Researchers from the University of Plymouth have contributed to two international policy briefings showing how Malaysia’s coastal infrastructure can not only protect humans and property but also make space for nature.
Academics from the School of Biological and Marine Sciences worked with colleagues from Universiti Sains Malaysia and Universiti Malaya to produce new guidance around how approaches to coastal engineering can be developed in ways that benefit habitats.
They also looked at how nature can be used to not only benefit key coastal and marine habitats, but also protect coastlines, enhance fisheries, and mitigate and adapt to climate change.
The policy briefings were launched during a webinar hosted by the Nexus Action for Mangroves in Selangor, Malaysia (NexAMS) project – which also involves the University – and supported by the British High Commission Kuala Lumpur.
The webinar was introduced by Amy Then, Senior Lecturer at Universiti Malaya, and Nicole Willey, SEA Director for Science & Innovation at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). Melanie Austen, Professor of Ocean & Society at the University of Plymouth, mediated a question and answer session at the end of the webinar.
Dr Su Yin Chee, Senior Lecturer from Universiti Sains Malaysia, spoke about the impacts of coastal development in Malaysia with Dr Louise Firth, Lecturer in Marine Ecology, talking about how the integrated greening of grey infrastructure (IGGI) could enhance biodiversity on the country’s engineered shorelines.
Amy Then spoke about the implementation of Nature-based Solutions (NbS) and how it could enhance coastal resilience in Malaysia. Meanwhile, Dr Abigail McQuatters-Gollop, Associate Professor of Marine Conservation, spoke about how the successful integration of science and policy can promote sustainable development in Malaysia and elsewhere.
Launched ahead of Biodiversity Day 2021, the briefings also echo the messages of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.