Our lives and our fortunes are inextricably linked to our oceans. They sustain our coastal communities, and are the wellspring from whence our rain comes. But over-population coupled with global warming is threatening our health. This situation calls for urgent action, but what we can we do to assist?
Reef Check Malaysia believes our coral reefs are far too ecologically important to ignore. That’s because they provide food, employment, and protection for our coastal communities. Therefore, it works with other stakeholders to encourage coral reef monitoring, management, research, conservation, and advocacy.
The Core Business of Reef Check Malaysia
Reef Check Malaysia receives donations from corporates and individuals, and uses them to monitor the state of coral reefs at over 200 sites every year. In addition, Reef Check has field stations at Tioman Island off the East coast, Mantanani Island in South China Sea, and the Mersing Group of Islands off Johor.
The Mission and Vision Driving This
Reef Check Malaysia is a key member of the international Reef Check movement. It strives for a vision of sustainable coral reefs throughout our coastline. Its mission is to bring all other stakeholders together, including those who donate out of generosity of their hearts. Together, they are collaborating in the vital work of saving our coral for future generations.
For most of history, man has had to fight nature to survive; in this century he is beginning to realize that, in order to survive, he must protect it. (Jacques-Yves Cousteau)
Four Strategic Thrusts Towards This Goal
Reef Check Malaysia advances the work of saving our coral for future generations through four core programs:
The Malaysian charity uses the donations it receives to teach more than 900 certified divers to complete Reef Check surveys within its annual program. This builds a time-based record of over 200 reef sites, tracking degradation and suggesting remedial action.
CORAL REEF SCIENCE
Reef Check Malaysia continually expands its scientific knowledge in this relatively new field. It use outcomes of reef rehabilitation programs to develop scientific management plans. Amongst these, this includes a coral bleaching response plan, ensuring effective communication to coordinate efforts during these events.
But your donation could also help fund their advocacy program, which raises community awareness of the vital role the coral reef resource plays. Reef Check Malaysia is also part of National Management Team of Green Fins, an international program promoting good diving etiquette. Full time advocacy program staff are active all year round on Tioman, Mersing and Mantanani Islands.
However, this task would be far too great to achieve for a Malaysia charity relying on corporate and public donations. Hence, Reef Check Malaysia also relies on support from local communities. They help it manage conservation of their greatest natural asset, the coral reefs surrounding and protecting their habitat.
Preserving the Coral Reefs around Tioman Island
Tioman Island is home to 3,700 people off the east coast of peninsular Malaysia. Most villagers living there depend on tourism for their main income, although they may also fish for a living.
It’s surely our responsibility to do everything within our power to create a planet that provides a home not just for us, but for all life on Earth. (David Attenborough)
Their coral reef is an international magnet for tourists coming to marvel at pristine life below the ocean surface. Many family-run and owned chalets, restaurants and small businesses on the island could not sustain, without the ongoing health of this natural wonder.
Saving the Coral Treasures of Mantanani Group
Could you donate resources to help preserve this national treasure? This group of islands is in the South China Sea, off the west coast of Sabah in Malaysia, and home to 1,000 people living in villages of Kampung Siring Bukit and Kampung Padang.
Their coral reefs are an interactive eco system homing a myriad of fish, and crustaceans living off abundant sea plants. These are the main source of their protein and income. They know no other way to survive.
Protecting Mersing Group of Islands’ Coral Reefs
The Mersing Group of Islands comprises Besar, Sibu, Tinggi, Aur, and Pemanggil. These offer undeniable underwater beauty at the end of extensive charter boat rides.
They are home to small, isolated communities whose very lives depend on the sustainable richness, and protection of their coral reefs. What we do in this generation will help destroy, or help sustain these gentle island people.
Donate to Reef Check Malaysia
Malaysia’s island people do not contribute to global warming threatening their ongoing survival. Nor can they alone reverse the greatest threat to humanity. They can only wait silently in hope, and pray the people of the worlds’ richer communities will help preserve the only life they know.
Perhaps you feel a calling to do something about this, but don’t know where to start. Reef Check Malaysia welcomes donations from corporates, and individuals who heed their call. Global warming and its consequences are not only their problem. They are all of our problem, and our duty to tackle together.
Help save Malaysia’s coral reefs with a one-time or monthly donation. Visit their website to learn more. Also make sure to check out these 15 Malaysian charities that could use your help in 2022.