I REFER to the report “Pulau Kukup may lose its status” (The Star, Dec 5) on the Johor state government’s de-gazetting of the status of Pulau Kukup as a national park. This area is the second largest mangrove island in the world.
We can build the second largest hotel or even the second largest oil refinery in the world but there is one thing we can never build or even create – the second largest pristine mangrove island in the world.
Mangroves forests have evolved to thrive in flooded coastal areas over hundreds of years. As a unique natural resource, mangroves, among others, protect coastlines from wave action during heavy storms, prevent coastal erosion, act as a carbon storage facility and provide food and shelter for various animals and sea creatures.
The destruction of mangrove forests doesn’t just present a danger to the creatures that thrive within their ecosystems. Since mangroves store thousands of years of carbon dioxide beneath the soil, their destruction could release huge amounts of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere.
According to recent findings, while mangroves only make up 0.6% of the world’s forests, their deforestation is responsible for as much as 12% of greenhouse gas emission.
I hope the Johor state government will save the Pulau Kukup National Park for our future generations.