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2010 Jul 27 - Sabah coal-fired plant far from eco-friendly

Sabah coal-fired plant 'far from eco-friendly'

Joseph Sipalan, Jul 27,2010:

Claims raised in the detailed environmental impact assessment (DEIA) report for the coal-powered plant in Lahad Datu, Sabah, could mislead the public into believing it is eco-friendly, said activists.

Environmental NGO coalition Green Surf claimed that the DEIA does not make a fair comparison of the site of the proposed 300MW facility in the Dent peninsula, with similar locations elsewhere.

WWF-Malaysia, a member of Green Surf, said the report is inaccurate in its assessment of coral density in the Dent peninsula, which is high for mud flats at 16 percent area coverage.

Borneo programme chief technical officer Rahimatsah Amat said that - unlike coral ecosystems such as that around Tioman Island, cited in the DEIA for comparison - mud flats are soft sediment seabed areas which are not commonly known for having reefs.

"Comparisons are made with coral ecosystems, not to similar habitats, and are therefore misleading," he said.

Green Surf, which stands for Sabah Unite to Re-Power the Future, conducted its own survey to verify claims in the DEIA.

It noted that divers and professional photographers who checked sampling sites mentioned in the report also discovered unidentified corals not commonly seen in other dive locations.

"This could indicate that there are species that have yet to be discovered, making it an area of high priority for conservation, but this was not highlighted in the DEIA report," the coalition said in a statement.

It insisted that the mud flats in the Dent peninsula make up rare and unique ecosystems that can be found only in few pristine areas throughout the world, and that these face irreversible damage if the federal government goes ahead with the proposed power plant.

Green Surf also pointed out many discrepancies in the DEIA, pointing to a lack of depth in assessing the true environmental impact of the project.

'Flaws in study'

In a 14-point summary of comments on the report, Green Surf said the sampling did not cover nearly enough sites in the area to give a full understanding of the site and its surroundings.

Only two days were spent to assess the marine area, with no reason given as to why certain sites were selected for sampling, it said.

Green Surf went on to question why the report does not mention nearby Darvel Bay, which is home to resident and migratory marine animals such as turtles, whale sharks, dolphins and the dugong.

It criticised the report for including animal and marine species that either do not represent the local biodiversity or are simply not found in Sabah.

"In its list of mammal species, the report stated two mammals that are not present in Sabah. The two are (the) wild pig (Sus scrofa) and Dusty Langur (Semnopithecus obscurus). In its list of bird species, the white-rumped shama is not present in Sabah.

"Fish species used in the report as indicators are not representative of species found at the site. The species list should have been modified to cover locally common, unique or commercially important species."

Drawings of the plant attached to the DEIA report were allegedly lifted from the rejected coal- powered plant project in Silam, also in Lahad Datu.

On the socio-economic study in the DEIA, Green Surf said it doubts the veracity of the findings because the report describes the community in Kg Sinakut - located near the site - as 'squatters' although this is a traditional village with a village head.

"The DEIA also states that the 'Orang Sungai' are of Indonesian descent. This clearly shows ignorance on the part of those (who carried out) the study," the coalition said.

The proposed plant is the third incarnation of the project, which had been rejected twice on environmental grounds. The first was proposed in Silam in 2007 and the second plan came up two years later in Seguntor, Sandakan.

Green Surf would like as many people as possible to write in to the Sabah Department of Environment before the deadline for feedback on the DEIA expires on Saturday.

SAPP Policies

SAPP's 17 point Manifesto - Sabah deserves better in terms of more equitable distribution of opportunities, in social, economic and infrastructural development and a better quality of life. [BM][Chinese]

SAPP's Economic Plan for Sabah - SAPP aims to achieve economic prosperity and financial self-reliance for Sabah. Version in [BM] [Chinese]

SAPP's Land Reform Policy - To promote and protect the rights and interests of local natives and other citizens in Sabah [BM][Chinese]

On Oil Royalty - SAPP is not giving up its struggle for more oil royalty payment for Sabah.

SAPP's Eight (8) Points Declaration - Whereas our mission is to establish a trustworthy govt and a progressive ...

SAPP's 14 point memo in 2006 - Time for Direct Preventive Actions

SAPP Constitution (booklet)

Our Sabah..

Books on ....
RCI Report on Immigrants in Sabah
The Birth of Malaysia
Malaysia Agreement Article 1-11
The Original Agreement of Malaysia
Heroes of Kinabalu 神山美烈誌
Schedule 9 of the Federal Constitution

more on ...
Twenty points safeguard
20 Perkara
Illegals & IC issues
Bernas Monopoly
No to coal-fired plant
Sabah Gas pipeline
3 million acres oil blocks ceded
The Formation of Msia & Devt in Sabah
Proclamation of Msia 1963...details
Restore Sabah's right to appoint JCs,
Ex-minister: Review 20-point
Supply Sarawak power to Sabah...
Sedition Act 1948
Continental Shelf Act 83 (1966)
Petroleum Development Act 144 (1974)
Petroleum Oil Agreement (1976)


SAPP bid to discuss Sabah claim rejected
Take action against anti-Malaysia elements
Call for Philippines Consulate in Sabah
Get the RM1 billion and solve the QEH debacle
SAPP's objection of coal-fired plants in Sabah
SAPP: Explain the RM 601 loan to KL company
The missing billion ringgit "special grant"
SAPP on SEDIA Bill 2009
SAPP supports the call for the abolishment of Cabotage Policy
Probe illegals having Mykad also
Political Autonomy for Sabah
Sabah Schools still awaiting share of RM30 million
Special fund: Eric wants ACA probe
Oil royalty: SAPP not giving up
Scrap Bernas monopoly on rice
More News in Search Archive.....

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