PIL highway ‘incompatible’ with application for Penang Hill Unesco biosphere listing

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The RM9bn six-lane highway which will tunnel through 10km of the hills of Penang are “clearly incompatible” with plans to get Unesco to list the hill as a protected biosphere, a former senior Unesco advisor has said.

“The projects are clearly incompatible with UNESCO MAB [Man and the Biosphere] listing. And in fact, seemed purposely designed to undermine and scuttle this conservation initiative,” said Richard Engelhardt, a former Unesco regional advisor for culture and heritage conservation in the Asia-Pacific region from 1994 to 2008. Engelhardt had also served as head of the Unesco office in Cambodia where he was involved in an international campaign to safeguard Angkor Wat.

Unesco’s man and the biosphere (MAB) programme is an “intergovernmental scientific programme that aims to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of relationships between people and their environments”.

According to the Unesco website, “MAB combines the natural and social sciences, economics and education to improve human livelihoods and the equitable sharing of benefits, and to safeguard natural and managed ecosystems, thus promoting innovative approaches to economic development that are socially and culturally appropriate, and environmentally sustainable.”

The Pan Island Link highway, proposed by a well connected major contractor and two Penang-based property developers, has come under heavy fire by environmental groups, residents associations and prominent Penang-based civil society groups while those in schools, homes and offices near the highway are clearly worried. Visitors to two popular parks – the Youth Park and the Sungai Ara Linear Park – have also expressed alarm that the highway will be passing through these green lungs.

READ MORE:  Unrealistic air quality figures for controversial Penang highway, asserts scholar

But the state government is adamant about pressing ahead with the project, which also involves massive land reclamation in southern Penang Island.

“Hard to imagine how this can be compatible with the UNESCO Man and Biosphere protected status currently under application. In fact, this seems more like a purposeful strategy by developers to once again undermine the protection of Penang’s public assets for their private profit,” added Englehardt, in a response to the environmental impact assessment for the controversial mega project.

The big question is, why is the Penang state government going along with what are clearly contractor and developer-driven plans that harm the the ecology of Penang and are incompatible with the state government’s own aspiration to create a Penang Hill biosphere?

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Johnny SohNormanShriekBB residenttunglang Recent comment authors
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tunglang
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tunglang

Greener, Cleaner & Liveable Penang? My foot!
CM Chow, on the one hand you promoted Penang Hill as a great biosphere BUT on the other hand you relentlessly wanted PTMP to go ahead based on your flimsy excuse of this state gomen voted by majority of Penangites which (to you only) meant the majority??? supported PTMP Monster!
Now we know you can also tango with developers besides LGE.
What sort of Harapan for Penangites is this?

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

Ah pek, cleaner, greener and liveable is like singland and Melbourne. They are developed and still building. But they ensure residents have green spots and green parks. What is biosphere? What do you see in biosphere? Mosquitoes? Monkeys, mahlaus or monyets? In down under, where highways are built, they build underpass and crossings for wombats and other animals and gliding creatures just like fish ladders for fish migrations.

Ho Wan Lai
Guest
Ho Wan Lai

Crossing for wombats, wow!
Over in Penang crossing the road can be St your own risk as many motorcyclists ignore redd light.

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

Pg lang are like Jane bones. Instead of licensed to kill, licensed to dash across red lights! Mata2 mata only?

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

Why pg lang remain quiet when elephants and tigers are killed in EW highway? Fauna in pg are more important than tigers and elephants in north Malaya?

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

BatMan needs a bigger underpass crossing to flap his wings or else he may have to crawl like a Pontianak to the amused-amazement of wombats!

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

Bat flys rather than crawl

Norman
Guest
Norman

In Singapore, Pangolins and Civets have been using the [email protected] (Bukit Timah Expressway) to travel between the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Central Catchment Nature Reserve.

https://graphics.straitstimes.com/STI/STIMEDIA/Interactives/2015/11/feature-ecolink-BKE-national-parks/index.html

Ho Wan Lai
Guest
Ho Wan Lai

6 lane highway will invite Rempit guys to race during midnight and can stir up the restless hill souls to join in the reckless fun and CM Chow may need to form a ghostbuster team to appease the situation, no joking!

Johnny Soh
Guest
Johnny Soh

Kapcai racing in Penang soon, after the young lads graduated from their basikal lajak stunts.

Jennifer Mourin
Guest

I mean how dumb can you be to think such a massive 6 lane project could ever be copacetic with any biological sustainability initiative?

Ho Wan Lai
Guest
Ho Wan Lai

There shall be sacrificial ritual if 6 way highway runs thru the natural hills.
Human deaths are common during the building phase of Penang bridges.
Bless those workers building the highway with Margie’s prayer.

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

Don’t drive cars, kapcai and buses. Accidents also kill and cause severe injuries

BB resident
Guest
BB resident

Chanting in Penang Hokkien to protest

Ho Wan Lai
Guest
Ho Wan Lai

This Chant guy could be tunglang?

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 I won’t tell you the truth. Go figure out!
Even Anil has not met me in person!

Ho Wan Lai
Guest
Ho Wan Lai

Cannot be tunglang becoz he loves street food not Penang FA football.
Or may be is tunglang reported to be bald living in the perimeter of youth park and air itam.

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

Ah pek study ah moh school

Norman
Guest
Norman

Smart use of Penang Hokkien by this guy (could he be Mr tunglang?) to bring the message to Penang folks.

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

That’s the power of Penang Hokkien!
Go to http://penanghokkien.com to learn this power dialect.
Enjoy a variety of topics including “kui” stories.

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

Kau beh kau bu

bigjoe
Guest
bigjoe

So, forget the listing..

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

You don’t live in Penang, so your comment is irrelevant to the point of arrogance!

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

You no different. You don’t live in belum or atas valley and try to transplant them to pg. Island. P

bigjoe
Guest
bigjoe

Screw the UNESCO listing..

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Singland where got UNESCO heritage, so I assume this kia-su trait!

Shriek
Guest
Shriek

Highway is not cutting UNESCO heritage twin city with malacca