PETALING JAYA: An environmental NGO is shocked over the destruction of a mangrove forest in the Kilim Karst Geoforest Park in Langkawi, Kedah.
Ecotourism and Conservation Society Malaysia (EcoMy) president, Irshad Mobarak said the precious natural mangroves at the park, had been cleared some four months ago.
“I visited the place about a month ago to have look and was devastated at what I saw.
“Rumours were rife with many assumptions from the local community and nature guides, so when I visited the site, I found no signage erected indicating the site was earmarked for a project.”
Irshad said queries made to the Langkawi Development Authority (Lada) revealed the State Forest Department had given the green light to Sentoria Langkawi Sdn Bhd on April 27, 2015 to develop the area.
Sentoria Langkawi Sdn Bhd is a property developer.
Lada, in a letter, also said the company had begun felling the mangroves without the necessary approval from the authorities, leading the Forest Department to issue a stop-work order.
According to the letter, Lada said the Forest Department would take stern action against the companies involved and corrective measures would be implemented.
However, Irshad said the area should not be developed at all.
“This is a far too sensitive ecosystem and efforts should go towards reforestation.”
He added that if the company was allowed to continue with its project, it would mean “bad behaviour was being rewarded”.
The Kilim Karst Geoforest Park is part of the Langkawi Geopark, which is South-east Asia’s first geopark to be endorsed under the Unesco Global Geopark Network.