"Those who are native to the island have most to lose", he says. "The destruction of their natural heritage not only jeopardises their jobs in the tourism industry, but also will impact on the farming and fishing industries, and ultimately their quality of life".
Yes!! It is LOUD and CLEAR. Not my words, though. Pictures always paint a thousand clear words and the truth. These images here were taken from an "Avatar" flying machine about a month ago. Many thanks to Kulark (Ku Ismadi) for sharing his photographs via Facebook. Where are my Na'vis?
Image contributed by Kulark
For the past three months, there were burnings on the hills. The areas were Bukit Sawak (next to Gunung Raya); Kuala Teriang, Pasir Hitam area and Kilim area.
These are happening on our Langkawi's precious lowland rainforest now. Here is a true story. To safeguard the "victim's" identity, I will write about his experience and choose not to reveal the exact location.
"Workers were cutting the trees in the forest nearby. Sitting next to the forest is a clean stream supplying water to nearby farms. After cutting the trees for days, the condition of the stream was tarnished. Worried over the consequences of deforestation, a complaint was made to the Forestry Department. The work stopped for awhile. Then days later, the workers were spotted continuing to tear the forest apart in the night about 2am onwards. The locals there were furious and yet they were afraid to do something about it. "
Why do tourists visit Langkawi?
Why Langkawi has attracted expatriates to migrate over to Langkawi?
Because of her wonderful beauty, landscape, her diversity of flora and fauna and her amazing geological formations. Do you think the foreign tourists would come here for the duty free products??
What attracted researchers, scientists and nature enthusiasts over to Langkawi?
Langkawi is home to 200 over species of birds, inclusive of migratory birds; home to over 350 species of butterflies; home to the oldest rock formation in West Malaysia, home to some wild orchids and much more.
So, what are these people doing to Langkawi's natural heritage??
Loss of the rainforest = loss of important species of trees = loss of food source to wildlife, birds and butterflies = loss of healthy population of wildlife = loss of soil stability = Erosion = Landslides = loss of water catchment areas = loss of water source = loss of agriculture = loss of tourists = loss of Langkawians' economic sources.
Do I need to comment further? If the State Government and Forestry Department continue to close their eyes and allow this to happen, Langkawi will lose her assets and her people will suffer.
I am writing this not only to bring awareness of what is happening here. I am writing to support our pioneer, well known naturalist and environmentalist; Irshad Mobarak on his calling to stop deforestation here. "Not to protect Langkawi's natural capital is economic suicide", Irshad says in an article on Case Study: Keeping Tourism in Balance with Nature.
2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity. The United Nations proclaimed May 22 The International Day for Biological Diversity (IBD). Will we be celebrating or mourning over the loss of biodiversity?
3. Read what Pak Teh wrote on Biodiversity Footprints