Slope Erosion Controls Killing Islands Trees
While some may be singing with the onslaught of rainy season, the continued development of Phuket's hills is showing an increase in the level of mudslides and land erosion. The use of shotcrete (spraying on of cement) is becoming more commonplace along many roads and near to buildings with sloping terrain.
From an environmental standpoint the damage is long term to land, given that trees for the most part have extensive root systems or other natural vegetation that is unable to live in such conditions, eventually dies off. What's left is a barren landscape generating tremendous heat thus adding to the global warming quandary.
With heavy rainfall, water disbursement in many cases and flooding from cemented slopes can be equally dangerous as mudslides. There remain a number of viable solutions such as plants that have large scale root systems which can hold soil and also putting in systems of anchors and netting that still co-exist with trees and plants.
Phuket's trees are becoming more and more of an endangered species, while tourism will hardly prosper in a cement jungle. Hopefully more earth friendly erosion systems will become more widely used in the foreseeable future and a greater respect for retention of the tropical rainforest.