In 2011, the Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA) carried out a study with the assistance of the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) to assess the cleanliness of Malaysia’s coastal areas by using the Clean Coast Index developed by MIMA. The 65-page report of this study is curiously interesting, and we have selected relevant excerpts, with permission from MIMA, to be published here in 4-parts.
Application of the Clean Coast Index for Cleanliness Assessment of Coastal Areas in Malaysia
By Roa’a Hagir, Mahmudah Ahmad Luthfi and Eric Chong
The main objective of the study has been met. This study has successfully provided baseline information on the cleanliness of the selected recreational beaches in the country. CCI could be use as a tool to measure the cleanliness of recreational beaches in the country. CCI is not meant to find faults with the enforcement bodies but to access the level of cleanliness of recreational beaches in Malaysia. Recreational beaches attracts tourist from abroad as well as local, it is important for the enforcement bodies to maintain and keep the beaches clean.
Based on the survey conducted, Pantai Cenang in Langkawi recorded the lowest CCI; meaning out of all the sampling locations, Pantai Cenang is the cleanest. Meanwhile, Pantai Desaru in Johor is dirties. The sampling survey was conducted before the privatisation of solid waste management. Different enforcement bodies lead to different management method in waste management. The privatisation will synchronise the management at least in areas where local authorities used to have jurisdiction over.
This study has proven that plastic is the major contributor to coastal litter with 66% of the overall litter collected during the survey were plastic materials. Plastic has been proven to be a major contributor of marine litters in Malaysia. By minimizing plastic intake, they will be less plastic waste. National awareness programmes to cultivate a nature loving society among Malaysian is a pressing need. With CCI used as a tool to identify the cleanliness of Malaysian recreational beaches, we managed to obtain the amount, composition and distribution of coastal litters in the sampling survey.
The prospect of turning waste into valuable resource is seen as a way to minimise waste disposal, thus as a means of addressing the problem from its source as mentioned in the socio-enviro-economic policy instrument. This principle will fully utilise the waste by turning it into an economic means. CCI is seen as a baseline data, which will enable us to indicate which areas are significant for monitoring and this will mitigate the litter problems that occur at Malaysian beaches. CCI is seen to be an easy tool to help enforcement bodies and authorities in assessing and managing the cleanliness level of coastal areas in Malaysia.
Click here to find out how does Teluk Dalam, Pulau Perhentian Besar measure up to the rest of the sampled beaches in Malaysia?