Story | 06 Apr, 2021

First Training for IUCN Green List Mentors in Malaysia

The first IUCN Green List mentor training programme in Malaysia was organised by WWF-Malaysia for 22 volunteers from governmental and non-governmental organisations, in collaboration with the national Expert Assessment group for the Green List (EAGL) and the IUCN Green List global team.

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Sugud Marine Islands Conservation Area

Photo: Fungchen Chung

Five protected areas in Malaysia are implementing the IUCN Green List Standard – the first global standard of good practice for area-based conservation. A key priority for IUCN Green List implementing partner WWF-Malaysia and the national EAGL is to establish a good support network to catalyse implementation efforts at the site-level. This includes the development of a national mentor training programme and network to support and facilitate the implementation of the Green List Standard.

At the end of 2020, WWF-Malaysia and the national EAGL invited conservation experts around the country to voluntarily register as potential Green List mentors. Interest from a diversity of respondents from different sectors was encouraging, and a first IUCN Green List mentor training in Malaysia was held on 24 -25 February 2021, virtually via Zoom due to Covid-19 restrictions.  

The objectives of the training were to introduce and familiarise potential mentors to the IUCN Green List process and Standard, and to enable knowledge sharing on mentorship skills and key tasks. The training was scheduled over two consecutive days for about three and a half hours daily. The first day covered a global and national overview of the IUCN Green List and introduction to the IUCN Green List Standard. The second day shared experiences from current mentors in Malaysia, and introduced tools and approaches that can help mentors and site staff to implement the Standard.

Joannie Jomitol, from WWF-Malaysia, became an IUCN Green List mentor as part of her work in Tun Mustapha Park (TMP), seeing that the IUCN Green List would greatly benefit the Park. Sabah Parks has demonstrated commitment and cooperation in the process which is important for making progress. Joannie directly supports TMP site staff and Sabah Parks staff with implementing the Standard. Achier Chung, from Reef Guardian, is a mentor for the Sugud Islands Marine Conservation Area (SIMCA), a Green List candidate site and privately managed marine area. Achier had been the site’s manager for the past 15 years, and she highlighted the need for a mentor to know the site well and must know all the requirements of the Green List process. Achier directly supports SIMCA staff on implementation.

WWF-Malaysia also explained the alignment between the IUCN Green List Standard and the Conservation Standards, which are a widely adopted set of principles and practices that bring together common concepts, approaches, and terminology for conservation project design, management, and monitoring. IUCN explained the application of relevant IUCN Best Practice Guidelines for protected and conserved area practitioners for governance, design and planning, effective management, and conservation outcomes, and relevant tools such as the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT).

Following the conclusion of the virtual training, WWF-Malaysia will lead on the next steps which include direct matching of mentors to registered Green List candidate sites and interested sites; involvement in promoting the IUCN Green List nationally and locally to relevant organisations and stakeholders; and, facilitating networking amongst mentors and becoming part of the global IUCN Green List and World Commission on Protected Areas communities.

IUCN and WWF-Malaysia are grateful to the financial support of the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea, which made this workshop possible.