The entire process of placing the concrete blocks into the water, harvesting coral nubbins and gluing them onto the concrete substrates took one day to complete.
KUALA LUMPUR – Ten advanced divers from the Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM), Reef Check Malaysia (RCM) and YTL Corporation descended beneath the waves in a collaborative effort to rehabilitate the coral reefs in the region around Pangkor Island, Malaysia. The placement of 20 cement blocks and subsequentcoral transplantation took place on Sunday, 17th November 2013 near Mentagor Island off Pangkor Island, Perak. Weighing approximately 120 kilograms each, these sturdy blocks were fabricated especially for this project and provided by YTL Cement.
Marine ecosystems play a critical role, covering 70 percent of the earth’s surface and hosting the coral reefs, the bottom of the feeding chain. These reefs are spawning grounds for reef fish and small fry that provide sustenance for the larger fish. Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh, an internationally renowned Malaysian actress and a native of Perak state, asserted that, “With nearly 95% of Malaysia’s coral reefs currently threatened, it is very timely that YTL Corporation Berhad and their NGO Partner Reef Check Malaysia and Malaysia Institute of Architects (PAM) have come together to extend their reef rehabilitation programme to additional projects in Pangkor,” she also asked that people join her in supporting these efforts and spreading much needed awareness.
This project saw personnel from PAM, RCM and YTL Corporation coming together in a concerted effort aimed at raising awareness among architects and the local and global community regarding the importance of biodiversity, hoping to nurture a sense of responsibility towards the marine environment. The rehabilitation project is also part of the corporate social responsibility initiatives of each company and of PAM.
The day began with breakfast at Feast Village in Pangkor Laut Resort followed by a safety and general briefing conducted by Mr Julian Hyde, General Manager of Reef Check Malaysia. Dives had been planned for the morning and afternoon; the first was to position the cement blocks at the site and the next dive was to glue coral fragments or nubbins onto each block. Also in attendance was Mr Ralph Dixon, Director of Environmental Investments at YTL Corporation and Ms Olivia Lim, Chief Operating Officer of PAM.
“We expect the nubbins to be stable within six months after the planting date; RCM will continue to monitor the nubbins monthly to ensure the success of this project. Provided that all external environmental conditions remain fair, the nubbins should be able to grow independently, thereby creating and supporting a completely new ecosystem in the selected site off the coast of Mentagor Island,” asserted Mr Hyde.
South of the reef rehabilitation site lies the private island of Pangkor Laut, home to YTL Hotels’ award winning Pangkor Laut Resort who hosted members of PAM, RCM as well as YTL Corporation and its subsidiaries, YTL Hotels and YTL Cement during the rehabilitation initiative. This project received much support from the YTL Corporation principally in reef rehabilitation carried out in the vicinity of Pangkor Laut Resort, in line with the group’s sustainable approach towards all facets of their business. Meanwhile PAM is the first and leading professional institute in the local architectural industry to promote coral reef rehabilitation.
Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.