Joining hands for preserving coral reefs

The Reef Check Brunei together with GCRMN East Asia organised a two-day workshop to promote long term coral reef monitoring in the country recently.

It was jointly supported by Heart of Borneo Initiative Brunei Darussalam, the Department of Fisheries of the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) and the Ministry of the Environment, Japan and Japan Wildlife Research Centre (JWRC).

Reef Check Brunei and GCRMN East Asia teamed up for the second time to enhance long-term coral reef monitoring initiative with local partners to share reef survey experience and help build capacity of local partners to improve on their existing environment management plan.

Workshop participants included Reef Check Brunei members, officers from the Department of Fisheries, Oceanic Quest Sdn Bhd, Poni Divers, DHI Water and Environment, and representatives and students from Faculty of Science, UBD.

The GCRMN East Asia team representatives were Tadashi Kimura (GCRMN Regional Coordinator and Japan Wildlife Research Centre), Karenne Tun (GCRMN Regional Coordinator and National Parks Board Singapore), Chou Loke Ming (GCRMN Regional Expert and National University of Singapore), Lionel Ng (GCRMN Regional Expert and National University of Singapore) and Emily Yong (GCRMN National Coordinator – Brunei and Reef Check Brunei).

Photos show workshop participants in a group photo. PHOTOS: REEF CHECK BRUNEI

Dive representatives went for a field survey demonstration at Littledale Shoal and Pelong East led by an Ecodiver team from Reef Check Brunei during the first day of the workshop. The workshop ended with the comparison of survey methods with the Line Intercept Transect method done by GCRMN East Asia team and discussion on survey procedures.

On the second day, the workshop was carried out at UBD to discuss the field survey mechanism and reporting system and to raise awareness on the importance of reef monitoring among students. Presentations by Tadashi Kimura, Chou Loke Ming and Emily Yong were held.

Participants also raised questions on current reef state and global concerns, reef monitoring method and reporting mechanism on illegal fishing activities.

The second day activity ended with ‘Reef Stake Workshop’, a marine education card game conducted by BruWILD and Reef Check Brunei.

The workshop encouraged participants to be proactive in reef management in Brunei and inspired students to take up marine research to help preserve the reefs.