Green Growth Asia Foundation

Sea Turtle Friendly Lighting Project, Melaka

The Sea Turtle Friendly Lighting Project in Melaka was a joint effort between GGAF and WWF-Malaysia to mitigate the negative implication of artificial lighting towards wildlife, especially light fixtures that have a short wavelength. Light fixtures in most developing coastal areas in Malaysia are not regulated; this poses a threat to the landing marine turtles. The traditional sodium-vapour street light fixtures compared to a light-emitting diode (LED) streetlight are inefficient and potentially harmful for the environment. Evidence suggests that marine turtles can notice light pollution up to 10 kilometres away from the beach, once landed, they are attracted to the beaming light fixtures, mistaking it for other natural cues e.g. moonlight. This change in direction exposes them to the danger of being run over, dehydration and preyed upon by a larger animal.

Padang Kemunting Beach is a small fishing village in the Alor Gajah constituency in Melaka that was chosen as the project site. The coastal area of Melaka is the home of the hawksbill sea turtle with 400-500 recorded nesting a year. The beach is 800 metres long and funds are required to install 27 units of amber toned LED light bulbs specifically designed for the safety and comfort of the sea turtles.

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