Nik Nazmi: Reclamation can help overcome coastal erosion

NATURAL Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad is of the opinion that coastal reclamation work could potentially help Terengganu overcome coastal erosion by creating new land from the sea.

“Reclamation work can help mitigate the effects of climate change if done correctly,” he told the Dewan Rakyat.

According to Nik Nazmi, in the case of Terengganu, roads that used to be far from the sea are now close to the waters and this is the effect of climate change.

Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (Photo credit: Malaysiakini)

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

Nik Nazmi further noted that we have to look at all options and consider the use of reclamation very carefully.

The Setiawangsa MP was replying to Tanjong Manis MP Yusuf Abd Wahab who had asked if the government planned to reclaim islands in coastal areas to prevent erosion and protect the livelihood of fishermen.

Moreover, based on a report by the National Security Council, the November-March northeast monsoon has brought waves as high as 3m, causing erosion in Pantai Tok Jembal in Kuala Terengganu since 2010.

Since then, the beach has shrunk by 60m every year while in 2019, a mitigation project worth RM73.5 mil was carried out and completed.

Earlier, Kepala Batas MP Siti Mastura Mohamad asked Nik Nazmi if the government planned to terminate the Penang South Islands (PSI) reclamation project due to its failure to meet environmental impact assessment (EIA) requirements.

She also questioned why the PSI project was given a low-carbon award when a federal government analysis revealed that the reclamation project is expected to emit 3.2 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year.

Nik Nazmi claimed that the Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation (MGTC), which granted PSI the credentials, had properly assessed the project’s carbon-cutting efforts.

The PSI was being evaluated by the environment department and many other technical agencies, with no approval given so far. Nik Nazmi said that he doesn’t want to second-guess MGTC’s decisions.

Furthermore, 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 further added that one of the EIAs was shot down due to carbon-related concerns.

PSI intends to acquire 4,500 acres of land by reclaiming three islands south of Penang. The project will not commence until all federal regulatory permissions are obtained. — March 8, 2023


Main photo credit: Inai Kiara Sdn Bhd

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