Ecotourism Pilot Project: Mantanani Islands

Date Published
November 01, 2017

This report looks at the prospects of turning the Mantanani Islands off the coast of Sabah as an island marine ecotourism site in line with BIMP-EAGA’s ecotourism strategy.

The Mantanani Islands and their marine environment are typical of small tropical island groups in the subregion. In many cases, these islands are under threat from human activity and natural hazards. As with many other tropical island tourist sites in the subregion, Mantanani’s development trajectory is unsustainable, with conflict and competition over resources and jobs a growing issue. Development of Mantanani and other islands in the subregion has opened these island groups to conflicting plans and regulations, which the study seeks to rationalize in order to bring about a comprehensive and holistic approach and outcome. 

With the project, BIMP-EAGA hopes to curb the effects of unrestrained development on the subregion’s islands. 

To reverse the unsustainable development trajectory at Mantanani, the study recommends the following: create a sustainable marine and terrestrial environment management planning framework for all future development and conservation activities at Mantanani; enhance living standards of the local community; ensure strong community participation in the tourism supply chain; create a well-developed supporting economic and social infrastructure; and control daily visitor volumes at Mantanani by introducing capacity limits and low-impact tourism, and higher quality tourist facilities and services. 

• Introduction 
• Tourism Planning and Development Context 
• Ecotourism Development Trends 
• Mantanani Situation Analysis 
• Proposed Development Strategy and Project for Mantanani Islands as a Pilot Marine Ecotourism Destination in Sabah