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Sugud Islands Marine Research Centre

9 June 2013

Sugud Islands Marine Research Centre

On 9th June 2013 the Sabah Wildlife Department, Reef Guardian Sdn Bhd and Cardiff University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish the Sugud Islands Marine Research Centre (SIMRC) on Billean Island, within the Sugud Islands Marine Conservation Area (SIMCA), on the east coast of Sabah. The signing of the MoU was witnessed by Datuk Pang Yuk Ming, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment. 

Sugud Islands Marine Research Centre

"The creation of the marine research centre in SIMCA will provide a world-class education and research facility with the necessary structure and resources to undertake advanced marine ecosystem science, particularly in small tropical island and coral reef ecology," said Dr Benoit Goossens, Director of Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) and Research Associate at Cardiff University, representing the Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University. "Cardiff University will offer field courses to our students and to other local and international students to undertake training at SIMRC, will manage student intake and field work program at the centre, and will help raising funds for the procurement of consumables and additional laboratory equipments and for research projects and conservation activities to be carried out at SIMRC and within SIMCA," added Goossens. "Today, Cardiff University is in a position to offer field courses and research opportunities in the two most diverse ecosystems of the World, tropical coral reef at SIMRC and tropical rainforest at DGFC in the Kinabatangan. For that, we would like to thank the Sabah State Government, the Sabah Wildlife Department and Reef Guardian for their support and frienship and we look forward to many years of collaboration," concluded Goossens. signing ceremony of the extension of our current MoU on Danau Girang Field Centre. 

Danau Girang Field Centre

Sugud Islands Marine Research Centre

The Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) is continuing its collaboration with Cardiff University for another ten years with the signing on 10 June 2013 of an extension of their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the management of Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC), located in Lot 6 of the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary. 

“The signing of this extension for another ten years, acknowledges an extremely successful relationship between the Sabah Wildlife Department and Cardiff University," said Datuk Pang Yuk Ming, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, who witnessed the signing on Monday at DGFC. "During the coming ten years we expect to see the centre expands its research and maintain its teaching activities to the excellent current standard. It is our major goal to increase the management relevance of our research and to instigate a comprehensive education program for students and professionals from Malaysia and elsewhere in South-East Asia," said Datuk Dr Laurentius Ambu, Director of Sabah Wildlife Department. "On top of these important activities, we hope the centre can play an increasing role in biodiversity assessment and monitoring at the Kinabatangan floodplain and help us managing the sanctuary. This important floodplain, now part of an internationally recognised RAMSAR site, deserves nothing less,” added Ambu. "We value our collaboration with the Sabah State Government extremely highly and this day marks another major event in that collaboration," said Dr Benoit Goossens, Research Associate at Cardiff University and Director of DGFC. "It hardly seems possible that the centre has been open for five years already: progress has been excellent during that time thanks to the hard work of my team, our centre manager Mark Rampangajouw and my dedicated staff and students," added Goossens. 

"During the past five years a number of university field courses, school visits, expeditions and research activities have been carried out at the centre and we have been able to raise funds from international and national bodies such as Sime Darby Foundation, the Malaysian Palm Oil Council and many others," commented Goossens.