Team pioneers drone survey in remote areas of Malaysia and local school kids get a little dugong diplomacy

August 22, 2016

In this reporting period, Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC), carried out capacity building of its own staff to prepare for the collection of dugong and seagrass data (global Project activity 312) and awareness raising among local community to gain more local support for the establishment of the MPA.

93 secondary school students from four schools in Lawas participated in the Nature ‘n U program, which is an annual environment education camp, organised by the SFC for school children. The programme involves informal approaches in classroom and outdoor activities related to forestry, environment, wildlife, ecology as well as survival skills, team-work and leadership skills.

See the slide show below of “Dugong Diplomacy” in Action
MY5 Dugong Diplomacy

Data gathering was not initiated during this reporting period but capacity of SFC team was built. GEF funds under MY 5 were used to purchase drones (unmanned aerial system survey) to be used for seagrass mapping, to develop a methodology for the drone survey and for trainings in drone survey techniques, QGIS for mapping seagrass and for attending the training “Health Assessment for Marine Species” organised jointly by the CMS Dugong MoU Secretariat and the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources of Thailand, in Trang, Thailand in June 2016.

The first drone survey in Lawas ever was conducted in May 2016.

The team is currently analysing the drone data and will report on their findings soon.

Documents related to this project are listed as follows:

Communication and Public Awareness Curriculum Doc

Project Activities – Drones Methodology doc