Controversial marina project threatens Malaysia's Pulau Tioman Marine ParkPetaling Jaya, Malaysia - Concerned about irreversible damage to the marine ecosystem, WWF-Malaysia is urging the Pahang State government to reverse its decision to build a marina near Pulau Tioman's Marine Park.
The marine park is home to some 200 endangered giant clams, coral reefs, and other marine life.
"It would be an absolute travesty to destroy the very corals that the government has pledged to protect," said WWF-Malaysia’s Executive Director Dato' Dr Mikaail Kavanagh. "It would wipe out the natural treasures that are of huge value to Tioman’s tourism industry and would be bad for conservation and the local economy.”
WWF-Malaysia fears that if the marina project goes ahead, it would not only defy Tioman’s status as a nationally protected marine park, but would also be taken as a sign that marine park protection in Malaysia is not to be taken seriously.
"This could put off tourists from coming to other parks in Malaysia and have a widespread, damaging effect on the tourism industry as a whole," Kavanagh added.
"Malaysia’s reputation as a tourist haven is rather like the corals themselves in that it can be damaged very easily and would take years to grow again."
WWF-Malaysia is urging the local goverment to strictly adhere to the spirit, as well as the letter of the law.
"At the very least, the project should be put on hold while a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is carried out," Kavanagh said.
"The report should be opened to comment by all interested parties, especially the local communities on Tioman, before any decision is made."
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Janet Balong, Press Office
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