DEIA report lacks scientific data, says environmental activist

07 Jan 2015 / 16:23 H.

    JOHOR BARU: An environmental activist today claimed that the Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA) report on Forest City lacked scientific data and failed to address the impact on reclamation on Johor Straits.
    Malaysian Nature Society, Johor branch adviser Vincent Chow told theSun the report had shown that most data used in the DEIA were from secondary sources and not the first hand study statistics.
    He said some photos taken during the study period from July to September last year such as Photo 9.9 did not mention the date taken and the location.
    Chow also revealed the report estimates that all of the sea grass species on Merambong shoal will totally vanish when higher coverage of reclamation takes place.
    "Sea grass species were already vanishing and replaced with seaweed at the early stage of reclamation last year," he said..
    He said it was also stated that Tanjung shoal will experience serious sediment reclamation impacts on Johor Straits but failed to give more information on how many species of sea grass will be affected and how long they can survive except to say 'No evidence to proof that 3.96 hectar sea grass area have been badly hit by the reclamation work.'
    He added the statement did not reflect the real situation and could be due to a lack of data and photo from the scene.
    He also pointed out that the proposals on mitigation measures were not detailed.
    Although Chow is not against development, he said, sustainable development is important as reclamation works on the proposed Forest City site will adversely affect the marine and coastal biological diversity on Johor Straits.
    "To reduce and mitigate impacts upon marine and coastal biological diversity and to restore seagrass bed, it needs good management practices, methodologies and policies," he added.
    The Forest City project will see four man-made islands being built in the waters of Tanjung Kupang between southwest Johor and northwest Singapore. It consists of four man-made Islands near Second Link and Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP), the total reclamation land is about 1,600 hectares.
    The first man-made Island is about 396 hectares, for reclamation work alone.
    The project, scheduled for completion in five years' time is estimated to create 15,000 to 20,000 job opportunities.
    The size of the other three man-made islands are from 59 hectares to 1,064 hectares.

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