1. The Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) is the oldest and largest nature conservation organisation in Malaysia. MNS was established in 1940 by a group of naturalists to record and exchange information on, and to promote awareness about the diverse and abundant natural heritage of Malaya.
2. Since its early days, the MNS and its members have undertaken nature conservation projects, programmes and campaigns with a strong focus on education and public awareness to mobilize Malaysians to do their part for the protection and wise management of our natural heritage. Today, the MNS is recognized as one of the premier nature conservation organizations in the country, and works closely with government and other partners to advance nature conservation at the policy, planning, and implementation levels throughout the country.
3. The MNS operates through state-level branches and a permanent Secretariat in Kuala Lumpur. The Miri Branch was established March 1996. Programme planning and implementation at branch level is guided by a Branch Committee, comprising volunteer members of the branch. Our current Branch Committee members were elected at the annual Branch AGM held July 2009. Branch AGM is held annually in July.
4. The MNS Strategic Plan 2008 – 2020 is adopted to guide the implementation of the Society’s mission and to ensure that its actions are in line with existing government policies and plans, and with Malaysia’s international nature conservation-related commitments.
This Strategic Plan
This draft Plan has been prepared to cover three (3) years of the Branch’s work, from 1 Jan 2010 to 31 Dec 2012.
The vision, mission and goals of this Plan are the same as that of the MNS Strategic Plan 2008 – 2020. The strategies and actions in this Plan were formulated based on an assessment of the priorities and challenges for nature conservation in Sarawak Northern Division, and on the strengths and opportunities of the MNS Miri Branch (hereinafter referred to as ‘MNS-Miri’) in terms of its existing programmes, members’ capability, skills and expertise, and partnerships.
The order of presentation of the Strategies and Actions in this Plan are not indicative of their priority. It will be the task of each incoming Committee to assess and decide on priority actions for the year based on the opportunities, strengths and challenges which exist at the time they take office, and from Year 2 of implementation, after reviewing the progress to date.
It is important to note that not each and every issue that is or could be of relevance to nature conservation in Sarawak’s Northern Division has been included in this Plan. This Plan deals with those issues that have been identified, through the consultative process, as being the immediate key issues that MNS-Miri is in a position to address in the next three years.
For the purposes of this Plan, the geographical scope for site-based nature conservation projects undertaken by the MNS-Miri is defined as the areas of Sarawak Northern Division only.
This Plan is, and will remain an organic document, i.e. it will be reviewed periodically and revised accordingly in response to emerging challenges and opportunities.
The Purpose of this Plan
1. This Plan is intended to provide a framework for MNS-Miri to define its direction in the next three years, to make decisions on allocating its financial and manpower resources, and to monitor and assess the impacts and outcomes of its actions.
2. It is also intended to inform key partners and other interested parties about the Branch’s priorities, and to provide the opportunity to enhance existing partnerships and to create new partnerships with like-minded organizations.
3. Finally, it is intended to communicate to the MNS Secretariat, MNS Council and other MNS branches how MNS-Miri proposes to contribute to the implementation of the MNS Strategic Plan 2008 – 2020. In doing so, MNS-Miri hopes to be able to solicit support from, and promote greater exchange and sharing of information and experiences within the Society.
Vision, Mission and Guiding Principles of the Plan
Our Vision is for Malaysia’s natural heritage and rich biological diversity to be effectively protected, managed and conserved for the benefit and appreciation of all Malaysians.
“To promote the study, appreciation, conservation and protection of Malaysia’s natural heritage.”
The above Mission may be represented briefly by the following motto:
“Know Nature, Value Nature and Act for Nature.”
Our Guiding Principles
In working towards the vision and mission above, the MNS-Miri is guided by the following principles:
a) Member-driven. MNS shall always be a member-based and member-driven society, deriving its strength from a committed and active membership.
b) Independent. MNS is a self-governing and non-partisan organisation.
c) Non-profit. MNS is a properly constituted and registered society under Malaysian law, whose objective is to carry out its mission in the interests of its members without the intent of commercial or monetary profit.
d) Transparent. MNS shall maintain transparency and accountability in all its dealings with its members, as well as with its external supporters and partners such as donor agencies, sponsors, government agencies, and the public.
a) Knowledge-based and multi-disciplinary. MNS’s analysis of conservation problems and solutions is objective, multi-disciplinary and based on the best available scientific information and knowledge.
b) Communications, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA). MNS uses CEPA as an important tool to recruit, empower and partner with people to act for conservation while taking into account their social and economic realities. MNS endeavours to practice effective communications within its organization, and with partners and interested parties outside the organization.
c) Capacity building. MNS organises or assists in training and other capacity building initiatives for those involved in, and responsible for the conservation and management of nature, including members, local communities and decision-makers.
d) Volunteerism. MNS shall always value the spirit of volunteerism and strongly encourage the participation of volunteers in its activities.
e) Best Practice. MNS seeks to demonstrate best practices in all its activities with the intention of being innovative, efficient and effective.
f) Results-driven. MNS stresses results by formulating strategic plans that assess policy/programme feasibility and include realistic short- and long-term goals and objectives.
g) Partnership. MNS subscribes to an inclusive spirit of partnership and willingness to work with all who support our nature conservation agenda, recognizing that sustainable conservation efforts are only possible through the involvement and support of all stakeholders including local communities and the general public.
h) Advocacy. MNS’s advocacy initiatives seek to communicate its findings and recommendations to decision-makers, at the national, state and local government levels, so as to influence or effect remedial nature conservation action.
i) Facilitation. MNS provides technical advice and acts in a facilitation role to encourage the active involvement of all stakeholders in discussing nature conservation-related challenges, and arriving at agreed solutions.
MNS MIRI BRANCH Goals, Strategies and Actions.
GOAL NO. 1:
To secure the conservation of environmentally sensitive areas, key habitats and species in Malaysia.
Strategy 1.1 : Advocate for the effective management of the existing protected areas and the establishment of new protected areas, as a means to secure an integrated, comprehensive and representative Protected Area System in the state.
Action 1.1.1: Monitor the NP within the Northern Division geographical area for management effectiveness and potential threats from development.
Action 1.1.2: Promote awareness about the nature conservation values of the area, and advocate for its protection, effective management and recognition as a site of global conservation importance through nature based activities in situ.
Action 1.1.3: Identify priority natural heritage sites, maintain a database of information on these areas, and take actions to advocate for their effective protection and management.
Action 1.1.4: Participate in Asian Wetland Census drawing participation from immediate community and MNS network.
Strategy 1.2 : Advocate for the establishment of a centralised database of information with the help of MNS HQ on key habitats and species, and for this information to be disseminated, in the appropriate format, to aid development planning and raise awareness about the natural heritage of Sarawak.
Action 1.2.1: Engage with the Sarawak Forestry Corporation Conservation Unit to advocate for the establishment of a publicly-accessible database on key sites and species.
Action 1.2.2: Engage with relevant research body who are currently conducting on-site research in Sarawak’s Northern Division.
Strategy 1.3 : Lobby and maintain active involvement in Special Park’s Committee for selected National Parks within the Northern Division.
Action 1.3.1: Engage with SPC Lambir, Niah, Mulu and Loagan Bunut to discuss opportunities to provide input to activities and initiatives within the purview of MNS-Miri membership in the SPC for these parks. Encourage the awareness of the importance of conservation of Sarawak natural heritage.
Action 1.3.2: Support SPC efforts, particularly in terms of input to community presentations, workshops and discussions, and their potential impact on the natural heritage of Sarawak. Work with other NP (those on whose SPC committee that we do not sit on ie. Similajau National Park) to engage communities.
Action 1.3.3: Train, encourage and support MNS-Miri members and Person In Charge of Northern Division National Parks and SPC to be involved with the maintenance of “Friends of Lambir”, “Friends of Similajau”, “Friends of Mulu”, and “Friends of Niah”. Populate these sites with relevant information for the public in a collaborative manner with stakeholders.
Action 1.3.4: Develop internet portals for Northern Division Nationa Park (blogspot and facebook) and populate with articles and relevant information for the public.
Strategy 1.4 : Identify threats to the survival of natural habitats and species in Sarawak Northern Divison and take appropriate actions to address these threats.
Action 1.4.1: Compile write-ups, findings, discoveries made during MNS-Miri excursions, trips and outings to a holding portal. Collect credible information on threats to endangered species and habitats and forward them to the relevant policy and decision-makers.
Action 1.4.2: Engage with the relevant stakeholders to identify actions which can be taken jointly to address threats to endangered species and habitats.
Action 1.4.3: Publicise findings on relevant portals.
GOAL NO. 2:
To empower current and future generations of Malaysians to act for the protection of our natural heritage.
Strategy 2.1 : Work towards the establishment of an affiliate MNS Nature Education Centre (NEC) in Sarawak Northern Division to serve as a site for educational programmes and activities and as a ‘home’ for the MNS-Miri; this centre to also act as a focal point for disseminating information about the natural heritage of Sarawak Northern Division.
Action 2.1.1: Conduct a feasibility study on the establishment of an affiliate MNS-Miri NEC in the Northern Division.
Action 2.1.2: Identifying sources of funding (from the government and private sectors) to support the establishment.
Action 2.1.3: Conduct Nature Education Camps at relevant NP.
Strategy 2.2 : Enhance the existing partnership with Shell’s Kem Mesra Alam and SFC Community Education Programme as a way to increase the involvement of stakeholders, teachers and students in MNS-Miri projects and activities.
Action 2.2.1: Contribute, participate and engage KMA in their yearly nature education camps.
Action 2.2.2: Contribute, participate and engage CEP in their yearly nature education camps.
Strategy 2.3 : Empower and mobilize the public through awareness raising and capacity building actions, and public campaigns to enable them to participate actively in the decision-making process for the management and conservation of nature and the environment.
Action 2.3.1: Build on the existing SMART Partnership with Pustaka Negeri Sarawak as a public outreach vehicle for MNS-Miri and to provide increased opportunities for the public to be involved in nature conservation activities.
Action 2.3.2: Continue to include a nature-based conservation education component in all MNS-Miri activities (including nature education camps for children, site visits and nature trips) to increase member awareness about nature conservation issues, and mobilize support for our actions.
GOAL No. 3:
To strengthen the institutional capacity of the Society towards achieving its mission and goals.
Strategy 3.1 : Secure the financial resources required to enable MNS-Miri to achieve the objectives of this Plan.
Action 3.1.1: Develop new and innovative means of raising funds, as necessary, to support the implementation of the strategies and actions identified in this Plan.
Action 3.1.2: Impress on stakeholders of our continued exploration of opportunities for funds.
Action 3.1.3:Submit small project proposals from known venue with help of HQ to raise funds.
Strategy 3.2 : Strengthen existing partnerships, and build new partnerships with like-minded organizations at the local levels to magnify the impact of conservation initiatives and programmes.
Action 3.2.1: Focus on corporate partnerships as a means to get more organized groups to volunteer/participate in MNS-Miri activities, and potentially, to secure funding to support the implementation of the actions identified in this Plan.
Action 3.2.2: Collaborate with Sarawak Forestry Corporation Parks Division, or PIC to ensure that the information disseminated to national nature park visitors is scientifically-credible and helps educates visitors about nature conservation.
Strategy 3.3 : Raise the image and profile of MNS to every segment of society so as to be recognized as a leading organization working to promote nature conservation.
Action 3.3.1: Establish an MNS-Miri presence (posters, displays, etc.) at public places (e.g. national parks) as a way to increase awareness about our activities and programmes.
Action 3.3.2: Compile a database of quality presentations on MNS and on key conservation issues to be presented to government agencies, organized groups and organizations as a way to ensure consistency in terms of the messages that we deliver.
Action 3.3.3: Enhance efforts to communicate our successes to a wide audience to increase recognition of our contribution to nature conservation efforts through public forum, media and internet.
GOAL No. 4:
To grow and to effectively and efficiently mobilise membership resources towards achieving the Society’s mission and goals.
Strategy 4.1 : Engage, maintain and expand the membership of MNS-Miri through targeted membership drives, and through ongoing projects and programmes.
Action 4.1.1: Focus on actively engaging existing members in our activities and programmes, e.g. by regularly communicating information to them about our projects and programmes, and organizing “MNS Recruitment Drive” events at institutions of higher learning and schools open days and such.
Action 4.1.2: SIGs to continue to organize high quality trips and events with appropriate nature interpretation components as a means to retain current members and expand membership.
Action 4.1.3: Continue to maintain a database on MNS-Miri members, including information about each member’s skills, expertise and areas of interest.
Action 4.1.4: Develop and maintain MNS-Miri Blogspot, Facebook websites as a means to communicate effectively with our members, and to attract potential new members.
Strategy 4.2 : Build the capacity of members to enable them to contribute effectively to our projects and programmes, and to ensure the sustainability of the Branch.
Action 4.2.1: Organize training workshops for members to enhance their skills in the nature conservation planning and management, including communications and advocacy. Draw synergies from other more experienced branches (ie MNS Kuching, MNS Selangor).
Action 4.2.2: Continue to explore opportunities for MNS-Miri members to be involved in workshops, seminars, and training and volunteer programmes organized by the MNS Secretariat or other MNS branches, or by institutions and organizations that work in nature conservation.
Action 4.2.3: Draw on the skills, expertise and interests of members to plan, develop and implement nature conservation projects and programmes.
Strategy 4.3 : Promote and foster links between MNS-Miri and the MNS Secretariat, and between MNS-Miri and other MNS branches, to promote greater sharing of expertise, knowledge and experience.
Action 4.3.1: Explore opportunities for MNS-Miri members to be involved in the nature conservation projects and events undertaken by MNS in other parts of the country.
Action 4.3.2: Explore opportunities for the MNS Secretariat staff and members from other MNS branches to be involved in MNS-Miri conservation projects. Nurture positive relationships between committee members and Secretariat.
Action 4.3.3 Explore greater synergy between MNS Kuching, MNS Miri and MNS Sabah through projects, workshops or trips.
End of Document.
As this plan is still at a draft stage, members are encourage to give feedback and discussions on the above. The final Branch endorsed plan will be presented to MNS Council 16th January 2010.
MNS Miri Branch members are invited for a discussion on the above draft strategies and actions Wednesday 18th November, Kelab Rekreasi Petroleum 1730-1900 hrs. All members are welcomed. Come shape MNS Miri and our contribution the immediate community we are in.