WWF-Malaysia Welcomes “Green Initiatives” in Budget 2014
The green initiatives included the setting up of the National Conservation Trust Fund, the introduction of the Environmental, Social and Government (ESG) Index, National Carbon Reporting Programme or MyCarbon, investment tax allowance on green technology products, and income tax exemption on green technology services and systems, the establishment of the Malaysian Green Foundation and the government’s leadership by example in becoming energy efficient.
Budget 2014 also announced efforts to market Malaysia as a venue for Social Responsible Investment (SRI). This includes establishing a SRI sukuk framework and SRI fund to finance sustainable and responsible investment initiatives.
“Budget 2014 is nevertheless all about growth and development. Needless to say, that will bring about challenges and threats to the environment. We have seen that happening in the past, and we continue to see it today,” said WWF-Malaysia’s Executive Director/CEO, Dato’ Dr Dionysius Sharma.
The nation’s Budget 2014, presented by Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak, yesterday, is themed “Strengthening Economic Resilience, Accelerating Transformation & Fulfilling Promises’.
Dr Sharma said that it is therefore essential that the ESG be in place and introduced to ensure that economic activities and development are conducted based on improved environmental and socially responsible operations, and enhanced corporate governance to stop the onslaught and degradation/destruction of the country’s natural environment in the name of progress and development.
Otherwise, the well-being of the rakyat will ultimately be adversely affected, he added.
“Economic resilience is inextricably linked to the maintenance of a healthy and functioning environment and the sustainable use of its products and services. The recent Barisan Nasional government’s election manifesto recognized this in stating that Malaysia’s abundant natural resources have been the engine of economic growth for decades and that we need to protect these gifts from nature.
“The National Conservation Trust Fund is a good start to fulfilling this election promise which is also made in the National Biodiversity Policy 1998 and the 10th Malaysia Plan. We look forward to receiving more details about this Fund, including how much the government is allocating for it and its operational structure. It is important that this Fund is set up with a view to ensure that conservation efforts receive sustainable and long-term financing and is able to withstand any flux in economic outlook,” Dr Sharma said.
He added that the SRI initiatives are also positive ideas to steer investments toward sustainable and inclusive activities to benefit current and future generations.”
Dr Sharma said that WWF-Malaysia, as a national conservation organization, would work closely with the government and related organizations to move Malaysia on the "green journey" and look forward to seeing all the green initiatives announced in Budget 2014 be implemented in the next year and near future.
He also hoped that allocations to increase economic activities and outputs in the oil and gas, palm oil, rubber, agriculture, fisheries and other sectors as well as infrastructure and services projects will be underpinned by the principles of sustainability and respecting the limits of nature and the environment.
For further information:
Yeoh Lin Lin, Head of Communications, WWF-Malaysia
Tel: +603-78033772 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org