|Firm to work with environs groups |
By : R. Sittamparam (NST Online: www.nst.com.my)
15 August 2007
JOHOR BARU: The developer of a proposed petrochemical and marine industries estate at the Sungai Pulai estuary has agreed to work with local environmentalists to assess the impact of the project on the estuary.
It will also abide by Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman’s recent order that a detailed environmental impact assessment (DEIA) be conducted on the project site near the estuary which is home to the dugong and seahorse.
Representatives of Seaport Worldwide Sdn Bhd met with officials from the Malaysian Nature Society, Johor (MNSJ) branch, yesterday to convince them that the project would be a sustainable one.
A spokesman for the developer said the meeting with MNSJ chairman Associate Professor Dr Maketab Mohamed and adviser Vincent Chow had been a fruitful one.
"MNSJ agreed to support our project if we look into the preservation of the environment and biodiversity at the estuary.
"We are willing to work with MNSJ and other environmentalists and are now looking at doing a DEIA at the project site to show our transparency and commitment to preserve the environment."
The spokesman said Seaport Worldwide would carry out the project in the same environmentally-friendly manner that it had developed the Tanjung Pelepas Port (PTP).
"We complied with all the environmental regulations in developing the port, including helping to preserve the habitat of the seahorse at Pulau Merabong.
"We’re now working to monitor the seagrass bed in the area and run environmental awareness programmes for children."
PTP was bestowed the Partnership in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia award in recognition of its safety, health and environment systems.
The developer’s representatives will be meeting with the Save Our Seahorses action committee chairman Choo Chee Kuang for discussions today.
Maketab said he assured the developer that local environmentalists were not against the project but wanted to ensure it was environmentally sustainable.
"We’re happy that the developer has agreed to do the DEIA in place of the less stringent EIA that it had done earlier.
"It is also encouraging that this time around the developer will be considering the feedback from local environmental groups."