GREEN SURF PRESS RELEASE

KOTA KINABALU (26th Nov 2010): Green SURF (Sabah Unite to Re-Power the Future) is shocked and disappointed that a revised Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA) study will be resubmitted for a proposed coal-fired power plant in Lahad Datu.

The coalition said although the Department of Environment (DOE) rejected the study in August, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) has in its 2010 annual report stated that a “revised DEIA report will be resubmitted for review and approval” for the 300 megawatt plant.

The utility company had in one-paragraph stated that a DEIA study was submitted on May 26 to the DOE, followed by a sentence that it would be resubmitted, without making any mention of the rejection.

Green SURF representative Wong Tack, pointed out that the project has been rejected before and relocated twice, wasting time, money and effort on debating a dirty energy source.

“Sabah should be leveraging on its position as a biodiversity hub to attract investments for green power. Instead, we are wasting time on this proposed coal plant.

“There is commitment among the international community to support forest, wildlife and marine conservation work in Sabah  and here we are talking about building a coal plant between the rainforest of Tabin and the Coral Triangle.

“Building a coal plant in Sabah , and especially next to the Coral Triangle, does not just break the hearts of locals, but also the world,” he said in a statement issued by Green SURF today.

The coalition sent a reminder that early this month Sabah hosted an international conference on forests and climate change, where the issue of carbon trading was raised as an alternative to logging in earning revenue, conserving key wildlife habitats in the process.

“It doesn’t make sense that we are trying to attract investments in carbon trading if we are going to have a coal plant at an eco sensitive area. We don’t deserve international support for conservation or investments for carbon trading if this is the case,” Wong said.

Green SURF is a coalition of NGOs comprising the Sabah Environmental Protection Association (SEPA) of which Wong is president, Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP), WWF Malaysia, Partners of Community Organisations (PACOS) and the Malaysian Nature Society (Sabah branch).

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