Choo Poh Leem
- Project name: Marine Spatial Planning for EDGE coral species in Semporna, Sabah
- Project site: Semporna Priority Conservation Area (PCA), Malaysia
- EDGE species: Lithophyllon ranjithi & Heliofungia actiniformis corals
- Active: 2016 - ongoing
After completing a marine biology Masters degree, Poh Leem went on to work as a curator at the University of Malaysia’s Zoological Museum. Currently, she works on projects within the Semporna Priority Conservation Area for WWF-Malaysia. After her Fellowship she hopes to scale-up her EDGE project in the form of a PhD looking at developing a marine zoning plan for Semporna.
Poh Leem hopes to become a conservation leader and increase the international visibility of Malaysian conservation initiatives. She also aims to raise awareness about the importance of healthy coral reef ecosystems.
Poh Leem’s project is mapping the abundance and distribution of two poorly understood mushroom coral species, and aims to raise awareness among dive operators, government agencies and local communities of coral reef conservation. Conservation efforts will be implemented collaboratively with stakeholders, ensuring the protection of these species is sustainable. Through her project, Poh Leem is:
- Conducting Green Fin Certification training workshops for dive operators to promote a more sustainable way of diving and encourage EDGE coral species protection;
- Producing a collaborative coral reef protection report and document the progress of the dive operators’ efforts for coral protection;
- Incorporating EDGE coral species mapping into marine spatial planning in the Semporna District.
- Organised a Green Fin introductory workshop in Sabah Parks with 16 local dive operators, following which 5 dive operators agreed to be assessed by Green Fin.
- 300 students and teachers from 3 primary schools took part in an anti-fish bombing roadshow, which was featured in a local newspaper.