“MARINE CONSERVATION IN ASIA-PACIFIC
Joint Action Needed to Preserve Coral Reef Zones in Malaysia”
29th July 2010
The various articles highlighting Malaysia’s dead corals (‘Corals on the Brink, warns Expert’, The Star newspaper, Malaysia dated 29 July 2010 at page N18, “Extensive coral bleaching in Sepanggar Bay, Borneo: Marine scientists”, “Turtle feeding habitats unaffected by coral bleaching: Expert”,“UMT takes steps to breed and protect corals” and others) have continued to put the blame on global warming as a main reason which is far from the truth.
Global warming alone does not cause coral bleaching which leads to coral’s death. The other justification that climate change is the main culprit must be clarified. These two terms cannot be taken to mean the same thing.
Scientific literature at this point in time do not, in clear terms, identify coral’s death as a result of global warming and/or climate change because there is currently no clear scientific explanation and no comprehensive studies undertaken that could pinpoint direct cause attributing to such coral’s death.
In the absence of conclusive scientific explanation, it is, however, safe to assume that coral’s death and/or coral’s bleaching is a result of a combination of environmental factors on a large scale which have taken a toll on the coral reef zones over a long period of time.
As the underlying cause is environmental in nature, therefore, a solution lies not in only changing a life-style to a ‘greener’ one but to take a holistic change approach towards finding a sustainable solution.
The ban should be extended indefinitely by law and pre-emptive actions taken by selected institutions and organisations must be unified under one umbrella to achieve real success.
Studies should not include recommendations for mere localised treatment in Malaysia but must include similar coral-related protection and preservation studies with neighbouring countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, etc with a view to seek an ASEAN Coral Reef Protection Programme to achieve sustainable results from both environmental, eco-management plan and financial support perspectives.
Jeong Chun Phuoc
And an advocate in Strategic Environmental Intelligence(SEI)
He can be reached at Jeongphu@yahoo.com