By : Zaki Salleh
PANGKOR – In addition to being famous for its beautiful and clean stretches of beach, another precious treasure on Pangkor Island is the turtle habitat where turtles land to lay their eggs.
Without the presence of turtles, Pangkor Island would be lost among a myriad of tourist attractions because this rarely found habitat sets it apart.
The turtle species also has its own importance in ensuring the balance of marine ecosystems such as on the coast, islands and oceans.
Accordingly, the Pangkor Island Lovers and Conservation of Turtles Association, otherwise known as Persatuan Pencinta dan Pemuliharaan Penyu Pulau Pangkor (Pencinta), with their efforts in organising the Pangkor Island Conservation Day in Teluk Giam today should be commended.
Pencinta is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that actively carries out conservation efforts such as programmes, education and dealing with various parties.
The Pangkor Island Conservation Day programme is also part of Pencinta’s project through a matching grant from Biji-Biji Initiatives and the Hasanah Foundation (Yayasan Hasanah) in an effort to promote environmental conservation.
The opening ceremony of this programme has been completed by Member of the Pangkor State Assembly, Norhaslinda Zakaria.
In her speech, she praised the efforts made especially those involving the local community.
“Promoting Pangkor Island as one of the ecotourism destinations must be the responsibility of all of us because it has a high commercial value.
“The habitat of the turtles that lay their eggs around Teluk Ketapang Beach is also one of the attractions for tourists here.
“Therefore, the awareness of the local community and visitors is very important in the effort to ensure that turtle conservation continues to be protected from the threat of extinction.
“This is also related to the culture of beach cleanliness and consciousness of not littering everywhere,” she said.
The three-day programme until tomorrow was well received when more than 1,000 people participated, including various NGO organisations from outside Perak.
Meanwhile, various activities were held to raise awareness on the importance of keeping the beach clean so that the loggerhead turtle or green turtle can go ashore to lay their eggs safely.
Among them are creative workshops, children’s coloring competitions, music and poetry performances.
There will also be an environmental awareness exhibition and sales of outdoor leisure items, beach cleaning, tree planting and health checks.