Lower Kinabatangan Segama Wetlands
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Advancing indigenous Initiatives for sustaining fisheries, mangroves, forests and wildlife in the co-management of Malaysia’s largest Ramsar site
The 78,803 ha Lower Kinabatangan Segama Wetlands, a spectacular mosaic of mangroves and forests managed by the Sabah Forestry Dept (SFD) were designated Malaysia’s largest Ramsar site (Wetland of International Importance) in 2008. The 3,000 Indigenous community residents in eight villages (of Sungai, Suluk, Bajau, Brunei, Tidung, Dusun and other descent) have historically been excluded from conservation efforts, while experiencing some restrictions on resource access and suffering the consequences of fisheries decline, upstream water pollution, climate change and other environmental problems mostly not of their own making.
Indigenous communities resident in the Lower Kinabatangan Segama Wetlands Ramsar site would like to play a positive role in sharing governance and management of their traditional territories and need assistance with the development of new livelihoods with positive or reduced impacts on the area’s declining natural resource base and biodiversity.
Sustain the long-term viability of biodiversity and the livelihoods of forest and fisheries-dependent Indigenous communities in the Ramsar site by engaging and building their knowledge, capacities and sense of responsibility for their traditional territories and the Ramsar site. This project focuses on backing community institutions to plan and implement village initiatives in resource management and alternative livelihoods.
Long-term support for the development of community institutions and capacities has enabled the emergence of a suite of CBOs and other community capacities to initiate or expand environmental management and green economy village-based activities such as sustainable fish farming, swiftlet nest farming, wildlife fences to protect gardens, ecotourism, and ways to add value to local seafood through processing and a seaside café