Malaysia: Dismayed by wanton clearing of Johor mangroves

The Star 5 Apr 12;

THE Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) is dismayed by the destruction of the mangroves in the riparian zones within the Iskandar Waterfront Development, which include the Sungai Skudai and its tributary Sungai Danga.

MNS is not anti-development and we respect the need to clear certain areas needed for the construction of certain physical structures within the development zone.

We are only against the wanton destruction of all the trees, especially the mangroves within the riparian (buffer) zones.

Is the total removal of the mangroves indicated in the the EIA report?

If so, who is responsible for monitoring for compliance?

Why is there the absence of signages at the development sites, which would give the necessary information of the planned development of the area (name of developer, type of development, name of architect etc.)?

The latest clearing of the mangroves is beside Taman Permata.

The mangroves on the right bank of Sungai Danga are totally cleared to the water’s edge.

The physical topography of the area indicates the area is a flood plain, which should be maintained for flood mitigation purposes.

Other riparian zone mangroves should maintain at least 30m of mangroves from the highest water mark, which must be conserved for various usages – natural purification for water, flood mitigation, fish breeding grounds, habitat for small mammals etc.

IRDA has indicated that the development within the Iskandar Development Region would be “sustainable” but the wanton destruction of these precious mangrove areas indicates otherwise, and it is MNS’ hope that this practice would cease immediately.

Coastal fishermen in the area have been complaining of poor catch since the development has been going on in the Sungai Skudai/Sungai Danga estuaries for the last few years.

Malaysian Nature Society.