International Conference On Plastics In The Marine Environment 2018, Singapore
Earlier this month, Siva our Outreach Coordinator travelled to Singapore to represent Tengah Island Conservation and present our research and activties at the International Conference for Plastic in the Marine Environment 2018. We focussed the role of private business in protecting the environment around them and how orgaisations like Batu Batu have the capability and responsibility to contribute to healthy ecosystems and sustainable business.
In line with the International Year of the Reef 2018 and Singapore’s Year for Climate Action, The International Conference on Plastics in Marine Environment, that will be held on the 5-7th December by the National University of Singapore, seeks to address the issue of plastic debris in the marine environment, with a special focus on microplastics and the environmental issues facing tropical Southeast Asia.
Tackling marine plastics in the johor marine park
THE ROLE OF TOURISM IN SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES
siva presenting our work
The impacts of marine plastics on marine ecosystems and how Tengah Island Conservation and Batu Batu teamed up to combat it.
“BATU BATU & TENGAH ISLAND CONSERVATION – A PRIVATE RESORT TACKLING MARINE PLASTICS IN THE JOHOR MARINE PARK, MALAYSIA
Batu Batu – Pulau Tengah is a sustainably minded off-grid resort situated on an island in peninsular Malaysia, with a focus on generating profits through tourism in order to generate funds to support conservation projects and have a positive effect on the surrounding environment. Batu Batu has been operating in the Johor Marine Park for over four years and we frequently witness the negative impacts of marine debris - from ghost nets entangling our reef to turtle mortalities from plastic ingestion and beaches blighted with plastic bottles.
We believe in sustainable tourism and that private businesses have a responsibility to the environment and local communities. As such, we have founded Tengah Island Conservation (TIC) to develop conservation and sustainability projects in our region. TICs projects include tackling marine plastics through regular beach and underwater clean-ups and an outreach program designed to raise awareness of this and other issues effecting the marine environment. From February to September 2018 alone we have removed over 8.5 tonnes of marine debris including 16000 plastic bottles and 3 tonnes of ghost fishing gear. Our outreach program has now reached over 500 schoolchildren and we have collaborated with the Marine Park on training events for other local tourism operators.
In this we will discuss our role as a private company and our responsibility towards the environment, not only as an entity that depends on nature as tourism boost, but also as one with a duty to contribute to our local community. A company that depends on its surrounding natural assets in order to succeed has to practise sustainability. Combating marine debris does not end with collecting trash, but also depends on the company’s internal policies as well educating staff, guests and the local community on the problems associated with marine debris and the impacts on single-use plastics on our environment.”