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Malaysian Coastal Forest Seminar: Role government agencies & local communities

18-Jan-2007

For the first time during the Green Coast project in Malaysia, all relevant stakeholders - government agencies, NGOs, local community representatives - met in Kuala Perlis to share information, exper...

For the first time during the Green Coast project in Malaysia, all relevant stakeholders - government agencies, NGOs, local community representatives - met in Kuala Perlis to share information, experiences and lessons learned.

The objectives of the seminar were to discuss planting of mangrove and related species along the coasts of Malaysia, as implemented by the two National Level Technical Committees (Research & Development and Planning & Implementation). In addition the participants were to discuss the role and responsibilities of government agencies, NGOs and local communities in the management and conservation of coastal forests. A total of 64 participants attended the national seminar: 41 from government agencies, 12 from NGOs, 10 from local communities and 1independent consultant.

Welcome remarks were given by both the Director General of Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia and the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia. The Perlis State government official from the Chief Minister’s office was present to grace the seminar and officially declare it open.

A total of 6 papers were presented, 4 from government technical agencies and 2 from local community representatives. The documents covered topics like sustainable coastal forest management and innovative techniques for restoration. Others discussed numerical computer simulation to identify factors causing loss of mangroves, local community efforts and their capacity in mangrove rehabilitation. At the end of the seminar 6 issues, 21 recommendations and 35 action plans were formulated.

Following the seminar, a hands-on workshop and training was held for the local communities, on erosion control and capacity building. The objective of the workshop was to explain on available technologies. Participants were shown how to use easily available materials (e.g. branches, vegetative materials) to build a vegetative log (similar to a coir log) with the purpose of controlling erosion.

The various partners will follow up on the importance of ecological approaches towards mangrove forest rehabilitation.  For Green Coast the key objective of  this seminar was to convince governments that local communities and NGOs have a role to play in mangrove restoration.

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