Malaysia: Oil and gas hub in Pengerang will not affect Iskandar Malaysia

Yee Xiang Yun and Edmund Khoo The Star 17 Dec 12;

JOHOR BARU: The oil and gas hub being developed in Pengerang, at the south-eastern tip of Johor, will not affect the environmentally-friendly development being carried out in Iskandar Malaysia.

Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) state commissioner Dr Badrul Hisham said specific zones had been marked within the state for development.

“We are careful about managing man-made developments and eco-tourism development in the region.

“The oil and gas refinery project is located in east Johor while the western part of the state is dedicated to eco-tourism developments,” he said Monday.

The heart of Pengerang's development is Petronas' RM60bil Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development, due to begin by the middle of 2013 and operational in 2016.

The other project is Pengerang's RM5bil deep-water oil terminal, a joint venture between Dialog Group Bhd, Rotterdam-based Royal Vopak N.V. and the Johor government.

Dr Badrul said eco-tourism was a community-based industry and the authority had adopted Kampung Sungai Melayu, popular for birdwatching activities, as IRDA's pilot project to develop the sector.

“On top of hospitality skills, the locals would be educated on how to differentiate between local and migratory birds and ensure correct information to bird lovers as the village is one of the annual stops for thousands of migratory birds from Russia.

“Locals need to realise the potential that their village has to offer and use it as an asset to help boost the economy,” he said.

Dr Badrul said IRDA was committed towards striking a balanced development between Johor's eco-tourism sector and the state's man-made attractions.

He added that while Iskandar Malaysia was currently experiencing vast economic development, it was important to create a sustainable metropolis.

“This is why we are placing emphasis on developing eco-tourism in Iskandar Malaysia as an alternative attraction to the theme parks, such as Legoland Malaysia and the Puteri Harbour family theme park,” he said.

About 150 local and international delegates, including those from Indonesia and New Zealand are attending the three-day eco-tourism summit to discuss ways to develop the industry in Johor.

Eco-tourism projects will go on in Iskandar, says IRDA
The Star 19 Dec 12;

JOHOR BARU: The oil and gas hub being developed in Pengerang, at the south-eastern tip of Johor, will not affect the environmentally-friendly development being carried out in Iskandar Malaysia.

Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) state commissioner Dr Badrul Hisham said this after opening the inaugural Iskan-dar Malaysia National Eco-tourism Summit at Persada Johor here yesterday.

He said specific zones had been earmarked within the state for development.

“We are careful about managing man-made development and eco-tourism development.

“The oil and gas refinery project is located in east Johor while the western part of the state is dedicated to eco-tourism,” he added.

The heart of Pengerang's development is Petronas' RM60bil Refi-nery and Petrochemical Integrated Development, due to begin by the middle of next year and operational in 2016.

The other project is Pengerang's RM5bil deep-water oil terminal, a joint venture between Dialog Group Bhd, Rotterdam-based Royal Vopak N.V. and the Johor Government.

Dr Badrul said eco-tourism was a community-based industry and the authority had adopted Kam-pung Sungai Melayu, popular for birdwatching, as IRDA's pilot pro-ject to develop the sector.

“On top of hospitality skills, the locals will be taught how to differentiate between local and migratory birds and ensure they give the correct information to bird lovers as the village is a stop for thousands of annual migratory birds from Russia,” he said.

Dr Badrul said IRDA was committed towards striking a balanced development between Johor's eco-tourism sector and the state's man-made attractions.

About 150 local and international delegates are attending the three-day summit to discuss ways to develop eco-tourism in Johor.


Iskandar to promote birding activities
New Straits Times 18 Dec 12;

JOHOR BARU: The Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) wants to tap into avitourism, which is based on attractions involving birding activities, in line with its plan for sustainable development in the growth corridor.

Irda state commissioner Dr Badrul Hisham Kassim said more than 100 fishermen in Kampung Sungai Melayu, near Sungai Danga, were being roped in to participate in a pilot project to develop this niche area of ecotourism.

He said the fishermen and other villagers would double up as tour guides, especially for bird lovers who are known to watch the trail of migratory birds.

"Several species of migratory birds make Johor a stopover during their journey from Siberia to Australia between September and March. And there are diehard birdwatchers who will follow the flight of the birds. We had in April launched a training programme for villagers of Kampung Sungai Melayu."

Badrul Hisham was speaking after opening the three-day National Eco-Tourism Summit 2012, which is jointly organised by IRDA, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and the Malaysian Ecotourism Association.

He said the villagers were trained to identify different species of migratory birds and to communicate in English.

"We are creating a wider awareness of how to conserve the natural habitats of the birds."

About 200 participants, comprising representatives from environmental agencies and the ecotourism sector, are attending the summit. It aims to share ideas on how to transform the economy through innovations in ecotourism and developing birding tourism as an ecotourism product, among others.

Present were IRDA head of planning and compliance Maimunah Jaffar and UTM vice-president and deputy vice-chancellor (research and innovation) Prof Dr Mohd Azraai Kassim.

Badrul Hisham said Irda was focusing on four areas to promote sustainable development in Iskandar Malaysia: food and beverage trades; theme parks; heritage and culture; and, eco-tourism.

Badrul Hisham also said the oil and gas boom in Johor would not clash with IRDA's sustainable development concept.

He said IRDA would ensure that there were buffer zones in all projects, adding that care would be given to the Ramsar-gazetted conservation sites of Pulau Kukup, Sungai Pulai and Tanjung Piai.

On the June 27 oil spill at the Tanjung Piai National Park, Badrul Hisham said preventive measures were being carried out.

RM100,000 pledge from Malakoff
By Mahani Ishak New Straits Times 18 Dec 12;

PONTIAN: Malakoff Corporation Bhd (Malakoff) will contribute RM100,000 to plant 7,000 mangrove trees at the Tanjung Piai National Park and Kukup Island in Pontian.

The contribution marked the latest phase of the company's "Save our Mangrove" initiative, a joint corporate social responsibility programme with the Johor National Park Corporation.

Malakoff had launched a mangrove conservation programme in 2009 with an initial contribution of RM200,000.

Malakoff chief executive officer Zainal Abidin Jalil said the replanting is necessary as far as the eco-system is concerned.

"We took the effort to launch the initiative in a move to help conserve the eco-system. I am happy that the state government and the locals have been supportive of this programme since it was launched in 2009," he said.

To date, Malakoff has planted 37,000 mangrove seedlings in Johor.

Of the total, 20,000 were planted in Serkat, Pontian, while the rest in the Tanjung Piai and Kukup Island National Parks.

The replanting programme involved undergraduates in Johor.

Malakoff also distributed pamphlets on mangrove conservation to school representatives and residents

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