Underscoring the importance of sustainable development in the Iskandar Malaysia growth corridor, Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) inked a Letter of Collaboration (LoC) with Kelab Alami Mukim Tanjung Kupang (Kelab Alami), a youth environmental education and monitoring social enterprise based in Johor.
The collaboration marks IRDA’s regular Environmental Talks held four times a year with various stakeholders of Iskandar Malaysia.
This event showcased the activities of Kelab Alami with presentations by co-founder Dr Serina Rahman and three club members.
“Our engagement with Kelab Alami represents a first for us in collaborating with an outside body. We are happy that they have shared their resources to work together for the betterment of Iskandar Malaysia,” said Boyd Dionysius Joeman, the Head of IRDA’s Environment Division.
“Kelab Alami helped us reach out to a bigger crowd such as villagers, schools, universities, researchers, scientists and experts that they have come into contact with through their own coastal research and monitoring activities in the Tanjung Kupang area,” he added.
Tanjung Kupang comprises 10 villages of mainly coastal fishermen who have been affected by the decline in marine life in Johor Straits, attributed to rapid coastal development.
Boyd said that sustainable development is a big responsibility for IRDA and they had begun consulting with various non-governmental organisations including the Malaysian Nature Society since 2006 and more recently, Kelab Alami.
“We have our shoreline ecosystem management initiative which we call PESISIR and we need people on the ground to help us champion this initiative and we are happy to say Kelab Alami is one of these champions,” said Boyd.
“The youths frequently work with and assist researchers and scientists from universities. Through the club, they too have the opportunity to collaborate with IRDA on the PESISIR project,” said Dr Serina.
“Our collaboration with IRDA has benefitted the club quite a lot at many levels. We can now tap into the resources of the state government, its agencies and even Johor tourism is actively publicising our activities,” Dr Serina added.
Boyd signed the LoC on behalf of IRDA while Kelab Alami founder Shalan Jum’at lent his signature for the club.