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International team of marine biologists to assess Semporna coral reefs

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International team of marine biologists to assess Semporna coral reefs

Post Number:#1  Postby timyang » Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:35 am

Kuala Lumpur: An international team of marine biologists from Malaysia, the Netherlands and United States will jointly assess marine biodiversity and coral reef health in the Semporna Priority Conservation Area (PCA) during a three-week expedition in Semporna, Sabah.

According to a World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) statement, the expedition called Semporna Marine Ecological Expedition (SMEE) from Nov. 29 to Dec. 19, is jointly organised by WWF Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Universiti Malaya (UM) and the Netherlands Centre for Biodiversity Naturalis (NCB Naturalis).

"The objectives of the expedition are to assess the coral reef biodiversity, coral reef status and reef population health, and to enhance conservation and outreach efforts through better understanding of the marine ecosystems of Semporna," it said.

The expedition will be jointly led by NCB naturalist-cum-leader of the biodiversity team, Dr Bert Hoeksema, and Affendi Yang Amri of UM and leader of the coral reef status team.

The expedition participants include marine scientists from the US, UMS and other researchers from the Netherlands, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) and Sabah Parks.

The preliminary results of the expedition will be announced at a press conference in Kota Kinabalu on Dec 29.

The SMEE is made possible in part by funding from Adessium Foundation.

The Semporna PCA is one of three globally significant PCAs in Malaysia within the Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion (SSME) located at the apex of the coral triangle.
timyang
 
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