WWF – Driftwood from proposed park in Malaysia part of symbolic table for UN International Year of Biodiversity

The table, accompanied by 12 chairs, will be used for high-level meetings and displayed at a public space for major announcements, launches, and signings at the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya, Japan, this October.

Symbolizing the relationship between poor coastal communities, the oceans, and fisheries, this table will be constructed by UK-based sculptor Silas Birtwistle, who has journeyed around the globe collecting driftwood with the help of fishing communities in four distinct locations for biodiversity on the planet – Artic, Meso-American Reef, Coastal East Africa, and the Coral Triangle.

In the Coral Triangle, wood was collected from the shores of the proposed Tun Mustapha Park at the northern tip of Borneo, within the Kudat Priority Conservation Area in Sabah—an area plagued by overfishing and habitat degradation.

In 2003, the Sabah State Government approved the intention to protect this park to address threats to marine biodiversity and to alleviate poverty in the area. The proposed park will be a multiple-use marine protected area and form part of what is aimed to be a network of marine protected areas in the Coral Triangle—the world’s centre of marine life, which covers the seas of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste.

Mainly made of mangrove wood, which is from a key ecosystem that links the land and the sea but is often neglected, this piece will bring the plight of the world’s oceans to the table, literally.

This unique way to profile significant commitments around the world’s species, fisheries, and the marine environment will serve as an important platform for key decision makers to gather around in conservation meetings during the UN International Year of Biodiversity and beyond.

Well-designed and appropriately-managed networks of marine protected areas and locally managed marine areas are essential to enhance resilience against climate change, and prevent further loss of biodiversity, including fisheries collapse.

Through new sustainable finance mechanisms and investments in climate adaptation, WWF plans to support networks of marine sanctuaries and locally-managed conservation areas across the Coral Triangle.

Editors note:

  • WWF-Malaysia’s Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion Programme in Kudat Priority Conservation Area (PCA) is currently implementing a project to facilitate collaborative management of fisheries and marine resources among stakeholders, which include government agencies, district offices, private sectors and local communities. Together with Sabah Parks, Department of Fisheries Sabah, the Fishing Boat-owners Association, teachers, and Kudat-Banggi, Marudu and Pitas District Offices, WWF’s Kudat PCA Team works on building support for the proposed multiple-use Tun Mustapha Park measuring 1.02 million hectares.
  • The Kudat Priority Conservation Area (PCA) is one of three Globally Significant PCAs in Malaysia within the Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion (SSME). It is has Malaysia’s second largest concentration of coral reefs linked to complex habitats including primary rainforest, mangroves, and seagrass beds; and is home to 252 species of hard corals, 350 species of fish endangered green sea turtles and dugongs. The SSME is located at the apex of the Coral Triangle.
  • The Coral Triangle—the nursery of the seas—is the most diverse marine region on the planet, matched in its importance to life on Earth only by the Amazon rainforest and the Congo basin. Defined by marine areas containing more than 500 species of reef-building coral, it covers around 6 million square kilometres of ocean across six countries in the Indo-Pacific – Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste. More information

For further information
Paolo P. Mangahas, Communications Manager, WWF Coral Triangle Programme (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Email: , Tel: +60378033772.

Source: World Wildlife Fund

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