Reef Check Malaysia will survey and monitor the health of coral reefs at over 200 locations every year. Malaysia is part of the Coral Triangle, home to more than 75% of the world's coral species. The data is useful to address any decline of coral reefs by mitigating human pressures. Many island communities depend on coral reefs and other marine resources as their main source of livelihoods. We need to track the changing status of our ocean to prevent irreversible damage to the marine ecosystem.
Coral reefs are ecologically and economically important ecosystems. They support fisheries that contribute to food security and provide employment in the tourism industry. Reefs are being degraded by a range of human impacts, and management needs to address these impacts to keep reefs healthy for the future. However, managers lacks the capacity and funding to conduct extensive coral reef monitoring surveys. They therefore lack the data on which to make decisions about coral reef management.
The project will fund a national survey programme that will provide data on the health of coral reefs around Malaysia. The data identify what impacts are affecting reefs, allowing managers to take action to eliminate or reduce those threats. This forms the basis for conservation programmes that ensure the health of reefs into the future.
The data provided by surveys will help managers to conserve reefs so that future generations can continue to receive the benefits of the ecosystem services that reefs provide to society.