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SAM urges govt to preserve mangrove forest

PENANG, 26 Dec 2008: Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) has urged the government to stop all activities in mangroves forest and pay serious attention to the threat posed by the aquaculture industry which is decimating the mangrove forest eco-system.

SAM president S.M. Mohamed Idris said there was a need to re-consider the industrial aquaculture zones and prohibit aquaculture activities in mangrove forest.

“The government should also develop a strong policy and law to control the aquaculture industry as well as to rehabilitate damaged mangrove forest to ensure protection for our coastlines,” he told reporters here today.

He said the areas that were badly hit by the tsunami in 2004 like Acheh and Thailand suffered huge losses because the mangrove forest had been converted for aquaculture industries.

“The tragedy of Tsunami created a chaotic situation throughout the world and these are valuable lessons to avert future tragedies especially in the light of adverse impact of climate change in the future,” he said.

He said areas comprising mangrove forest in Malaysia has decreased drastically despite a warning by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to stop any invasion and destruction of mangrove forest and a call to replant mangrove trees.

In conjunction with the Tsunami anniversary in Penang today SAM, in collaboration with the Consumer Association of Penang (CAP) would replant about 6,000 mangrove trees in six different locations in Kedah, Penang and Perak.

The tsunami, triggered by an earthquake in the Indian Ocean, off Sumatra on 26 Dec 2004 claimed over 230,000 lives in countries like Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Somalia, Maldives and Malaysia. — Bernama


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