Public Awareness towards Marine Conservation and Future Sustainability in Malaysia
Nowadays, the marine environment becomes polluted and contaminated mainly because of human activities which are the sources of industrial and agricultural effluence, solid waste, oil spills, inflow of chemical, and many such issues. When there are contaminants in the water, it reduces the quality of water and affects the marine life and the productivity of the marine ecosystem which caused species loss and habitat degradation being seen in our environment. Therefore, marine conservation is very important to protect and preserve the ecosystem in the oceans and seas. However, to ensure the success of marine conservation and to reduce the impact of human activities is not easy as it requires the cooperation among various parties including the public. Therefore, this study was conducted to discover the extent the Malaysian citizens’ awareness about marine conservation and the implication to the future sustainability. Data collection was done by conducting a survey of public of four states that have marine park in Peninsular Malaysia. A total of 2577 questionnaires was collected and analyzed. The result shows that only 51 percent are highly aware about the marine conservation. The level of support towards the future sustainability of marine park varies according to respondents’ educational level. It is found that the respondents who had tertiary education level indicate higher mean scores for all the three elements; economic, social and environmental. This implicates the significant role of conservation education in sustaining Malaysia marine ecosystem, which should be formulated for the people, from infancy to the elderly. Through structured educational experiences and activities targeted to varying age groups and populations, conservation education enables people to realize how natural resources and ecosystems affect each other and how resources can be used wisely.