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Reclamation can help overcome coastal erosion, says Nik Nazmi

Reclamation can help overcome coastal erosion, says Nik Nazmi

Published by FreeMalaysiaToday • 8/3/2023

Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said the coast of Terengganu has suffered from erosion due to big waves.(Bernama pic)


KUALA LUMPUR: Reclamation can help mitigate the effects of climate change if done correctly, says natural resources, environment, and climate change minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.


He said coastal reclamation work could potentially help Terengganu overcome coastal erosion by creating new land from the sea.


“In the case of Terengganu, roads that used to be far from the sea are now close to the waters. This is the effect of climate change.


“So, reclamation can be done but on a case-by-case basis. If not done carefully, it might negatively impact the environment.


“We have to look at all options and consider the use of reclamation very carefully,” he told the Dewan Rakyat.


Nik Nazmi was replying to Yusuf Abd Wahab (GPS-Tanjong Manis) who had asked if the government planned to reclaim islands in coastal areas to prevent erosion and protect the livelihood of fishermen.


The November-March northeast monsoon has brought waves as high as 3m, leading to erosion in Pantai Tok Jembal in Kuala Terengganu since 2010, a report by the National Security Council showed.


Every year since then, the beach has lost 60m. A RM73.5 million mitigation project  was carried out and completed in 2019.


Earlier, Nik Nazmi was asked by Siti Mastura Mohamad (PN-Kepala Batas) if the government planned to cancel the Penang South Islands (PSI) reclamation project over its failure to meet requirements under the environmental impact assessment (EIA) that was carried out.


She also asked how the PSI project was given a low-carbon award when a federal government report showed the reclamation project is set to generate 3.2 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year.


Nik Nazmi said the agency that awarded PSI the credentials, Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation (MGTC) had made proper evaluations of the project’s plans to shave carbon emissions.


“I don’t want to second-guess MGTC’s decisions,” he said.


He said the PSI was being evaluated by the environment department and many other technical agencies, with no approval given so far.


Nik Nazmi said to date, five EIAs have been sent to the environment department by the project’s proponents, three of which were revisions, the latest being on Jan 18. He said one of the EIAs was shot down due to carbon-related concerns.


PSI aims to raise 4,500 acres of land by reclaiming three islands south of Penang. The project has yet to begin pending federal regulatory approvals.

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