Dear Friends & Colleagues
As agreed in the 7th RWG-M Meeting in Pontianak, Indonesia, I start motivating our forum by posting a critical issue relating our mangroves.
Last month I was invited as member of Scientific Council to appraisal a EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) report for building a Tourism Facilities Complex in area of 200 ha where mangrove forests and seagrasses co-exist in the coastal zone (see photos). As mentioned in the report, total area of seagrasses, ‘dirty’ muddy sand will be replaced by ‘clean’ white sand for swimming and mangrove swamps will be closed by a dike system to keep raining waters for tourists. In other word, mangroves and seagrasses will be degraded by the work. However, there are some words on mangroves and seagreasses in this report.
Some members are for the work with rationales that we are in developing country, we need developing the work for creating opportunities of jobs, services and tourism-based income sources. It would contribute to reduce poverty in this areas and “Western people protect environment better because they are richer than us”.
Please give your comments, it would be highly appreciated and the conclusion of the Council will be provided in the end of October.
Photo 1: Mangroves with dominated species of Rhizophora stylosa in the tourism project site
Photo 2: Halophyla ovalis