Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Malaysia moves against coastal erosion crisis

Sohail Rahman in Al-Jazeera.com: ...Malaysia and Denmark ... have been working on environmental projects for over a decade. Both recognise the importance of their coastline and Denmark has years of experience in dealing with water levels and rising seas.

...So fast forward to Penang, coastal erosion and fresh water fishermen. They have a huge problem of coastal degradation. Is global warming the reason for the way typhoons have hit Asia Pacific these past few years, or the terrible floods that hit Malaysia in December 2014?

It could be a factor if the bigger global environmental jigsaw puzzle is worked out Here, though, the government, local and national is working with local nongovernmental organisations, acknowledging there is a need to support the livelihoods of over 200 fisherman on the island that locals call Pulau Pinang.

Together they identify vulnerable areas, work out which of the 150 species of hmangrove will be best suited to binding the land, grow quickly and feed the natural wildlife that depends on the plants. Keeping salt water away and encouraging freshwater wildlife that can sustain communities, such as fish, prawns and lobster to return.

...It is working yet we hear very little about it. Some NGOs such as The Consumer Association of Penang say the government need to do more and quickly. It is an easy statement to make but no government official likes to be told what to do. Yet Malaysia will be doing that soon enough. Telling its neighbours or the international community at the UN what they think and what needs to be done....

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