‘Pe­nang to gazette man­grove ar­eas as for­est re­serves’

New Straits Times - - News -

The state gov­ern­ment plans to gazette man­grove ar­eas in Pe­nang as for­est re­serves to en­sure they are prop­erly pro­tected.

State En­vi­ron­ment Com­mit­tee chair­man Phee Boon Poh said it planned to gazette ar­eas with dense man­grove forests from Bagan Be­lat to Kuala Muda in Se­berang Prai Utara and Sun­gai Acheh in Se­berang Prai Se­la­tan.

He said there was no sta­tis­tics on the size of man­grove forests in the state as the Forestry De­part­ment was in the process of sur­vey­ing the ar­eas.

“Once the sur­vey is ready, we hope to iden­tify the man­grove ar­eas in the state.

“We plan to gazette most of

them to en­sure their con­tin­u­ous ex­is­tence,” he told the New

Straits Times.

Phee said there were more man­groves in the state now com­pared with be­fore the tsunami in De­cem­ber 2004, but he could not pro­vide rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion.

In Oc­to­ber 2011, Phee re­port­edly an­nounced that the state gov­ern­ment had plans to de­clare 664ha of man­grove forests in the state as per­ma­nent for­est re­serve.

He had said the state gov­ern­ment’s tar­get was to de­clare at least 800ha as for­est re­serve to pro­tect the man­groves.

How­ever, there has not been any new de­vel­op­ment since his an­nounce­ment.

Phee Boon Poh

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