Community-based Mangrove Conservation and Sustainable Livelihoods in Sungai Johor, Malaysia
Sungai Johor is the largest river in Johor and there are 4 permanent forest reserves located along the river which are Sg. Johor Forest Reserve, Sg Lebam Forest Reserve, Sg Santi Forest Reserve and Belungkor Forest Reserve. Combined, the forest reserves totaled to over 10,000 hectares.
In Belungkor Forest Reserve and Tanjung Surat Island especially, the areas have been encroached and cleared for industrial and aquaculture development. It needs to be restored and conserved for its beautiful scenery and touristic potential as well as the role in maintaining ecological balance while providing resources to local communities.
In 2018, GEC began its collaboration with government agencies, small to medium enterprises, corporations and the NGOs to empower local communities to self-sustain the management of community-based conservation and rehabilitation activities. The focus of the project activities are to demonstrate how the support and empowerment of local communities can lead to both improved livelihood and welfare of the local communities but at the same time can protect and enhance their natural environment.
Duration: 2018 - 2019 (Phase 1)
2019 - 2020 (Phase 2)
Funder: Aramco Asia Singapore Pte. Ltd
Partner: Aramco Overseas Malaysia Sdn. Bhd, Johor State Forestry Department, Johor State Education Department, The Registry of Societies Malaysia (ROS), South East Johore Development Authority (KEJORA), Kota Tinggi District Office, Pengerang Municipal Council, Kota Tinggi District Education Office (KTDEO), Kota Tinggi District Health Department Penghulu Tanjung Surat, Head Village of Tanjung Surat & Village Committee Management Council (MPKK)
- Support community-based mangrove conservation and rehabilitation in Sungai Johor Estuary.
- To build collaboration between communities in Sg Johor and Pengerang through the experience of successful community mangrove management activities in Perak State.
Project Achievements (Phase 1):
Phase 1 of the project involved the ting of mangrove saplings, the establishment of mangrove nursery, community training and capacity building, support and empowerment of local communities that can lead to both improved livelihood and welfare of the local communities but at the same time can protect and enhance their natural environment. These efforts benefited the Pulau Tanjung Surat community, namely Friends of Tanjung Surat Island Mangrove (FTSIM) (Pertubuhan Sahabat Hutan Bakau Pulau Tanjung Surat).In total, we have rehabilitated out 3.5 hectares with more than 5,000 mangrove trees planted involving FTSIM, local communities and volunteers. (Photos)
Project Achievements (Phase 2):
Phase 2 of the project sees significant impact has been made:
- Established Friends of Mangrove Tanjung Surat Island (PSHBPTS) registered under the Registrar of Society (ROS) Johor. Consisting of local communities, the members have been trained on organisational management, documentation and financial management.
- Established community nursery that can accommodate 14,000 mangrove seedlings at once. The members are maintaining and managing the nursery on weekly basis. The trees raised can support tree planting activities in Tanjung Surat Island as well as become their source of income if anyone interested in buying mangrove tree supply for planting initiatives elsewhere.
- Empower the local communities on the knowledge, capacity and skills to develop and commercialise eco-tourism activities. The members of PSHBPTS received 5 trainings on eco-tourism management and capacity building. They have established eco-tourism packages that tourists can enjoy and they have received training to become local nature guide.
- Successfully planted 7,000 mangrove trees at 5 hectares of degraded area. In total, 276 participants involved in the planting activities.
- Published promotional materials including PSHBPTS brochures, Ecotourism Brochure, Mangrove forest ranger module, Pulau Tanjung Surat magazine and Mangrove posters (4 types). GEC has printed and distributed to more than 1,000 - 3,000 locals, stakeholders and government agencies in Kota Tinggi /Johor.
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As a whole, GEC has been conducting simple maintenance and survival monitoring of Aramco’s planted trees in Tanjung surat since 2018. Based on the observation, the average variance of growth height is within 22cm-65.5cm with the average survival percentage exceeds 70% overall. The areas are rehabilitating well and the communities are active in protecting the mangroves.
For more information about the project, please e-mail us at email@example.com