Marine Protected Areas in Peninsular Malaysia: Shifting from Political Process to Co-Management

  •  Mohd Ashraf Abdul Rahman    
  •  Farahdilah Ghazali    
  •  Mohd Hazmi Mohd Rusli    
  •  Nazli Aziz    
  •  Wan Izatul Asma Wan Talaat    


Since fishing is a primary source of income to the coastal communities, conservation of marine natural resources is crucial to safeguard its sustainable supply. Therefore, intensive measures should be taken by all the stakeholders – from the authorities to the local fishermen. The precious coral reefs should be protected as important breeding habitat of various commercially valued species of marine resources and. Thus, in carrying out the political process of designating marine protected areas (MPAs) as marine parks, the local communities must also be engaged by the government due to their proximity to and dependency on the environment as direct resources users. Co-management or collaborative management by engaging the local communities, or community-based management, is the concept that could be able to remedy ineffective MPAs management in Peninsular Malaysia. Co-management or collaborative management approach between the authorities and the communities must be strategised by factoring in their local knowledge of living within and off the marine environment and resources. This study utilises content analysis method on the primary data, namely the national policies, federal acts, and state enactments. While the secondary data in form of official reports, scholarly articles and others deemed relevant are used to supplement and support the findings. This paper dwells on the possibility of shifting the process of MPAs designation from political process to co-management in Peninsular Malaysia, in order to achieve both environmental stability and the livelihood sustainability of the local communities.

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