Borneo Marine Conservation Experience

The Borneo Marine Conservation experience provides you a unique opportunity to support marine conservation in Borneo while learning about marine life and efforts to protect Borneo’s unique marine ecosystem. This two day course is a responsible tourism opportunity you cannot miss.

Your guides for this adventure will be marine biologists from the team at the Marine Research Foundation, which is an internationally recognized marine conservation NGO from right here in Borneo.

The Marine Research Foundation biologists will take you on an interactive adventure that will teach you about the unique marine life in Borneo, fun facts, daily duties of a conservationist, and much much more!

You will follow the marine biologists into the field at our conservation site in Sepanggar Bay to see the work they do. The best part is you get to dive in and engage in hands-on research activities just like the marine biologists do.

The two days you spend with the team leave you with a new gained knowledge of Borneo’s marine life and the important conservation efforts going on here. More importantly, you will leave with the peace of mind that you are helping directly fund the efforts of the Marine Research Foundation.

*40% of your payment will go directly to Marine Research Foundation’s conservation projects in Borneo and beyond.

By choosing this responsible tourism product you have a direct impact on marine conservation. And thanks to what you learn, you can be a champion of marine conservation to others!

Learn more about this opportunity below.

  • Want to book the Borneo Marine Conservation Experience? Inquire here.

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About the Tour:

The Borneo Marine Conservation Experience is 2 day course that is ideal for travelers interested in responsible tourism, making a difference, and learning about marine ecosystems. The course includes visits to coral reefs and mangrove habitats, interactive learning sessions about coral reefs, tropical fish, and a close-up look at sea turtles conservation (which is a key focus of the Marine Research Foundation).

Over the two days, you will be immersed in the world of marine science and get to see a side of our oceans, few get to experience.

The first day takes you into the classroom with a marine biologist for an interactive learning experience. You will spend the day learning about biology, ecology, research, and conservation of marine ecosystems.

The second day is where the fun really begins as you head out to our conservation site to get a hands on marine conservation experience that is offered nowhere else. With the help of the marine biologist, you will engage in real field work, collecting and documenting sea life at the conservation site (don’t worry, the collection is non-invasive as we are trying to preserve these lovely little creatures).

Believe it or not, your time at the field site produces usable results for the Marine Research Foundation.

After your day in the conservation area, you will be treated to a special celebration dinner of organic delights at Signal Hill Eco-Farm. After the dinner, you will receive a certificate of completion from the Marine Research Foundation.

The impact of your time on the Borneo Marine Conservation Experience doesn’t end there. You yourself will leave with an enhanced knowledge and the ability to help inform others about the importance of marine conservation. And as we have mentioned before, 40% of the money you spend will help the Marine Research Foundation continue their important conservation projects (learn more about those below).

About the Marine Research Foundation:

The Marine Research Foundation (MRF) is led by renowned marine biologist and conservationist Dr. Nicolas Pilcher. Dr. Pilcher has been working in marine conservation for more than 25 years.

The MRF is based here in Sabah, Borneo and their projects extend worldwide.

The MRF was set up to further the understanding of marine ecosystems and functions, and conserve the abundance and diversity of marine flora and fauna through research, conservation and education activities.

The MRF has worked on conservation and research projects with notable entities such as the UNDP, the government of Qatar, the sultanate of Oman, the World Wildlife Fund, and the Sabah government, to name a few.

Some of MRF’s projects include:
Working in partnership with the Department of Fisheries Malaysia to develop sustainable fishery practices and reduce bycatch in shrimp fisheries.
Working with TRAFFIC, Conservation International and WWF to develop tri-national approaches to seascape-level conservation, including the design of a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) and reduction of poaching of sea turtles by Chinese and Vietnamese vessels.
Working with local communities in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea to conserve critically endangered leatherback turtles
Working with the CMS Dugong Secretariat to implement a GEF dugong conservation project across 8 nations in the Indo-Pacific.

About the Conservation Projects Your Money Supports:

Among others, your money goes directly to help funding several projects in Malaysia:

You can learn more about all of the work MRF is doing on their website:


Day 1 Kota Kinabalu – Interactive Classroom Session

  • Pick up at the hotel lobby by 0830 hrs. Then, proceed to Top Peak office at 88 Marketplace for classroom session.
  • 0900:   Coral reef ecology, biology & conservation; tropical fish and invertebrates
  • Lecture topics will look at the varied coral species, how corals grow and reproduce, and their sensitivities to pollution and other stressors. We would also look at the different groups of invertebrates (echinoderms, molluscs, crustaceans), and look at their evolution and physiology.
  • 1100:    Lunch
  • 1130: Turtle ecology and biology; seagrass and mangrove habitats; marine conservation.
  • We learn all about the biology and ecology of endangered sea turtles, and discuss conservation approaches and challenges. We will also look at other marine environments such as seagrasses and mangroves, and discuss the last day practical field assessments.
  • Drop off at Hotel

Day 2 Sepanggar Bay – Conservation Camp

  • Pick up at the hotel lobby by 0830 hrs. Then, proceed to conservation site in Sepangar Bay.
  • 0900:  Field expedition (Sepangar Bay) – lessons and practice sessions.
  • 1200: Locally prepared lunch.
  • 1300: Continue field expedition.
  • 1600: Transfer to Signal Hill Eco Farm for dinner
  • 1700: Dinner/Recap of what was learned/distribution of certificates.
  • Transfer to Hotel.

Learn More about the Marine Research Foundation:

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