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Petaling Jaya, 07 Sept: The city of Melaka has been awarded as Malaysia’s national One Planet City Challenge (OPCC) winner for the second time. The biennial OPCC competition was first organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature in 2011 to mobilise global and local action among cities in the worldwide transition toward a climate-resilient, one-planet future. Melaka city impressed an international jury of experts with its comprehensive approach to tackling climate change and its determination to ramp up climate resilience work within the state.
Apart from saving energy, the installation of 100,000 LED street lamps along the Alor Gajah- Melaka Tengah-Jasin Highway has improved night visibility and road safety. Improvement in the urban landscape, such as walkable neighbourhoods, has increased foot traffic and conversely reduced car use. This could result in a reduction in carbon footprint, which is a cause of global warming. After its river rehabilitation, the Melaka River has become an even more popular gathering place for tourist attraction.
An all-inclusive approach to Green City Action Plans supported by the state government, private sector engagement, and citizens on careful planning have helped the transformation of the Melaka city. The support includes those provided by international bodies such as the Asian Development Bank, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, and the Rockefeller Foundation. Due to the strong coordination between multiple government agencies, the private sector, and communities, Melaka city has developed a systematic management approach that is inclusive and integrated with project monitoring systems, data analysis, and citizen feedback. As a result, wastes are better managed, water supply and pollution are addressed with fast mitigation measures.
The OPCC 2019/2020 cycle saw participation from 250 cities from 53 countries, representing 66% of the global population. Petaling Jaya and Seberang Perai were also selected as global and national finalists, while Shah Alam, Penang, Sepang, and Jasin had also taken part in the challenge. Mexico City was awarded the Global Winner with its strong leadership and ambitious plans to align the city with the 1.5°C target of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
“Melaka, a rising green city in Asia and a recognised leader in local climate action, is a worthy national winner for Malaysia. The city consistently reports progress in achieving its climate targets and demonstrates that it has drastically cut its emissions. In doing so, they have demonstrated how cities are indispensable actors in fighting global climate change. WWF- Malaysia thanks all cities that participated in this year’s cycle and for demonstrating their efforts towards sustainable development. We hope to see more Malaysian cities join the challenge in the coming years,” as stated by Sophia Lim, Executive Director/CEO of WWF-Malaysia.
The biennial competition also utilised the support of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) alongside Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) in mobilising cities to participate. The next stage of the challenge is for Melaka, Petaling Jaya, and Seberang Perai to join the We Love Cities campaign. A platform to engage citizens worldwide to express their love through votes, tweets, and Instagram pictures and by submitting suggestions on how their cities can be more sustainable. For those who would like to understand more about WWF’s goals of cultivating sustainable cities, visit this link for more information: https://wwf.panda.org/our_work/projects/one_planet_cities/one_planet_city_challenge/
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