Plantations main cause of mangrove loss

PHOTO: The Straits Times

PETALING JAYA - Plantations are the top cause of mangrove defores­tation in Malaysia, a National Uni­versity of Singapore study found.

Covering Asean, the study found that Malaysia lost 18,836ha of mangrove forests from 2000 to 2012.

At least 38.2% of this was due to mangroves being converted to oil palm plantations.

Other notable causes of mangrove loss, the report found, were due to logging - legal or illegal - which was reflected in the study as mangrove forest regrowth (17.6%).

"Malaysia has quite a lot of mangrove regrowth," Dr Daniel Richards, one of the paper's two authors, told The Star in an email.

"A big chunk of mangrove re­­growth occurred in the Matang Man­­grove Forest Reserve in Perak."erve in Perak."