On the paradise island of Omadal in Malaysia, one local resident has taken matters into her
own hands. Roziah Jalalid has been a first-hand witness to the changing ocean over the
years. As a Bajau – the indigenous inhabitants of Malaysia – her life and that of her people,
are deeply connected to the sea. It provides a vital source of food and income. But this
marine environment is under threat from climate change, destructive fishing practices and
Knowing something had to be done, Roziah became the Chairperson of The Women’s
Association of Omadal Island (WAPO), a community-focused initiative with the objective of
preserving the local marine ecosystem. They do this through raising funds, patrolling the
seas and education.
Roziah believes that community engagement and education is a vital part of conservation. If
communities unite and educate the youth on how to care for the marine environment,
there is hope that the oceans will be protected for future generations.
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