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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: Malaysia; World Wildlife Fund Says i-SHARP Not “Green”  (อ่าน 1795 ครั้ง)
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« เมื่อ: ธันวาคม 06, 2009, 10:59:00 AM »

Malaysia; World Wildlife Fund Says i-SHARP Not “Green”

 
World Wildlife Fund-Malaysia would like to respond to the article “Green Shrimp Farm” which appeared in The Star Online on November 4, 2009.
 
In WWF-Malaysia’s opinion, the i-SHARP (Integrated Shrimp Aquaculture Park) project cannot be considered “green”.  i-SHARP informed WWF-Malaysia about the project, and we used that opportunity to raise many of our concerns about the project.
 
The project developer was required to submit a Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA), and by virtue of being a member of the DEIA Technical Review Panel, we provided extensive comments on the DEIA regarding adverse environmental impacts of the project.  Severely concerned with the adverse environmental impacts of the project, we issued a letter to the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment in order to bring the issues related to the project to his attention.
 
There are a number of reasons why WWF-Malaysia thinks the project is not “green”.  To be “green”, a responsible aquaculture company should NOT locate its farms in environmentally sensitive areas.  The i-SHARP project has clearly not met this criteria.  Nearly 700 hectares of Gelam Forest, one of the most severely threatened freshwater ecosystems in Malaysia, is about to be cleared for the project.  By siting the project in the Gelam Forest, the project has not conformed to land-use plans, namely the National Physical Plan and the Setiu Local Plan (2003-2015).  Both plans categorize wetlands as Environmentally Sensitive Areas.  Additionally, the Setiu Local Plan states that only recreational activities are allowed in this area.
 
In addition, WWF-Malaysia is gravely concerned with the proposal by the developer to discharge effluent from the shrimp ponds into the Sungai Chaluk River, an important habitat for critically endangered terrapins.  As the project will be utilizing full-strength seawater for its operations, the pond effluent will be high in salt content.  In WWF-Malaysia’s estimation, the project could potentially discharge up to 50,000 kilograms of salt into the river every hour, when operating at full capacity.  It is doubtful that the Sungai Chaluk River will have the capacity to dilute this volume of salt especially during the dry seasons.  This will have a devastating impact on the ecosystem and the terrapins.
 
Apart from high salinity, viruses might contaminate the effluent.  Releasing contaminated effluent to the Sungai Chaluk River would have an adverse impact on the existing downstream aquaculture activities in the Setiu Lagoon, affecting the livelihood of the local aquaculture producers.  The expected impacts of the project will also compromise the integrity of the proposed Setiu State Park.  WWF-Malaysia along with other concerned parties recommended that the effluent be channeled back into the sea instead and not into the Sungai Chaluk River.  Regrettably, the developer rejected this alternative and even more regrettably, the authorities have approved the discharge of the effluent into the river.  Such a discharge will have a devastating impact on the river terrapins and drive them to local extinction, notwithstanding proposals by the developer to have monitoring programs in place.
 
WWF-Malaysia reiterates that it does not consider the project to be environmentally friendly or “green”.
 
Source: Wild Singapore.  Setiu Shrimp Farm Not Green.  Dato’ Dr. Dionysius S.K. Sharma, Executive Director/CEO WWF Malaysia.  November 16, 2009.
 
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