWF-Malaysia statement said it was also for promoting regional cooperation and seeking resources for implementation.
The signing of the MoU is also in line with priorities set by the Government in its 2008 National Plan of Action for Conservation and Management of Sea Turtles.
The MoU, signed by Fisheries director-general and WWF and IOSEA coordinator Douglas Hykle, is to protect, conserve, replenish and recover marine turtles and their habitats within the region.
“Through this regional platform, WWF-Malaysia hopes the Government will give full commitment in implementing conservation measures and comprehensive programmes outlined in the Conservation and Management Plan agreed to by member states,” the statement said.
“The move is timely as turtles are migratory animals. Their protection transcends national boundaries, and collaboration between neighbouring countries is imperative,” it added.
Source: The Star Online, Sept 24, 2011.