Urbanisation and Industrialisation to go hand-in-hand with sustainable biodiversity conservation
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia - Various development plans to drive Malaysia towards becoming a developed nation by 2020 must go hand-in-hand with sustainable management of the country’s natural resources and biodiversity conservation.
“We need to conserve our country’s incredible biodiversity, and this is reflected in the expanding conservation agenda of the World Wide Fund for Nature-Malaysia (WWF-Malaysia),” said its Executive Director/CEO, Dato’ Dr Dionysius Sharma.
Even after 40 years of dedicated conservation efforts in Malaysia, there are numerous challenges that lie ahead of us, Dato’ Dr Sharma said.
He added that rapid urbanisation and industrialisation tended to result in related “brown” issues due to rising carbon emission from transportation and industrial sources, low investment and take-up rate in renewable energy generation and energy efficiency practices.
“Climate change will continue to feature prominently on our conservation agenda in 2013. WWF-Malaysia as the national conservation trust will work with the private and public sectors to locally reduce our national carbon footprint and advocate for the development of renewable energy,” he said.
Dato’ Dr Sharma said that financial institutions also play a key role in developing a low carbon economy.
“We hope that 2013 and onwards, financial institutions will attach sustainability criteria to their lending and investment conditions, especially with regard to natural resource extraction activities in the forest and oil palm sectors. This would have huge pay-offs for the planet,” he added.
Other areas of focus will be the protection and conservation of critically endangered terrestrial species, for example the Sumatran rhinoceros, Malayan tiger, orang utan and Asian elephant, as well as marine species, like marine turtles, painted terrapin, and groupers including the humphead wrasse.
“We will also look into the conservation and restoration of priority habitats through policy advocacy, promotion of market transformation initiatives such as sustainable palm oil production and responsible forestry management, promotion of eco-based fisheries management system, adoption of best practices in protected areas and freshwater management, systematic conservation planning, environmental education, and community education and engagement,” said Dato’ Dr Sharma.
He said that WWF-Malaysia will also continue to work with other governments on cross-border cooperation in environmental management initiatives, such as the Heart of Borneo (Brunei and Indonesia), Sulu Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion (Indonesia and the Philippines) and Coral Triangle (Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor Leste).
Dato’ Dr Sharma also added that WWF-Malaysia is constantly looking for passionate individuals to jointly work on its mission of stopping the degradation of the country’s natural environment and building a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.
“We are looking to hire environmental economists as we need professionals who are qualified to better study the environmental impacts of economic decisions as the nation progresses to embrace sustainable development. As we promote and advocate for a transition towards a green economy, we will continue to drive home the fact that business-as-usual economic growth models will see environmental costs of economic growth outweigh revenues from natural capital. We really have to start valuing and investing in natural capital,” he said.
WWF-Malaysia (World Wide Fund for Nature-Malaysia), the national conservation trust, currently runs more than 90 projects covering a diverse range of environmental protection work. Since 1972, WWF-Malaysia has worked on important conservation projects, from saving endangered species such as tigers and turtles, to protecting our highland forests, rivers and seas. We also undertake environmental education and advocacy work to achieve conservation goals. By conserving our natural resources, WWF-Malaysia is helping to protect our livelihoods, food and water supply, thus securing our good quality of life and our children’s bright future. We thank our supporters and members of the Media, whose contributions and support enable our conservation work. If you would like to donate to WWF-Malaysia or learn more about our projects, please call: +603-78033772 or visit: wwf.org.my or www.facebook.com/wwfmy.
WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature by:
· Conserving the world’s biological diversity
· Ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable
· Promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful production
For more information, please contact:
Yeoh Lin Lin, Head of Communications, WWF-Malaysia,
Tel: +603-78033772 ext 6400, email: firstname.lastname@example.org