By Zanariah Abd Mutalib

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia has to draft a specific law which will allow it to explore marine biodiversity resources, aside from managing marine resources beyond national jurisdiction.

Science Advisor to the Prime Minister and National Professorial Council chairman Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid said so far no country had such laws, and international water explorations were led by developed nations such as the United States, Germany, Japan and South Korea.

Those with the technology and knowledge could conduct deep sea exploration he said citing the example on the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 .

“(The deep sea) areas have huge potential and vast natural resources which can be turned into medicine and industrial products with values that can reach trillions of ringgit,” he said.

Zakri was speaking at a roundtable discussion on Ocean Governance II: Malaysia’s Interest and Role in the Sustainable Use and Conservation of Biodiversity beyond National Jurisdiction on Tuesday.

In this regard, Zakri said a team comprising Marine Science and legal experts could give their input to the government in formulating an effective ocean governance and management policy framework.

“One of the key content of the law includes the need to determine the finding rights from deep sea explorations,” he said.

Also present were Foreign Ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Seri Ramlan Ibrahim and dan Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) Vice Chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Nor Aieni (CORRECT) Mokhtar.

Ramlan meanwhile said the Foreign Ministry would form an official work team comprising stakeholders to deliberate and collect expertise to forward Malaysia’s interests and ocean governance beyond national jurisdiction.

“We have many resources, so we need to combine existing expertise to build a strong stand and help Wisma Putra to address the matter at international level,” he said.

Nor Aieni said good law management could prevent negative impact on marine biodiversity, socio-economy and deep sea marine resources.

“This roundtable discussion will become a platform for relevant government agencies, researchers and non-governmental organisations to share their input on issues relating to legal protection and management of marine biodiversity,” she said.

Original article here

Credit: BERNAMA Photo
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