Langkawi's coral reefs get a helping hand
Artificial coral reefs to boost fishing and eco-tourism industries
Langkawi, Malaysia: Lafarge Malaysia Berhad and The Andaman, a Luxury Collection Resort, Langkawi, are moving forward with a full-scale deployment of the Artificial Reef Module System (ARMS) in the vicinity of Datai Bay, following the pilot deployment of five modules last year which are successfully attracting marine life.
A total of 52 modules will be deployed, covering over 1,000 square-metre area with a maturation period of approximately 10 years. The initiative is aimed at regenerating the 8,000 year-old fringing coral reefs, which are declining due to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, as well as ocean acidification caused by carbon dioxide.
The modules have been designed to create maximum 'hiding spaces' for fish, in sustaining the underwater eco-system and preserving the biodiversity of marine species. They will allow juvenile fish in shallow waters to move further offshore and encourage reproduction, creating a sustainable local fishing industry.
Bradley Mulroney, President & Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge Malaysia said, “We are committed to the Langkawi community, home to one of our biggest plants for more than 30 years. By building these modules, we and our Langkawi employees are proud to be part of a solution; sustaining the fishing industry which many of the locals are involved in, and boosting eco-tourism industries, a key revenue generator for the island.
“It is Lafarge’s global ambition to play a significant role in Building Better Cities. We want to contribute our solutions towards the sustainable development of towns and cities around the world. Therefore, we will continue to focus on refining the materials and design of the ARMS to ensure that it will attract more fish, and contribute to sustainable development.”
The modules were created specifically for the unique nature of the existing coral reef fish species at Datai Bay by Dr Gerry Goeden, Consultant Marine Biologist at The Andaman, a Luxury Collection Resort Langkawi in partnership with Mr Kee Alfian, Reef Ecologist, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
“The ecological cost from the devastating effects of the Tsunami which occurred on 26 December 2004 was great,” said Christian Metzner, General Manager of The Andaman, a Luxury Collection Resort. “The fringing reef in front of The Andaman acted as a safety barrier, protecting both people and property by absorbing the force and energy from the waves, suffering enormous damage in the process.”
“The reefs provide home and shelter to over 25% of fish in the ocean and up to two million marine species. They are also a nursery for the juvenile forms of many marine creatures. We have a wonderful opportunity to not only improve the environmental ‘condition’ of Langkawi’s reefs and fisheries but to create educational, recreational, and research activities. Artificial reefs have been used for a long time in other parts of the world and it is a great step forward in marine conservation in Southeast Asia. Together with Lafarge Malaysia, we hope to create a truly global solution for a global crisis,” he added.
Earlier, Lafarge Malaysia and The Andaman, a Luxury Collection Resort, inked a Letter of Intent for academic cooperation with University Malaysia Terengganu. This will boost academic collaboration, training of staff and students, and promotion of joint publications, amongst others.
About Lafarge Malaysia Berhad
Lafarge Malaysia Berhad is a major player of the Malaysian construction industry, contributing towards Building Better Cities. Its solutions provide cities and townships with more housing, making them more compact, more durable, more beautiful and better connected. Headquartered in the Klang Valley, Lafarge Malaysia has a network of facilities that include three integrated cement plants in Langkawi, Kanthan and Rawang, a grinding station in Pasir Gudang, more than 30 ready-mixed concrete batching plants and 6 aggregates quarries throughout Peninsular Malaysia.
Lafarge Malaysia is listed on the main board of Bursa Malaysia and is a parent of a group of companies in Malaysia and Singapore.
Additional information is available at www.lafarge.com.my
About Lafarge Group
A world leader in building materials, Lafarge employs 64,000 people in 62 countries, and posted sales of €15.2 billion in 2013. As a top-ranking player in its Cement, Aggregates and Concrete businesses, it contributes to the construction of cities around the world, through its innovative solutions providing them with more housing and making them more compact, more durable, more beautiful, and better connected. With the world’s leading building materials research facility, Lafarge places innovation at the heart of its priorities in order to contribute to more sustainable construction and to better serve architectural creativity.
More information is available on Lafarge’s website:www.lafarge.com
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 1,200 properties in 100 countries and 181,400 employees at its owned and managed properties. We are a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and Element®. One of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG ®) allows members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands.
For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com
About the Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts
The Luxury Collection® is an ensemble of hotels and resorts offering unique, authentic experiences that evoke lasting, treasured memories. For the global explorer, The Luxury Collection offers a gateway to the world’s most exciting and desirable destinations. Each hotel and resort is a unique and cherished expression of its location; a portal to the destination’s indigenous charms and treasures. Magnificent décor, spectacular settings, impeccable service and the latest modern conveniences combine to provide a uniquely enriching experience. Originated in 1906 as a collection of Europe’s most celebrated and iconic properties, today The Luxury Collection brand is a glittering ensemble of more than 80 of the world’s finest hotels and resorts in more than 30 countries in bustling cities and spectacular destinations around the world. The Luxury Collection includes award-winning properties that continuously exceed guest expectations by offering unparalleled service, style and class while celebrating each hotel’s distinctive heritage and unique character. All of these hotels, many of them centuries old, are internationally recognized as being among the world’s finest.
For more information, please visit www.luxurycollection.com.