22 January 2019 (Tuesday) – Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) Director General (DG) Dato’ Abd Latif Mohmod and Deputy DG (Research) Dr Samsudin Musa visited Penang on 12 January to discuss the possibility of assisting the state in the conservation and rehabilitation of mangroves related to the proposed Penang South Reclamation Project.
|Representatives of SRS, State Government and JPNPP posing for a group picture. Samsudin (third from left), Rusli (fourth from left) and Abd Latif (fifth from left).||SRS representative Poh Chia Ching briefing the attendees.|
Following the FRIM Technology Talk held on 27 November last year in Ipoh, Penang State Forestry Director Rusli Tahir invited FRIM to see how FRIM’s experts could assist in promoting the forest conservation and environment protection.
The discussion was held with SRS Consortium consultants, State Government representatives as well the Penang State Forestry Department (JPNPP).
After the site visit, FRIM DG has agreed in principle to assist in the conservation of a 17-ha natural mangrove forest stand located Batu Maung. This healthy mature mangrove forest is indeed unique as it is located in a highly-developed urban area and remains intact although there were visible recent encroachments at its peripheries. The area is located on federal land and is being managed by the Fisheries Department.
The State Government has also agreed to arrange a meeting with all the stakeholders to earmark the area as a Mangrove Park.
Abd Latif also indicated that FRIM can assist in assessing the biodiversity of the area and provide technical assistance in enhancing the ecological value of the mangrove forest. As a start, FRIM plans to undertake an inventory of the mangroves to assess its flora stocking and composition.
He and Samsudin were also brought to assess the mangroves along the coasts and intertidal mudflats in Telok Tempoyak. The mangrove forest in this area was found to be sparse and unhealthy. The FRIM DG also agreed to assess the site to consider the possibility of rehabilitation.
|Abd Latif during the site visit.|
“We hope the State Government and SRS will commit more resources to the conservation of forest resources related to this reclamation project. It will not only bring positive impact to the environment but also good for their image and will enhance confidence amongst the people that the project will be undertaken in a way that ensures a balance between development and conservation,” said Abd Latif.