Malaysia is a beautiful country situated in the Coral Triangle; an area which has the richest marine biodiversity in the world. In fact, its waters are teeming with a healthy variety of over 2000 species of marine life. Also, the seas surrounding the country are a major contributor to Malaysia's economy whether it be in the fishing or tourism industry.

All these factors have led to various efforts to conserve the marine environment in Malaysia from Cherating all the way to Sabah. While a lot has been done for marine conservation in the region, the government and other parties, including Club Med continue to do their part to protect the local environment.

Marine Conservation in Cherating

A famous coastal holiday destination in Malaysia, Cherating has numerous attractions that bring visitors close to nature, namely the mangrove forest and the beach.

You can take a cruise through the Cherating mangrove river, hike through the forest and even ride an ATV through its trail. Cherating Beach, on the other hand, is a major turtle nesting site which attracts hundreds of turtles each year. Here are some efforts in Cherating to protect these natural gems:

Cherating Turtle Sanctuary

The sanctuary, established in 1972 and opened to the public in 1998, serves as a turtle hatchery, nursery, and education centre where people can visit to learn more about sea turtles and view baby turtles. Every nesting season, you can even join the sanctuary rangers to release turtle hatchlings back into the sea.

Educating the public with the Cherating River Cruise

Split to day and night sessions, these cruises brings you up close with Cherating's mangrove river where you can enjoy a leisurely cruise and learn about the importance of the local mangrove, and flora and fauna. You'll also be able to see exciting creatures from monkeys to fireflies. In 2020, this crucial ecosystem has obtained some significant support such as in The Habitat Foundation Conservation Grant which invests in restoring the local mangrove forest.

Club Med Cherating Sustainability Efforts

Club Med Cherating in Malaysia prides itself with integrating sustainable practices at its resort. Besides progressively eradicating single-use plastic, we use sustainable development practices and energy-efficient methods and technology. Club Med Cherating also integrates sustainability in our activities both on land and in water. All this has enabled us to be the first business in Malaysia to obtain a Green Globe Certification - the highest standard in responsible-tourism.

Establishment of Marine Protected Areas

Across Malaysian waters are a number of marine parks that protect the local biodiversity. Within these marine protected areas (MPAs), all human activities are regulated to protect the marine ecosystem. Among the regulations is fishing is prohibited in a one- to two-nautical mile area from the shore.

As of 2020, there are 57 marine parks covering an area of 23,357 square kilometres around the country. Malaysia plans to double that number so at least 10% of the local coastal and marine environments are designated as MPAs.

Besides establishing MPAs, the Fisheries Department is continuously improving the management of the marine parks while working with local communities. Some initiatives include connecting with and educating the community, and introducing alternative livelihood programmes to give them the skills to provide tour guiding services, boat repairs, and other services.

WWF-Malaysia Marine Programme

The WWF-Malaysia Marine Programme started in 2004 to support the Peninsular Malaysia Seas Programme (PMSeas) and the Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion Programme (SSME) in East Malaysia.

Both programmes studied sea turtles' foraging areas, nesting patterns, and migratory route to understand more about these creatures and conserve their population. In addition, they also collaborate with local and state government agencies, private companies, and the local communities to improve the management of local ecosystems.

In 2014, the PMSeas and SSME Programmes merged into an integrated plan which is the Marine Conservation Programme. This programme now focuses on four transformational strategies to protect vital marine conservation targets and achieve sustainable use of marine resources in the country. These strategies include:

Reform of fisheries subsidies and implementation of a sustainable Ecosystems Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM).
Engage with businesses and the industry as a whole to create sustainable practices in the seafood industry.
Effective implementation of the Malaysian Ocean Policy to create a balance between driving economic activities and conserving the marine ecosystem.
Phase out licensed turtle egg collection and eventually ban the trade of turtle eggs.

These initiatives are only some of the efforts taken to conserve the local marine ecosystem. From the waters of Sabah to Cherating, Malaysia's conservation programmes have helped protect and restore the marine biodiversity while helping drive the economy in the area. If you're looking for comfortable accommodation with world-class service and amenities in Cherating, check out Club Med Cherating. You can also learn more about our sustainable practices and find out why we're one of the best Green Globe Certified resorts in the country.