Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Turtle Conservation Center, Kg. Mangkuk, Penarik, Setiu

The TCC culminated from the work of Prof. Dr. Chan Eng Heng, formerly of Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT). There is also a proposal for the possible collaboration with the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) in the future.

I visited the TCC at Kg. Mangkok while doing some "pro bono" work for the Department of Environment on the modeling the impacts of the 1,000 ha shrimp farm discharging its wastewater into Sg. Chaluk, a tributary of Sg. Setiu.




The building is a rented "balai raya" or community hall in Kg. Mangkok. Our group (Puan Rohimah, En Wan Zafri, En Ismail and En. Che Ku of DOE Terengganu; and myself) was shown around by Miss Chen Pelf-Nyok, Prof. Chan's assistant.




We were also told about the bad news of the proposed channel to be built by JPS to connect Sg. Setiu to the South China Sea. The proposed alignment is just after the Penarik Inn, between the two road signs indicating "Kg. Baru Penarik" and "Kg. Mangkok". The alignment would cut across the river terrapin (tuntung) nesting site. Not only that, a channel of about 1.5 km in length, would also be constructed to straighten Sg. Setiu, cutting across a pristine gelam wetlands.






As usual, JPS has not referred the project to relevant government departments including Wildlife, Fisheries, Department of Environment etc. Yes, the proposed project does not need an EIA Report but due to the impacts on the environment, relevant government departments must be consulted first.

Other than the obvious impact on the nesting site, the whole project would destroy prime wetlands, channelized natural rivers, which JPS not supposed to do according to their own publication, MASMA, the project would also increases the salinity of Sg. Setiu, affect the hydrodynamics and very possible closure of the natural Sg. Setiu estuary.

The location of the channel was not properly studied, just the narrowest point of the land between the bend of the Setiu river to the South China Sea. All for the purpose of ensuring the LKIM fish landing jetty does not become a white elephant.

Today, Wednesday, April 7, 2010, after doing an early Sg. Chaluk sampling, I went out to survey an alternative site for the channel. It is further on the Setiu Lagoon but at least it is not a tuntung nesting site. The area is between N 5 degrees 38.4137', E 102 degrees 46.5902' and N 5 degrees 38.5875, E 102 degrees 46.3876' (see photos below).



Gunung Ledang, 21 February 2010

Gunung Ledang, 21 February 2010
On the Peak of Gunung Ledang after the MNSJ Strategic Planning

Malaysian Nature Society, Johor Branch

Hi!

I am the present Chairman of the Malaysian Nature Society, Johor Branch (MNSJ) (2010-11) and was duly elected as the President of the Malaysian Nature Society at the 63rd AGM at Taman Rimba Lagenda Ledang, Tangkak on 25th Sept. 2010. It is MNSJ's standing policy to engage directly with the relevant Federal and State agencies/departments on issues related to Nature and the Environment. This non-hostile approach is more effective than the hostile "in your face" attitude but we would have our say if necessary.

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About Me

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Skudai, Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
I am an academician in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia situated in the southern state of Johor, Peninsular Malaysia. My fields of expertise are watershed management, water quality and water quality modeling. I did my B. Sc. and M. Sc. at the University of Iowa (1978 - 83) and worked for the Department of Environment (DOE) until 1990, when I joined UTM and later did my PhD in Watershed Science at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. I was the Chairman of the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) Johor from 2006 - 2011. I was the President of the MNS from 2010 to 2014.