Penang Walks Towards Sustainable Future This Earth Hour
i. All state government offices/agencies to be Penang Green Office certified with carbon reporting by 2020.
ii. To achieve 50% recycling rate for the state of Penang by 2020.
iii. To convert 20,000 unit street lightings to LED lightings by 2020.
Today, Malaysians from many different states joined Penangites in the Earth Hour 2017 Night Walk to show their support for environmentally sustainable action, and to celebrate the City Council of Penang Island’s (MBPP) achievement as a National Finalist for the Earth Hour City Challenge 2016.
YAB Tuan Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Pulau Pinang, congratulated MBPP, and said, “The challenge invites cities to submit inspiring and credible urban development plans that dramatically increase the city’s use of renewable energy. The State of Penang commends MBPP for safeguarding the wellbeing of their residents by building a greener, sustainable future. We hope other cities will follow their inspiring example.”
“On a state level, we recognise that climate change can have an impact on our precious water resources that sustain life and the economic growth of the state. Bearing this in mind, Penang plans to pursue integrated water resource management, with emphasis on demand management,” added YAB Tuan Lim Guan Eng. Penang has mooted the Penang Green Agenda to help the state achieve sustainable development in line with the global Sustainable Development Goals 2030. This includes taking action on climate change, as well as environmental and nature conservation.
“Keeping in mind that more than 70% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions generated by residents in cities, the State Government of Penang has initiated a 33-km bicycle lane project to kick start cycling as a way of life and reduce carbon emissions. We commend MBPP’s support as they plan to beautify back lanes and create a passage for cyclists and pedestrians who presently have to compete for space on the main roads. After this transformation, residents and tourists will be able to enjoy a continuous bicycle ride in scenic Penang from Jalan Gurdwara up to City Hall in Esplanade,” said YB Tuan Chow Kon Yeow, Penang State Executive Councillor for Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation.
“Climate change causes extreme weather patterns and can increase flooding. To help improve the daily lives of residents and visitors, Penang state has allocated RM220 million for flood mitigation measures. Importance will be given to soft engineering methods to mitigate floods, such as conserving mangroves, as well as our remaining forests and green lungs,” added YB Tuan Chow Kon Yeow.
WWF-Malaysia commended the state of Penang for their green initiatives, and also congratulated MBPP for their actions to achieve greater sustainability for the city; while calling on everyone to live greener lifestyles. Dr Sundari Ramakrishna, WWF-Malaysia Conservation Director, said, “This Earth Hour, we hope everyone will take action to protect our living planet, by living more sustainably and avoiding wasteful consumption. This includes not only moving towards renewable energy and using energy more efficiently, but also to conserve our water. We all need water to survive: for our domestic use, to sustain our manufacturing and tourism industries, and also for our food security.”
“For example, the Ulu Muda forest in Kedah is one of the most important water catchment areas for the northern states of Peninsular Malaysia. This magnificent forest provides upstream protection of major rivers that supply water for domestic, industrial and agricultural uses. The Ulu Muda forest provides 96% of all water to Kedah, the ‘Rice Bowl of Malaysia’, as well as 80% of all water to vibrant Penang, which is one of the nation’s most important industrial and tourism hubs. WWF-Malaysia is working to protect vital forests such as Ulu Muda. We are advocating gazettement of Ulu Muda Forest as a protected area, and developing a Payment for Ecosystem Services scheme to ensure that the forest is safeguarded and can continue to benefit the nation. WWF-Malaysia is also undertaking research to understand the effects of land-use changes to the quality and quantity of water there, as well as developing an economic case for the protection of Ulu Muda. We believe that these initiatives will contribute towards protecting our crucial natural capital and achieving green growth in the long term. The State of Kedah and WWF-Malaysia cannot work alone to conserve Ulu Muda. All parties that benefit from the water provided by the Ulu Muda forests – including Penang – need to play a role and contribute to ensure that these important forests are protected,” added Dr Sundari Ramakrishna.
Earth Hour 2017 Night Walk co-organiser 1st Avenue Mall Penang supports green initiatives too. “Rapid climate changes from human activities mostly manifested by urbanization has led to vast deforestation which severely disrupts the natural aquatic ecosystem. We have to do our part to stop these adverse climate effects by working on conservation of natural resources, investing on renewable energy and change of lifestyle to promote sustainable living.
To do so we are proud to collaborate with WWF Malaysia in co-organizing Earth Hour Night Walk for the 3rd consecutive year and to show our support towards environmentally sustainable action. 1st Avenue Mall will be switching off all non-essential lights from 8.30pm to 9.30pm in conjunction with the event. We look forward to contributing more towards the conservation efforts and let us together create awareness of the importance of preserving the world’s environment for our future generations,” said Mr John Liew, Centre Manager, 1st Avenue Mall Penang.
"Hotel Jen Penang is dedicated and active in our CSR efforts to better our communities and preserve our planet’s natural beauty and resources. Upholding our yearly Earth Hour tradition, we will switch off non-essential lights on our building and public areas such as lobby, driveway and corridors. To promote interaction between our guests, we have designated a section in our lobby with specially hand-crafted Earth Hour decoration. Our F&B team also has come up with a list of promotion and activities to encourage our guests to show their support by reducing the use of lighting and energy in their rooms during Earth Hour," said Mr Tane Picken, General Manager of Hotel Jen Penang by Shangri-La, Earth Hour 2017 Night Walk corporate sponsor.
“WWF-Malaysia sincerely thanks the Penang State Government, MBPP and 1st Avenue Mall Penang for so generously collaborating with us on the Earth Hour Night Walk event since 2014. We also thank Earth Hour 2017 corporate sponsor Hotel Jen by Shangri-La in Penang, as well as collaborators Yes Media and Santa Fe Relocation Services. We hope that everyone will take to heart the message of Earth Hour by adopting more sustainable lifestyles and avoiding wasteful consumption, as well as supporting the efforts of the Government and WWF-Malaysia to build a better, more sustainable future for us all. Our actions today will decide the fate of Earth, our only home. We must act now, and act together, to protect our living planet. Together Possible!” concluded Dr Sundari Ramakrishna on an inspirational note.
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For more information on Earth Hour, please contact:
Senior Manager, Brand Activation, WWF-Malaysia
(PJ Office) Tel: +603-7450 3773