RCE Iskandar - 2018

Implementation of the SDG at local level: Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Shoreline Ecosystems of Iskandar Malaysia (PESISIR)
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Implementation of the SDG at local level: Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Shoreline Ecosystems of Iskandar Malaysia (PESISIR)
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Iskandar
Contributing organization(s) : 
Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA)
Kelab Alami Mukim Tanjung Kupang
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Shahrinaz Maamor
Organizational Affiliation: 
Assistant Vice President, Environment Division, IRDA
Dr Serina Rahman
Organizational Affiliation: 
Kelab Alami Co-Founder
Format of project: 
Power Point & Video Presentation
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Additional resources: 
National Policy on Biological Diversity
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Johor State Sustainability Policy
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Iskandar Malaysia Comprehensive Development Plan II
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Iskandar Malaysia Low Carbon Society Blueprint
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
Iskandar Malaysia: 2,217km2 economic region in southern of Malaysia adjacent to Singapore. Kelab Alami: Located in Kampung Ladang in Tanjung Kupang sub-district in Johor (southern state of Malaysia), nearby the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link at Tuas.
Address of focal point institution for project: 
IRDA Office
#G-01, Block 8, Danga Bay, Jalan Skudai, 80200 Johor Bahru MALAYSIA
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
Iskandar Malaysia (IM): a 2,217 square-kilometre economic region, three times the size of Singapore. The IM shoreline is 124 km in length and has diverse natural, man-made and socio-economic features, including three Ramsar wetlands. The shoreline landscape has transformed from one of agriculture and natural (mangrove and dryland forests; river and water bodies; and seagrass habitats) environment to one of diverse urban use.

Kelab Alami (KA): The sub-district of Tanjung Kupang is predominantly a fishing community of several villages and located near to several seagrass meadows, Merambong Island and mangrove forests.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
PESISIR addresses concerns related to development in environmentally sensitive areas by increasing awareness, mainstreaming sustainability concept and resource-sharing to encourage systematic studies of natural ecosystems. These efforts i) improve policy-makers’ ability to make informed decisions; ii) enhance environmental coalitions and iii) improve stakeholders’ database and technical capacity.

Kelab Alami i) enables the community to earn alternative livelihoods and benefit from development and ii) documents natural and cultural heritage using science to engage with and empower the community. KA youth are trained as citizen scientists and community researchers, empowering them both psychologically and socially. The PESISIR-KA partnership strengthens KA Youth’s ability to be the voice for their community and natural areas.
June, 2016 to December, 2025
PESISIR is a coastal partnership envisioned to better understand IM coastal areas in a more holistic manner, covering ecological, social and economic elements. PESISIR is intended to influence policy at regional, state and national levels to improve the environment and quality of life. The programme provides a platform for government agencies, private sector, academia, NGOs and the general public to collaborate and exchange knowledge, as well as share expertise and resources.

PESISIR is implemented in phases, depending on community and environmental needs in select coastal areas. Mukim Tanjung Kupang, Johor was chosen as PESISIR Pilot Site as all required components (including good rapport with general community) have already been cultivated and enhanced through partnership with local environmental education club – Kelab Alami (KA). The Club has a network of advisors from both local and international universities that have been actively training fishing village youth as habitat experts since 2009.

The PESISIR-KA partnership signifies a step towards transformative change in managing coastal resources and promoting sustainable development of IM shoreline, through multi-stakeholder partnerships that is built upon the foundation of community environmental education, engagement and empowerment. PESISIR aims to adapt and replicate such collaborations in other coastal areas in IM to build a strong network of coastal alliance.
PESISIR Objectives:
i. Promote better communication and strengthen relationship amongst coastal partners (government, the private sector, civil society groups, researchers etc.);
ii. Create a landmark data repository of interdisciplinary peer-reviewed research for better understanding of IM shoreline areas;
iii. Green conscience for IM community to ensure preservation of shoreline ecosystem through development of a model partnership that can be replicated across the region.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
PESISIR module focus areas:
i. Networking - Provide platform for exchange of ideas, and knowledge sharing via meetings, focus groun discussions etc. to build relationship / trust and connect stakeholders
ii. Research and Development (R&D) - Raise the quality and quantity of research through consolidation and promotion of existing R&D; analyse gaps in research and recommend future research needs
iii. Communication – Develop and implement effective communication strategies using modern methods and technologies that provide timely information i.e. enhanced photo and video database (of environment and cultural heritage) and enhance public access to research database
iv. Community Outreach - Provide capacity-building and training depending on target group to increase knowledge and technical skills, as well as improve livelihood opportunities
Size of academic audience: 
Target Group for PESISIR (with expected contribution to the platform): Academicians, Government agencies (State & Federal), Businesses / private sector, NGOS, Community
Results based on each focus area:
i. Networking
- Kelab Alami programmes are now officially supported by State Tourism Authorities and granted Friends of Tourism Johor title (State-wide recognition).
- Various partnership agreements and connections made with entities such as universities government agencies
- Building connections with local youth and Japanese high school students (trip conducted by latter to visit and connect with Kelab Alami youth)
- PESISIR programmes are included in the Johor State Executive Council environmental portfolio
ii. Research and Development (R&D)
- Consolidation of list of future research / projects / initiatives / programmes suggested by researchers for IM shoreline
- Port Authority to provide funding assistance to Kelab Alami’s proposal on IM Dugong, Otter and Seahorse Habitat Study
- Malaysian National Biodiversity Centre to provide funding and technical support to develop biodiversity inventory programmes for IM
- Developing Aquaculture Best Management Practices for Iskandar Malaysia through collaboration with Fisheries Department (beginning 2018)
iii. Communication
- PESISIR website launched under the Iskandar Malaysia Green Portal (ongoing efforts to improve content and database)
- Develop communication materials (banner, posters, bunting etc,) for use by Kelab Alami for awareness purposes
- Funding from Malaysian National Biodiversity Centre to develop coffee table books and other print mediums to highlight IM biodiversity (spin-off of inventory programme)
- Consistent promotion through social media and email blasts
iv. Community Outreach Programme/ Capacity building and training /Awareness
- A customized green badge training session to be conducted in Mukim Tanjung kupang for Kelab Alami members
- Various environmental talks and exhibitions conducted to increase awareness in environmental issues such as marine pollution, community environmental education, citizen science, marine and coastal biodiversity etc.
- Conduct community oil-spill response programme in collaboration with port authorities, private sector and government agencies (starting 2018)
Lessons learned: 
- Ongoing development pressure resulting in fragmented ecosystems
- Lack of funding / grant to mobilize and accelerate the platform
- Accountability and transparency in organisations
- Lack of political will
- Technical knowledge in environmental issues still lacking in government and community
- Coastal ecosystem conservation and preservation
- Mainstreaming sustainability
- Transparent, apolitical, independent approach to environmental co-management
- Science-to-action
- Enhance data repository
Lesson Learnt:
- PESISIR module to be consistently adapted, modified and enhanced to suit individual sites (case-by-case basis, not one-size-fits-all approach)
- Enhance stakeholder engagement strategy: strengthen background research to understand each site’s needs, strengths and weaknesses
- Systematic engagement needed to reach broader range of stakeholders to increase PESISIR visibility
- Enhance communication strategy: consistent and effective communication with partners imperative to establish trust
- More proactive approach to sourcing funds needed to conduct research and develop repository
Key messages: 
PESISIR is in alignment with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and brings about transformative change in managing coastal resources and promoting sustainable development through partnerships built upon the foundation of trust and community empowerment. PESISIR aims to build a strong coastal alliance that promotes development of knowledge products useful for policy-makers to make informed decisions.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
PESISIR listed in 2017 - 2018 Action Plan for GAP and SDGs submitted for RCE
- Federal grants (since 2016) for PESISIR activities
- Johor Port Authority grant to Kelab Alami for Seahorse, Otter and Dugong project (starting 2018)


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon photo1.jpg (92.25 KB) Signing of Letter of Cooperation between PESISIR and Kelab Alami Iskandar Regional Development Authority
Image icon photo2.jpg (24.25 KB) Kelab Alami youth provides nature guided walks to local and international visitors to highlight the beauty of Iskandar Malaysia shoreline Kelab Alami Mukim Tanjung Kupang
Image icon photo3.jpg (67.52 KB) Public exhibitions and roadshows by Kelab Alami youth Kelab Alami Mukim Tanjung Kupang
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Disaster Risk Reduction 
Traditional Knowledge  
Plants & Animals 
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Building capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Empowering and mobilizing youth 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level