Edited by David Pearce, Corin Pearce and Charles Palmer
Chapter 12: Valuing a marine park in Malaysia
Bee Hong Yeo 1 INTRODUCTION Protected areas are increasingly recognized for the myriad of beneﬁts that these living systems provide. In marine parks, coral reef ecosystems harbour diverse marine resources such as colourful reef ﬁshes, invertebrate and algae species. The uniqueness of the coral reef ecosystems is a prime attraction for recreation and nature-based tourism. Coral reefs also perform signiﬁcant ecological functions, such as providing nursery grounds for ﬁsh (vital in supporting ﬁshery harvests) and coastline natural protection, and potentially contribute to carbon storage. In view of the important values of protected areas, it is crucial to strike a balance between economic development and environmental protection. There is growing emphasis on exploring win–win situations between natural resource conservation and its signiﬁcant potential in generating economic beneﬁts. Nevertheless, the increasing trend in global tourism demand for natural area experiences, enhanced by heightening natural resource scarcity, pose new challenges in terms of management and policy issues. The system of marine parks in Malaysia has been established since 1989 in recognition of the potential beneﬁts of marine resource protection. In order to manage marine parks eﬀectively and provide assured protection, adequate ﬁnancial resources are needed to enhance institutional strengths and human capacity, proper infrastructure and well-maintained facilities. With pressing social and economic priorities, government funds for nature conservation are limited. In view of this, ﬁnancing options need to be explored to complement existing government funding towards eﬀective marine park management and sustainability. Decisions on natural...
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