Penang to study claims that coastal areas will submerge in 50 years

19 Nov 2019 / 15:16 H.

GEORGE TOWN: Penang will study claims made in an international environment report which predicted that three coastal areas here would be submerged within the next 50 years based on the trend of rising sea levels.

Environment committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said the state will need to evaluate the claims and liaise with local experts on issues such as rising tides and climate change as well as the effects.

“What must be accepted is a stark realisation that climate change is real and it is happening, of which some has to do with human ignorance and pollution as a result of our attitude,“ Phee said.

According to Think City Sdn Bhd, a government-linked urban city specialist, the three areas identified were located in the southern and northern coastal parts of Seberang Prai and the eastern section of the island.

Phee said the state was aware that silting was taking place in those three areas and the state was monitoring it.

“What I want to say is that we must react in a practical and effective manner, using holistic ways. We cannot address it through short term mitigation. It must be a concerted effort,” said Phee.

He was speaking after closing a “Climathon” session here where several tertiary education teams were engaged to produce creative solutions to climate change by using a computer training simulation programme.

The event was organised and hosted by Think City.

Phee said Penang will handle climate change in a practical manner and that future development will also bear in mind such a natural phenomenon.

Citing issues to eradicate plastic waste as an example, Phee said it was not the manufacturers of plastics who should be singled out but also users who discard such items indiscriminately.

“It is us not just one group which causes plastic waste. We must abandon our habit of littering and we must learn to reuse, recycle and remake.”

Similarly, the Straits Quay reclamation Phase II off Gurney Drive had underwent 100 conditions imposed by the state and federal regulatory bodies in view of possible rise in tides due to global warming.

It showed that Penang was concerned about the rising sea levels.

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