The Sayang Sayang Virtual Seagrass Festival: Celebrating conservation in Malaysia

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In November 2020, MareCet hosted the Sayang Sayang Seagrass Festival, a week-long virtual celebration of seagrass and the many ecosystem services it providesas an initiative under the Seagrass Ecosystem Services Project, which is funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German government. 

In accordance with COVID-19 public health directives, the event took place on-line via Facebook from 23 – 29 November 2020, and included talks delivered by marine biologists, a documentary screening, live Q&A sessions and several contests to engage the general public. 

The Sayang Sayang Seagrass festival aimed to raise public awareness on the importance of seagrass. Sayang means ‘love’ in Malay, and the festival was truly an effort to raise peoples love and respect for the wonderful world of seagrass.  

Global seagrass experts from Seagrass-Watch, the Convention on Migratory Species Dugong MoU Secretariat (CMS Dugong MoU), Save Our Seahorses and the University of Malaysia attended panel discussions on the importance of seagrass meadows, its potential in the fight against climate change, and the steps needed to protect them from continued destruction. The team even organized a virtual SCUBA dive to so that participants could experience the unique environment and biodiversity of seagrass meadows! 

Resources and recordings from the festival are available on Marcet’s Facebook Page.