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FOSTER's fifth community beach cleaning on Libaran island

4th March, 2019


SANDAKAN: The executive committee of FOSTER (Friends of Sea Turtles Education & Research) successfully launched its fifth community beach cleaning on Libaran island on Saturday.

FOSTER president, Alexander Yee yesterday said that this year, the sponsors for the beach cleaning programme were tourism operators and a Bursa Malaysia listed property company.

He said since 2014, FOSTER had been raising funds from environmentally conscious organisations for the cleaning up of Libaran’s shoreline.

The one-kilometer shoreline is divided into 10 lots (100 metres each lot) for organisations to adopt and once the adoption funds are received, FOSTER will disperse it to the villagers.

According to Yee, the rate of adoption is RM100 per lot per month or RM1,200 per year for the beach cleaning.

“I am glad that we have been able to launch this worthwhile project for five years. This year, other than tourism operators such as Traverse Tours Sdn Bhd, Sepilok Tropical Adventure Sdn Bhd and Sabah Tourism Board, we have also received sponsorship from Gamuda Land, a public listed property developer.

“We are glad that we are into our fifth year. This project is important as it involves the villagers of Libaran and it shows that the local community plays an important role in the success of this turtle conservation project,” added Yee.

The newly appointed Kampung Pulau Libaran chief Ramlee Kahar was present at the fifth community beach cleaning launch.

Also present were the executive members of FOSTER, staff of Walai Penyu Conservation Park and villagers of Libaran.

Ramlee said he heard of the good work FOSTER has been doing in Libaran and that he was happy the organisation was launching the community work for yet another year.

“It not only brings extra income to some of us but also ensures a clean beach. I certainly will give full support and I trust the villagers will do the same.

“Let’s all work together towards a better Libaran island,” Ramlee said.

As part of a turtle conservation programme initiated through the signing of a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Sabah Wildlife Department in July 2013, FOSTER was involved in the setting up of a turtle hatchery on Libaran island in 2012.

The programme includes creating awareness for the locals and visitors on the conservation value of sea turtles, undertaking research projects with the goal of better understanding the life cycle of sea turtles in the Libaran island area and to make available research programmes on sea turtles for international and local students. The five year MOU was extended in August 2018.

This year, FOSTER plans to work with the new village chief and villagers to set up a village stay programme on Libaran island.

Those interested to participate in the beach cleaning programme can email to fosterseaturtle@gmail.com

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