15 Dec Ecology offset programme can lessen effects of PSR project – PIC CEO
Published by Bernama • 15/12/2021 • 06:38 pm
Penang Infrastructure Corporation Sdn Bhd (PIC) CEO Datuk Seri Farizan Darus.
NIBONG TEBAL, Dec 15 — The Penang government has assured that the planting of mangrove trees through the ecology offset programme could lessen the negative impact of the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project.
Penang Infrastructure Corporation Sdn Bhd (PIC) chief executive officer, Datuk Seri Farizan Darus said this programme could support the environmental control measures taken by creating new habitats for the sea life and encouraging biological diversification.
“This initiative involving the cooperation of SRS Consortium and the Penang Forestry Department can be seen as a measure to protect the sea ecosystem for a positive impact on the fishery sector.
“In fact, besides the mangrove forests becoming habitats and breeding spots for fish, crabs, prawns, cockles and other sea species, the fishing community will also benefit from these natural buffers that protect the coastline from erosion and massive waves including tsunami.”
He said this to reporters after a mangrove planting programme held in collaboration with the Penang Forestry Department, PIC and Persatuan Kebajikan Nelayan-Nelayan Pantai Pulau Pinang (PIFWA), here, today.
“The first location proposed for the planting of mangrove saplings is Teluk Tempoyak, near Batu Maung, which is close to the PSR project site while the other proposed locations include Pulau Betong, Sungai Acheh, Juru and Penaga, expected to start under the PSR development effort beginning next year.
“All these initiatives are stated in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report to be submitted to the Department of Environment, meaning that all these initiatives must be implemented by the state government and SRS Consortium,” he added,
Farizan said 22,300 saplings from suitable species would be planted at Island A of 20 acres (8.09 hectares) in size with the potential of being turned into a recreational zone and eco-tourism destination for the public.
Meanwhile, Penang Forestry Department director, Muhammad Ezhar Yusof said since the launching of Penang 2030 in 2018, the department had planted 31,037 trees in 2019 until November 2021.
“From this number, 8,885 were mangrove trees planted at a number of locations and the rest (22,152) were from inland forest tree species planted at the permanent forest reserves and other areas through the collaboration,” he added.