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  Bernama 9 Nov 07
Marine Conservation Area proposed for Sungei Pulai, Johor
PTP, MNSJ Moot Idea To Gazette Pulau Merambung

JOHOR BAHARU, Nov 9 (Bernama) -- The Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) and the Malaysian Nature Society of Johor (MNSJ) have mooted an idea to gazette Pulau Merambung, an island across the port, as a marine conservation area.

The idea was mooted as they entered into a collaboration to conserve the Sungai Pulai estuary to help preserve sea grass, dugong, seahorses and other marine inhabitants in areas around Pulau Merambung.

PTP chairman Datuk Mohd Sidik Shaik Osman said the idea was in line with the port's promotion for a sustainable development.

"I don't think we want to develop the port in a manner where we will destroy the environment. If we think the development of the area will have serious impact on the environment, then we have to adjust our plans accordingly, he told reporters after presenting a RM60,000 cheque to MNSJ to finance its research on Sungai Pulai estuary and its unique eco-system.

Under the collaboration with MNSJ, PTP will collect data on the environment in the area and learn how to conserve them as it planned for future development.

"It is possible in some areas where we do our port work that some sea grass areas are affected. We would want to relocate the sea grass to an area around Pulau Merambung so that we could preserve it," said Sidik.

MNSJ Director Assoc Prof Dr Maketab Mohamed said the society would give advice and technical support to PTP on environmental aspects so that its future development would not have negative impact on the environment.

Data collected by the society would also be used as scientific evidence to support the idea to gazette Pulau Merambung, he said.

Johor State Executive Councillor for Tourism and Environment Freddie Long, who was also present, said the state government welcomed the idea.

"Nobody can enter the island when the Johor National Parks Corporation approves the gazetting," he said. -- BERNAMA

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