President U Thein Sein is being asked to order a halt to sand-mining at Ngapali beach in an online petition being circulated by a newly formed environmental group.
Only President U Thein Sein has the power to stop the destruction of Ngapali and other beaches, says the Alliance against Sand Mining at Ngapali and Myanmar Beaches.
The petition, launched on March 28, is seeking a halt to both sand-mining and hotel construction on the beach at Ngapali.
The beach is “being destroyed by the mass theft of beach sand, the building of hotels directly over the beach and land-grabbing,” the alliance says in a news release being circulated with the petition.
“Sand mining and construction over the sand has already destroyed hundreds of metres of Ngapali beach, and now, with tourism booming, it’s accelerating,” the release says.
“Both activities are contrary to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism’s 2014 coastal beach directives, but are continued by private businesses with the collusion of local authorities,” it says.
“The beauty of Ngapali’s palm-fringed, tropical beaches has been the pride of Myanmar for years and beach tourism is now becoming a major source of income for the local people.”
The release says the destruction of beaches in countries such as Greece, Morocco, Vietnam and Indonesia’s Bali island has occurred because greed, ignorance and corruption have overridden the need to provide long-term sustainability for beach environments.
A list provided by the alliance on April 2 said its supporters include the Max Myanmar Group of Companies, Mr Oliver E. SoeThet, Myanmar Chefs Association president and advisor on the Rakhine coastal environment to the previous government, Ms Vicky Bowman from the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Investment, Dr Marla Tun, president, Singapore-Myanmar Exchange, World Chefs without Borders-Myanmar and the Laguna Lodge Eco Hotel, Ngapali Beach.
The petition may be accessed at: https://www.change.org/p/president-u-thein-sein-of-myanmar-save-myanmar-...