KOTA KINABALU: A climate change adaptation action committee has been formed in Banggi, an area comprising islands off Kudat, to tackle its effects on the coastal areas.
Spearheaded by the Banggi sub-district office, the move was following a 2018 study that found several coastal areas in Banggi – including the entire northern part of Banggi Island and Kampung Batu Sirih on Balambangan Island – are threatened by the impacts of climate change.
The study, conducted by Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and WWF-Malaysia, found risk of coastal flooding from increasing rainstorms and rise of sea level, which could endanger the coastal population.
Banggi sub-district assistant district officer Asdi@Mohd Faizal Hussin said if left unchecked, the situation might lead to socio-economic and safety issues to the communities as well as for the future development planning of the area.
“The formation of the committee is essential to oversee and draw the initial Local Early Action Plans (LEAP) for identified highly vulnerable coastal communities to adapt and mitigate the impact of climate change on people and the environment,” he said on Monday (June 27).
Asdi earlier chaired the committee’s first meeting at Kudat district office. Among members of the committee are Sabah Parks, UMS, WWF-Malaysia, Lands and Surveys Department, Forestry Department, Department of Environment, Environmental Protection Department and Sabah Ports and Harbour Department.
There were also community representatives such as village chiefs and Village Development and Security Committee heads.
Asdi said the committee envisions that the Banggi sub-district would be prepared to face the climate change crisis by increasing its resilience through an inclusive adaptation and mitigation strategies plan.