MareCet intends to engage the public in a variety of awareness campaigns, either through hands-on activities, exhibitions, and/ or the production of awareness and educational materials. Our target audiences are the local communities in our areas of work, schoolchildren and the general public at large.
To date, MareCet, through the LDR project, has initiated a Sightings Network with the tour guides operating in Langkawi to collect information on marine mammal sightings in the archipelago. Workshops were conducted to improve the guides’ knowledge and understanding of marine mammals found in the area and the important role local communities play in their conservation.
The success of education and awareness projects/campaigns for marine mammals and marine conservation requires the cooperation and concerted efforts by everyone in the different levels of community.A recent piece titled "Conservation through Education - Will it work for marine mammals?" that was published in The Journal of Marine Animals and Their Ecology (Vol. 4, No. 2, 2011) highlights this important fact.
Policy consultancy and advocacy
MareCet continues to advocate for enhancement and strengthening of existing environmental policies and development of new policies to address specific issues relating to marine mammals and the marine environment, where necessary. MareCet is involved at all levels of governance from multilateral environmental agreements to national legislation and policies to local management plans. Our team is well-versed in the various environmental issues, legislation and policies, and is well-placed to provide recommendations to address conservation issues which are based on sound science. Some of the notable policy advocacy work we do include the following:
National Marine Mammal Stranding Response Network
MareCet instigated discussions to develop a national marine mammal stranding response network in 2009 which led to the official establishment of the network in 2012. Currently being led by the Department of Fisheries Malaysia (DOFM), the stranding response network is comprised of members from the government, civil societies, and universities. Since the network’s establishment, MareCet has been actively involved in providing training and technical assistance, as necessary, so as to allow for timely and effective response during marine mammal stranding incidences. MareCet will continue to support and provide assistance, where required, to enhance the stranding network’s capabilities into the future.
Best Practices to Minimize Acoustic Disturbances from Oil and Gas Exploration Activities
In 2014, MareCet and University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together to develop measures to reduce impacts of oil and gas exploration activities to marine mammals. The MoU aims to identify feasible measures which are applicable to the Malaysian oil and gas industry to balance the needs of the industry and the needs of marine species residing within their area of operations.
Revision of National Policy on Biological Diversity
2015 – 2025
MareCet contributed feedback and content suggestions during numerous national consultation workshops hosted by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Malaysia throughout 2014 – 2015, as part of the revision of the National Policy on Biological Diversity (NPBD) 1998 to the NPBD 2015 – 2025. In particular, MareCet focused on providing feedback that ensured the inclusion of marine ecosystems and marine taxa into the revised NPBD, which had previously been almost exclusively on terrestrial ecosystems and taxa.
Langkawi Plan 2015 - 2030 (Rancangan Tempatan Daerah Langkawi 2030 [P])
MareCet contributed information in 2015 on the conflicts between cetacean distribution and areas with high vessel traffic in Langkawi for the revision of the Langkawi Plan by the Department of Town and Country Planning (Kedah). The information provided was based on MareCet’s Langkawi Dolphin Research findings. In addition to the information provided, MareCet also made recommendations for inclusion into the Plan on mitigation measures that should be adopted in lieu of the cetacean-vessel traffic overlaps.