INOS Signed LOI with Planmalaysia: Bringing Ecosystem-Based Planning to the Forefront

By Wan Izatul Asma Wan Talaat

On 27 March 2023, INOS, UMT and the Town and Country Planning Department (PLANMalaysia) has finally cemented our years-long collaboration in science-policy interface through the signing of a letter of intent (LOI). The LOI was signed in conjunction with the official visit of the Director General of PLANMalaysia, Dr Alias Rameli to INOS. Dr Alias has also been presented with his appointment letter as a distinguished visiting research fellow to UMT.

The LOI was signed in view of the past, present and future collaborative works between PLANMalaysia and UMT, which has been recognized through UMT‘s appointment as a Strategic Partner to PLANMalaysia under the recently-launched National Coastal Zone Physical Plan-2 (NCZPP-2).

As the main agency in development planning at the federal, state and local levels, PLANMalaysia holds a huge responsibility in ensuring that land-use planning of terrestrial and marine space is carried out sustainably. To do that, ecosystem-based planning is necessary to balance between socio-economic objectives and environmental conservation. Hence, as a leading institution in coastal and marine research, UMT is more than capable to facilitate informed decision making for sustainable land-use planning.

One such example is through Marine Spatial Planning (MSP), which is an ecosystem-based approach and a public policy process for a society to better determine how the ocean and the coasts are sustainably used and protected – for now and for the future generations. MSP has been set as a thrust action under NCZPP-2 and INOS, UMT will be the lead research institution in MSP implementation through its ongoing joint-project with Fujian Institute for Sustainable Ocean, Xiamen University, China (FISO-XMU).