Photograph: © Denis Delestrac
A sand mining controversy is piling pressure.
Malaysia’s mainstream media, whose journalists were taken to the site, has been giving prominent coverage in the past few days to what it says is an impending environmental disaster in Selangor caused by illegal sand mining.
Reports say that Paya Indah Wetlands, a 3,100ha eco-tourism park located 50km south of Kuala Lumpur, is being destroyed by the clearing and excavation of some 120ha of land nearby.
A large sand mine is reportedly located just 50m from two lakes in the park.
Although local villagers said the lorries and excavators turned up only two weeks ago, environmentalists were quick to decry the effect all this could have on the park.
Paya Indah Wetlands has 14 lakes and is home to hippos, crocodiles and more than 200 species of birds including local and migratory, , 14 species of fish, more than 63 species of wildlife, and more than 200 species of plants.
The park attracted some 24,000 visitors last year and some 11,800 people in the first six months of this year.
This is not the first time that the sand mining issue has hit the Pakatan government hard.
Wetlands exposed and vulnerable; The New Straits Times Press
The Malaysian Nature Society inspected sand-mining activities next to the Paya Indah Wetlands July 12th and found dredging work there “to be too close for comfort”. (MNS).
Its head of communications, Andrew Sebastian, who inspected the sand mining site on July 12th, said he found there is no proper buffer to protect the Paya Indah Wetlands from sand mining activities nearby, leaving the wetlands “exposed and vulnerable. He said mining activities posed a threat to the wetlands, and while a buffer zone existed, it would make no difference even if it were extended to 1,000m.
When mining starts, wildlife disappears; WildSingapore
Take care of nature and she will take care of you, goes the adage which rings true especially when it comes to eco-tourism, write Sean Augustin and Evangeline Majawat.A win-win situation for the environment and the economy can be found in eco-tourism.
Malaysia Nature Society wants Government to stop sand mining; The Star
The Malaysia Nature Society wants federal authorities to intervene and stop rampant over-mining of sand in Selangor…