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Malaysia will tighten its environmental rules for coastal development projects, after a study showed a significant drop in bird numbers in the country following reclamation.
Reclamation of wetlands for farms, houses and industries along Malaysia's coasts has increased over the past two decades. This is depriving migratory birds, such as Nordmann's Greenshank and the Chinese egret, of their key winter homes, leading to a 22 per cent fall in the number of shorebirds recorded, notes a report by conservation group Wetlands International.
The group studied 134 sites across the country for two years and recorded about 105,000 birds. Reacting to the study report, Malaysia's environment minister Azmi Khalid said in a media statement: "The country will tighten environmental regulations to avoid similar future mistakes."