National Environment Day 2021, celebrated every Oct 21, provides Malaysia with an excellent opportunity to commit to charting a path forward in the fight against global warming with the theme Alam Sekitar Tanggungjawab Semua (Environment Is Our Responsibility).
As a responsible member of the global community, Malaysia is at a crossroads in its climate path.
Determining the best course of action in the face of global warming provides our country with a crucial opportunity to protect the environment, minimise our carbon footprint, and gain a competitive edge. A growing number of governments have committed to a nett-zero goal.
If we are sluggish to respond, Malaysia will be at risk, slipping behind and losing its value as a centre for foreign capital and multinational corporations.
Dr Henry Chan, WWF-Malaysia Conservation Director, said in a statement in conjunction with the National Environment Day celebration: “Climate change and climate crisis are no longer buzz words among scientists and environmentalists.”
Chan addressed the urgency of mitigating global warming. He said WWF Malaysia and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) were working hand-in-hand to undertake an independent study on the potential nett-zero pathways for the country.
The study’s goal is to present an ideal nett-zero pathway for Malaysia by 2050, assessing socio-economic impact in terms of jobs and economic development and the policy framework and actions required to achieve the goal.
He explained nett-zero meant for every molecule of greenhouse gas released, there was also a need to take it out to make our nett emission zero. At the very basic, our forest acts to remove these greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
As such, we must retain as much as possible our forest that serves as our carbon sink.
WWF and BCG are looking to engage with businesses, investors, the government, and the social sector to explore the prospects of a nett-zero energy future for the country.
The conservation of the remaining forest is crucial, and degraded areas must be rehabilitated with native tree species so that they can thrive and fulfil their ecological functions for all living things.
Pointing out when the impacts of the climate crisis hit globally, federal and State governments must not take a step backwards by turning any sort of forest into development instead of increasing forest protection.
“Nature is our ally in addressing the issues we face in the country and globally. Hence, we need to have more nature-based solutions incorporated in developing and managing climate change.
“Nature-based solutions are about working with nature, not against nature, for everyone’s benefit,” he added.
Malaysia has the potential to create a long-term economic advantage by acting proactively on climate change. However, it must begin now to ensure a sustainable and cleaner future.
Educational inequalities, inadequacies in remote learning, and the critical role that schools play in student health and wellbeing are highlighted due to the closure of schools during the pandemic.
It has also demonstrated a vivid indication of our shattered relationship with nature.
To conclude, it’s a must for the Ministry of Education and other parties to develop better-learning systems that recognise the importance of the environment. It should include concerns such as climate, nature, and people.
In formulating the country’s future environmental education and education for sustainable development strategy, various stakeholders are required to be involved by enhancing solutions to the education sector’s financial constraints, teacher training, teaching techniques and approaches for both children and adults, teaching resource materials, governance structure, and enabling circumstances.
This effort should be viewed as supporting Malaysia’s environmental policies such as Nationally Determined Contributions, National Policy on Biological Diversity 2016-2025, National Policy on Environment, and others that are aligned with Malaysia’s commitments to Iinternational agreements such as the Paris Agreement, the Convention on Biodiversity, and Education for Sustainable Development: Towards Achieving the SDGs. — @Forest